Bethany and I (Tammy) have friends who take care of the chickens on the Weiss Hospital Parking Garage roof in Uptown, Chicago. They sent out an email asking if anyone was interested in keeping bees on the roof. I jumped at the chance to help. I’ve always loved insects and have found bees endlessly fascinating.
I also love to learn new things so I thought, why not? And with Weiss financially supporting the endeavor, we had nothing to lose.
Our Weiss contact, Terri Tuohy, told me that there were hives up there before, but the person who was caring for them took all the equipment. We would have to start from scratch.
I started by reading a bunch of books and watching a bunch of videos. I found The Hive, a Chicago beekeeping supply store that I wanted to support with our business. Bethany and I checked out the store and met the manager, Naaman Gambill, an experienced beekeeper who manages hives around the city for parks, conservatories, and restaurants. He was incredibly helpful and made himself available for future help. We brought along our Junior Beekeeper, my daughter, Phoenix.
I went up on the roof to check out the hive space. As you can see, the space is a little worse for wear. Our first order of business is to clean up the area and make it hive ready.