|Beekeeper Al Renslow with a package of 10,000 bees (AKCG)|
"At the Chicago senior living community, The Admiral at the Lake, (929 W. Foster) a retired schoolteacher turned beekeeper truly has things “buzzing.”
Not only that, but that teacher – Al Renslow – has assembled a corp of like-minded ‘bee-lievers’, The Admiral Bee Buddies.
Al, a retired schoolteacher and resident of The Admiral at the Lake, developed this hobby as a passion project, a way to learn new skills and contribute to the environment. As a bonus, Al now has an outlet that benefits his mental well-being.
Al is preparing for his fourth year of beekeeping on campus as his operation expands beyond his expectations!
Al launched The Admiral’s beekeeping program in 2019 based on his belief that we must be good stewards of the environment. With the support of The Admiral community, he began dedicating time to the start-up. Through his research, he self-taught himself how to bee keep and, in the process, discovered how unique the colony’s urban honey is. City bees create exquisite-tasting honey due to the diverse native plants, and this unique honey can only be found within The Admiral's campus.
The Admiral Bee Buddies have expanded over the years and now there are eight residents helping maintain the bees. The Bee Buddies help Al set up the hives at the beginning of the beekeeping season and in the late months of the summer, the group will harvest the honey in preparation for their annual honey sale. Last season, over 400 bottles of urban honey were harvested, bottled, labeled and distributed with the help of Admiral community members who reside in the memory care unit, who volunteered to package the Bee Buddies’ prized possession."
UU Note: If you'd like to see the beehives or chat with Al, please email Katie O'Brien at email@example.com