O’Hare Becomes First U.S. Airport To Host Beehives

CHICAGO (CBS) — O’Hare International Airport sits on an old apple orchard and was once known as Orchard Field – hence the code “ORD.”

Now, agriculture is making a comeback at the airport. A group is raising bees right along the runways at the busy airport.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, 33 beehives have been set up on the east side of the airfield, in a remote, secure, non-public area just off the approach to runway 28.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

The apiary takes up 2,400 square feet of space at the airport. It was set up by Sweet Beginnings, a program at the North Lawndale Employment Network that helps ex-convicts and other disadvantaged people from the West Side neighborhood find permanent jobs while going green at the same time, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The program produces products under the brand name Beeline, including raw honey, and natural, honey-infused skin care products.

If all goes well, Beeline products will become part of the O’Hare foodservice program and sold at kiosks throughout the airport.

The main beekeeping operation for Beeline is located on West Flournoy Street in North Lawndale. Sweet Beginnings chief executive officer Brenda Palms Barber hopes also to start up an apiary at Midway International Airport, the Sun-Times reported.

The newspaper points out that beekeeping operations are common at airports in Europe, but O’Hare is the first in the United States to host an apiary.

  • Nature Lover, Cook County

    Great program. I favor the idea of local beehives in helping to increase pollinations of flowers and plants in utilizing the space at ORD. However, I’m weary security issues and would hope that the FAA does their very best to ensure that security measures are enforced. Such a program could also bee good on land owned by utilities, including property owned by the railroads, electric companies (ComEd), gas lines (Nicor), cable (Comcast), etc.

  • Cawoonache

    Going green? Besides bees, is there another method of honey production? There is nothing “green” about beekeeping. “Going green” is a meaningless feel-good phrase. Food growers have relied on bees for pollination for ages. Long before the ridiculous environmental movement began. Environmentalists have absolutely no claim on beekeeping.

    Why can’t you jut report the facts?

    • UrbanBeePerson

      Two Phrases: colony collapse disorder AND food supply

      Both phrases are substantive if you do your homework. I am glad that people consider beekeeping “GREEN” if it means a better day for our country.

  • http://www.sweetbeginningsllc.com/cbs2-chicago-news-segment-on-sweet-beginnings-ohare-apiary Beeline - - - - cbs2 chicago news segment on sweet beginnings o’hare apiary

    […] The following video aired on July 6th, 2011, and features a video of the Sweet Beginnings O’Hare Apiary taken from Chopper 2. To read the accompanying article, please click here. […]

  • D. Rudis

    And I hope that they are also considering wildflower planntings vs standard turf species.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live