(Illustration by Vladislav Klok and Michael Vendiola)

Honey, I’m home

The bees are back in town.

Last year, student agriculture club Phoenix Farms kept three hives of bees on the roof of Harper Court, the 53rd Street building where the Core is published. Over the winter, the hives road-tripped to California. Here’s a travelogue of their cross-country journey:

October 2018

Three hives—more than 100,000 bees—leave Harper Court to go to a bee yard in West Chicago, Illinois (a town 35 miles west, near Aurora). There the hives are “staged”: sparse hives get more bees, very full hives might have bees taken away.

December 2018

UChicago’s hives, along with 341 others, travel by semi-tractor truck to Los Banos, California.

January 2019

The bees arrive to pollinate almond trees in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

March 2019

The hives travel to a bee yard in Eddyville, Kentucky, where they are staged again.

May 2019:

The hives come back to West Chicago. (Worker bees live just six weeks, so the bees are not the same, but the hives are.) They’re not returning to Harper Court though. Phoenix Farms director Nick Lyon, AB’16, a current Pritzker School of Medicine student, takes them to Growing Home community farms in Englewood.

Phoenix Farms has also ordered three new hives, as well as three boxes of new bees to put in them, at First Presbyterian Church, 6400 South Kimbark Avenue.