An experienced traveler, whose geographic focus is still predominantly the Midwest, Ms. Glazer has advised countless travelers headed to Chicago over the years and, until recently, believed she had a detailed understanding of the full range of factors — from the common to the unique — motivating travelers to visit the city.
The recent beekeeping trend making its way through Chicago’s backyards, parks, and shared public spaces succeeded in surprising one, demonstrating that Chicago’s tastes can be both uniquely refined and delightfully eccentric.
After first learning of the burgeoning interest in beekeeping, beehives, and local Chicago honey from a from a fellow traveler heading to Chicago, Ms. Glazer set out to gain a deeper understanding of the growing community of apiaries and hoped to discover the source of this sudden and surprising interest. As is often the case, further research led to a further surprise.
A company called Bike a Bee, founded by Jana Kinsman, seems to have spearheaded the effort to cultivate beehives throughout the city of Chicago as well as several rural areas outside of the city limits. Each location is different and therefore produces a different kind of honey, but all are linked by the abundance of linden trees found throughout the area. The trees are said to be responsible for the honey’s distinct and immediately identifiable flavor, which experts have described as both sweet and minty.
Upon looking into the specifics, Ms. Glazer began to understand that a truly unique culture had started to develop in Chicago that served as ample motivation for travelers to make plans to visit. Ms. Glazer has made an effort to ensure her fellow travelers are properly informed on the best time of year (late summer, which is when the local flora ceases producing nectar and forces the bees to produce the honey they need for survival until the following spring) for people to visit Chicago if they wish to take part in or simply witness the harvesting of honey from the increasing number of hives being maintained in and around the city.