Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day #320 Bees at the Chicago Airport

This is a fabulous idea! Honeybees work the land that surrounds O’Hare Field in Chicago. All that land that an airport needs, but doesn’t really use, can be put to good use, and this little video shows how:

I went further, though, and checked out the site the beekeeper mentioned. Here’s some info I copied from their “about  us” page:

            Sweet Beginnings, LLC makes the family of beeline® products, an all natural line of raw honey and honey-infused body care products. We extract our honey from our all natural urban apiary in the heart of the North Lawndale community in Chicago. Our honey is known for its complex flavor, a result of the varied flora of our urban environment. Our beeline® skin care products are of exceptional quality and are all unique in their use of the natural gift of honey as a moisturizer. Not only do we respect the earth in the production of our products, but we also provide important transitional job opportunities for area residents who struggle with barriers to employment.

The page goes on to explain the skills the workers learn. It’s pretty impressive:

            Sweet Beginnings … offers full-time transitional jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and others with significant barriers to employment in a green industry – the production and sales of all-natural skin care products featuring its own urban honey. Sweet Beginnings workers care for the bees and hives, harvest honey, make beeline® products, package and ship products, track inventory, fill product orders, and sell at retail outlets and special events. These training and work experience modalities transfer to market positions in manufacturing, food service, distribution, warehousing, hospitality, customer service, and more.

The truly important point here is that “The recidivism rate for former Sweet Beginnings employees is below 4%, compared to the national average of 65% and the Illinois average of 55%.”

Amazing what bees can do—as long as they are partnered with people who care enough to implement such programs.

I love finding proof that bees can make a real difference.

BEEattitude for Day # 320:
       Blessed are those who recognize our value and help to increase our numbers, for they shall have honey everlasting.

The teeny details:

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my eBooks on Smashwords (for all other formats):

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