Our Sponsor's property is a standard late 1890's two-flat with a postage-stamp sized back yard. The buildings on either side of her are apartment buildings of the same ilk. An avid gardener, our sponsor wanted to have honey bees, but also had some other requests. In a move that we normally do not recommend, she asked to have the hives up against the apartment building, just a few feet from the back door. As she retains the use of the yard, and no one else has access, and she can still get in and out of the door without interference from the bees, we placed the hives per her instructions. She additionally wanted the hives located where they are so she could watch the comings and goings from her windows.
Just a foot to the left of the above picture are the deck areas for the building next door. None of the neighbors have complained about the bees and in fact, Mike often has audiences watching him inspect the bees.
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We've had hives at this location for several years, as this Sponsor was not only our first, but she provided encouragement towards us expanding our Sponsor-hive business model.
The first hive we inspected was not notably exciting. Everything seemed to be progressing as normal. At a previous inspection, we had switched around the order of some of the boxes because the bees had only been building out the top box. The only "anomaly" is that the bees were storing honey in comb that had been previously used for brood, so the surrounding wax is very dark.
Going back to the original point about beekeeping in Chicago, we have found through the years of having hives both in Bridgeport and in the suburbs that the hives in the city tended to be stronger, healthier, and better producing than our suburban hives. We suspect that this is due to the fact that fewer city residents may be fogging their yards before parties to "get rid of the bugs" and fewer city residents may be using herbicides and pesticides to get that "weed-free / grub-free / pest free" yard. We highly recommend keeping hives in the city and would be more than happy to meet with anyone interested in sponsoring hives within Chicago city limits. Use our contact form if you're interested in finding out other information.