bee farming

What’s buzzing at O’Hare International Airport

I’ve been on a bee binge lately and was happy to learn that O’Hare International Airport is the first airport in the U.S. to have an on-airport apiary.

The 23 beehives, home to about 1.5 million bees, have been on O’Hare property since May 2011 and are tended to by ex-offenders and low income residents learning new skills as part of a program operated by North Lawndale Employment Network.

According to the airport, each hive is expected to produce up to 25 pounds of honey per year and that honey will be harvested and marketed, perhaps at the airport, as part of the Beeline product line of honey and skin care products.

Not so sure you’d want to eat honey produced at an airport? The folks at O’Hare point out that honey produced in urban areas may actually be more pure than honey produced in the suburbs and in rural area where crops are more likely to be fertilized.