Westside Bee Boyz in the news

Bee hives creating a buzz at Public Works Center
The Village is working with the Westside Bee Boyz, a Chicago company that manages more than 250 hives across the Chicagoland area, including on downtown skyscrapers and at notable destinations like Shedd Aquarium and Lincoln Park Zoo. The Village of Oak Park has joined a small group of other municipalities on the Westside Bee Boyz’s list of clients, including the Clarendon Hills Police Department and the Chicago Park District’s North Park Village Nature Center."


How to Create an Instant Farm in the City
"Hire an apiarist. Get loads of honey without really having to do anything. The Westside Bee Boyz will set up and tend hives in your yard. From $300 for setup, then $75 a visit, westsidebeeboyz.com."


Podcast: White-Hot American Kitchen, Episode 2: Naaman Gambill
"In this episode, we welcome Beekeeper, Naaman Gambill of Westside Bee Boyz into the Kitchen for a conversation that's, well, the bee's knees... Give it a listen!"


Massive Swarm Of Bees Rescued In West Loop
"Another day, another massive swarm of bees in the city. This latest instance happened Friday afternoon right in the heart of the West Loop, near North Morgan Street. and West Fulton Market. Westside Bee Boyz were summoned to the scene where they secured the swarm, showing as much composure as we showed teeth-gritting anxiety while viewing this video. They estimate some 40,000 bees were rescued. "



Swarm of thousands of bees lands downtown



Earth Day Youth Fair Saturday At West Park
"Beekeeper John Hansen from West Side Bee Boyz will present samples of honeycomb for children to touch and a working beehive for them to observe, along with discussions on the importance of bees in the pollination process of fruits and vegetables."


Kiva Sets New Rules for U.S. Borrowers to Get Crowdfunded Loans
"Thad J. Smith, a felon, who took up beekeeping after his release from jail in 2013, is using a $10,000 Kiva loan to expand Westside Bee Boyz, a Chicago-based provider of beekeeping supplies and services. The loan will allow the 16-month-old company to double the size of its apiary, which currently has 93 hives. Mr. Smith said he couldn’t qualify for other financing because of the company’s limited track record and modest cash flow, and his two forgery convictions. Despite those obstacles, Mr. Smith and his business partner raised a total of $2,275 from 20 friends, family and business contacts in eight days and the remaining $7,725 on the Kiva Zip platform in 18 days."


The way to job growth? Grow food
"Westside Bee Boyz, which was founded last November, was one of the newer organizations at the expo. The two beekeepers who created the organization — John Hansen and Thad Smith - said they wanted to do something to help the West Side and to fill a niche role in a market that desperately needs their unique skills."


Westside Bee Boyz rallies with Organic Consumers Association against Neonictinoid Pesticides



Founder Thad is interviewed on the The Mike Nowak Show (podcast)
"Thad Smith is on a mission. He and his colleagues John Hansen and Naaman Gambill have created Westside Bee Boyz, which promotes urban beekeeping and works to give back to Chicago communities."

Founder Thad awarded the Game Changer Award at New Covenant Community Development Corporation's 2nd Annual Game Changers Economic Impact Fundraiser

Award Ceremony from New Covenant Community Development Corporation's 2nd Annual Game Changers Economic Impact Fundraiser

Posted by WestSide Bee Boyz, LLC on Monday, October 26, 2015



Farm Aid focuses on family farms, returns to Chicago Saturday - NWI Times
"All the concession stands will have Bella Beez Sparkling Honey Water, which is bottled in Chicago using local honey from Chicago beekeepers West Side Bee Boyz, who will be teaching beekeeping in the Homegrown Skills Tent"


Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp Will Perform at This Year’s Farm Aid Concert - Travel + Leisure
"There will also be sparkling honey water from Bella Beez, a Chicago-based company that uses honey raised by the Westside Bee Boyz. The latter will also be on hand in the HOMEGROWN Village to demonstrate how to set up a beehive and harvest your own honey."


Moonglow, Black Zebra: The heirloom tomatoes to snag at farmers markets now
"Other notable items spotted at the market: Honey from Westside Bee Boyz"


Why Are Illinois’s Honeybees Dying? It’s Complicated
"Last year, however, even a good diet wasn’t enough to boost city bee survival. Thad J. Smith, who owns the beekeeping service Westside Bee Boyz, says that only eight of his 131 colonies in and around Chicago survived. Jana Kinsman, who runs the organization Bike a Bee, lost all but two of her 20 hives on the South and West Sides. (Undeterred, she’s tending 35 this year.)"


Farm Aid 30: "Good Food Movement" & Growing Solutions
"Locally, the Westside Bee Boyz with Thad Smith who works to put beehives on rooftops and backyard apiaries across Chicago. I spoke with the Founder, John Hansen who promotes and teaches the art of beekeeping. There was also a selfie opportunity, to "Take a Selfie with Bees!"


Westside Bee Boyz interviewed LIVE by Jeff Flock from FOXBusiness on Cavuto Coast to Coast



How an Airport Beekeeping Program Is Giving People a Second Chance
"Every 10 days, Thad Smith enters a piece of land that is otherwise forbidden to most people: The empty acreage around Chicago’s O’Hare airport. It’s there that Smith and his crew from the Westside Bee Boyz tend to 75 beehives."


