The Kitchen Think: Sweet Bee-ginnings


There’s a buzz at Chicago’s O’Hare airport… and it’s not low flying aircraft.

It’s 33 beehives.

European airports have used apiaries (that’s the egghead word for beehives) to help with conservation and sustainable landscaping for years. O’Hare is the first airport in the nation to try it out on 2,400 square feet of vacant, undeveloped, grassy land.

The bee farming program was set up by Sweet Beginnings, a Chicago-based non-profit in March. The group helps residents of a low income west side community and ex-offenders get job training while working on green projects, like setting up bee farms. More than 325 people have found work so far through Sweet Beginnings.

Each hive produces about 150 lbs. of honey every year. Half of it goes into making products… and half it stays in the hive for the bees to feed on over the winter.

Beeline honey and natural honey-based personal care products are sold at Whole Foods and other Chicago retailers. But the group hopes to begin selling at the O’Hare airport to create an even bigger buzz about what they’re doing.

Wouldn’t that be sweet?


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One thought on “The Kitchen Think: Sweet Bee-ginnings

  1. SS

    Enjoyed your presentation at a St. Francis Xavier Women’s Club meeting a few weeks ago and loved the chocolate treats that were there. I have a need for some edibles at a small reception at an art show next week. Do you prepare those little chocolate morsels and is it possible to order about 30+ for pick up or delivery on Tuesday, June 18 before noon? I am at 807 Linden Ave in Wilmette (right across the street from the building where the meeting occured}. Where are you located?
    Hope to hear. My phone is 847-251-2511.


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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: