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Westside Bee Boyz, LLC

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Beekeeping Services

Local honey 

Bees Wax

Westside Bee Boyz, LLC

1724 South Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60608, US

(312) 391-4429

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About Us

Thad J Smith, Founder

He's a Cub Fan and a Bee man!

A Bee-ntrepunuer is born

  

Thad’s life wasn’t always on the right track. In 2010, times got tough and money was scarce. After losing my house and becoming homeless I made some poor decisions. I was charged with 2 felonies and briefly incarcerated. Upon release, at 46 years old, I found himself in a desperate situation, alone and homeless. It was hitting bottom - after jail time and a felony conviction - that inspired me to not only turn my life around but to change my attitude and aspire to something greater

After my release from jail on February 12, 2013, I moved into interim housing in the Pilsen neighborhood, at San Jose Obrero Mission. From there I began to piece my life back together, searching for stable housing and employment. I connected with NLEN where I enrolled in its flagship program, U-Turn Permitted (UTP). Because of his positive attitude and fresh outlook on life, I was elected president of his UTP cohort, graduated in June 2013 and shortly thereafter was hired to work at NLEN’s transitional jobs program, Sweet Beginnings.

Working side by side with Sweet Beginnings’ Head Beekeeper, John Hansen, I made a deep connection with a small but powerful part of the North Lawndale community – its honeybees. In my first experience working with bees: “I opened a hive and I just fell in love.” That love has driven me to new heights. Starting in November of 2013 working as an apprentice and learning everything I  could from John, one of Illinois’ most revered beekeepers, launched Westside Bee Boyz LLC, which in 2014-2015 managed the Sweet Beginnings apiaries,s included: Management of the world Largest Airport Apiary (Ohare), total management of 131 Hives, 6 locations throughout Chicago and the Suburbs, Educational Workshops, Training of Sweet Beginnings Employees. In Jan 2015,Westside bee Boyz, LLC officially became the Head Beekeeper for Sweet Beginnings with John as my assistant.

And so, began my love of honeybees and entrepreneurship. Seeing a need to serve those forgotten by the system, I wanted Westside Bee Boyz, LLC to be training and entrepreneurial opportunity for youth and underserved individuals in North Lawndale. Taking on the title of Bee-trepreneur, I has been a Co-Founder of “The Hive-Chicago’s Beekeeping Supply Store” Chicago first true Beekeeping store, and will soon launch Bee Boyz Beverages, LLC which offers W2O(Water) and new product Honey Bee Tea. Working with several organization throughout Chicago. WSBB has been able to hire and train or mentor over 30 individuals with these endeavors and hope to double that in the future.

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