Beehives to Sweeten Clarendon Hills Police Station
"Thad Smith and John Hanson of Westside Bee Boyz and Sweet Beginnings approached police chief Ted Jenkins about placing beehives on police department property, and the council approved the plan at a May board meeting. The hives will be provided and maintained by the bee businesses."


Education, pollination are expected benefits of beehives in Clarendon Hills
"Police Chief Ted Jenkins, who has been involved in beekeeping at his home for about four years, was asked about placing the beehives by Thad Smith and John Hanson, two longtime Chicago-area beekeepers who have a bee-related operation, Westside Bee Boyz."


Chicago Beekeeper Stung by Hive Thieves
"Thad Smith is the former beekeeper for Sweet Beginnings and now is a co-founder of Westside Bee Boyz. He says that right now, hives are building and nectar is coming in, and in another month, there will be the first honey harvest..."It probably has to be a money thing because honey prices are just going up, bees are going up. Bees and honey are finite items, so, the more honey you sell, the more money you make," Thad Smith said."


Video: Beekeeping on the West Side - Medill Reports Chicago
"Last year, Smith started the WestSide Bee Boyz, a company specializing in urban beekeeping. That means managing beehives as well as selling beekeeper equipment and honey-based products. "There are over 100,000 beekeepers in and around Chicago and there are no beekeeping supply stores in the area,” Smith said. “I don’t understand why not. I started the business originally because I felt I was being underpaid, but now it’s grown into something much more than that."


Worm composting doesn’t stink, especially for your garden
"Worm composting is faster and more effective than regular composting,” Naaman Gambill, the conservatory’s green-living Coordinator, said during the event. This is because worms act as natural aids to decomposition, or the breakdown of organic material, because they have special stomachs, called the crop, that are able to grind down the material. They then excrete the food in the form of nutrient rich compost, Gambill said."


The buzz on bees: Why a bee shortage may impact food cost
"At the Garfield Park Conservatory, where they have 13 hives, head bee keeper Naaman Gambill is keeping a close eye on the honey bee population. "We lost 30 percent of our honey bees this year,” Gambill said, adding they were fortunate compared to other areas much harder hit."


Bee-ing in Oak Park
"Over the weekend, I sat in a room for five hours learning about how to raise and care for honey bees, as well as harvest their surplus honey from Naaman Gambill, Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance's lead beekeeper and Greening Program Coordinator. In addition to all the public education Gambill does, he works with an enthusiastic and growing brood of volunteer beekeepers who help him manage GPC's 20 hives."


Naaman Gambill: Bee Keeper

Naaman Gambill: Bee Keeper from Groundfire Pictures on Vimeo.



Join the Swarm: How to Become a Chicago Beekeeper
"Be sure bees have fly-away space,” says Naaman Gambill, Garfield Park Green Program coordinator and head beekeeper. "You don’t want to keep their hive directly in front of a sidewalk, and you do want to keep it out of the way of neighbors..."


Hive Faith: Go behind the scenes with a professional beekeeper
"Bees and Beekeepers at Work is an hour-and-a-half session held three times a week through the end of summer. It’s led by Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance beekeeper Naaman Gambill, who starts each class with an educational talk, then opens up the hives for attendees to see. Stand as close or as far away from the action as you want--Gambill uses a smoker tool that makes the bees unable to sting. So even if you’re allergic, you’re safe."


Shedd Aquarium's Honeybees Buzz with Activity
It's great to see a colony that takes care of itself and that we have another hive," said Naaman Gambill, the greening programs coordinator at Garfield Park Conservatory and a master beekeeper. Gambill visits the Shedd about once every two weeks, making sure the bees are happy and have enough room in their hives. If not, Gambill will add "supers," wooden boxes that act as extra levels in the hive."


Bee farm helps redeem poor Chicago neighborhood

Chicago: A Great Place to Bee
"...Naaman Gambill, lead beekeeper for the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance in Chicago. Gambill offers that Chicago is uniquely supportive of honeybees. He salutes the people and city of Chicago, noting that they realized early on it was both respectable and essential to have bees. Their being mindful to their many benefits was behind Chicago legalizing beekeeping much earlier than other cities, a real testament to the people and city of Chicago. Notes Gambill, "while beekeeping everywhere is enjoying a surge in popularity, urban beekeeping is a very cool thing in the city of Chicago."


Sweet Beginnings: The sweet nectar of honey is giving ex-offenders a fresh start



Naaman Gambill, Garfield Park Conservatory beekeeper
"The things that I had to do as chores when I was a kid, I now get paid to do. I was raised on a small farm in Indiana, where we had pigs and chickens and bees. My dad tells friends that I keep bees for a living, and then he laughs. I don't know if it's out of pride or disbelief."


Beekeepers Aim To Earn Their Stripes
"The government's honey program, meanwhile, has proved an easy target for politicians looking to fulfill campaign promises and reduce budget deficits. "Why they pick on us, I understand," said John Hansen, president of the Cook-DuPage Beekeepers Association, which represents 150 members in Cook, DuPage, Will, Grundy and Kane Counties, most of them hobbyists. "There aren't many of us, so they wouldn't get many repercussions."