The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Bees at home on Village Hall balcony

July 27, 2018 - The buzz of nectar-gathering activity that began nearly two years ago at the Public Works Center has come to Village Hall with two honeybee hives on the small outdoor balcony above the south entrance at 123 Madison St.

The two hives at Village Hall eventually will be home to about 90,000 hard-working honeybees, each playing a crucial role as pollinators for the plants that produce a third of the American diet.

About 50 pounds of honey was collected last month in the first harvest of the season. Arrangements have been made to donate the honey to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry for distribution to its clients.

The Village Bee Team – Sustainability Coordinator Mindy Agnew, Forestry Superintendent Rob Sproule and professional bee keeper Naaman Gambil of The Hive – said plenty of honey was purposely left for the bees who are still establishing the colonies.

The Village Hall hives are proving to be just as active as the hives set up about two years ago on the Public Works Center’s green roof, which produced more than 120 pounds of honey last season. 

Of course, the hives at the Public Works Center and Village Hall aren’t just about honey. With populations of these critical pollinators on the decline, the Village's goal is to create awareness and promote a healthy environment for bees that can benefit local gardeners. 

Visitors should not fear the docile pollinators. Officials say the bees live only to collect pollen and make honey and aren’t interested in coming inside Village Hall.

Oak Park property owners can establish up to two honeybee colonies as long as the apiaries meet specific Village code requirements. The Health Department has issued six licenses for residential beekeeping, which is regulated under Chapter 20, Article 11 of the Village Code.

For more information beekeeping in Oak Park, call 708.358.5480 or email