Members in the News

This is the place to keep up to date with all the Honey Happenings of the members of the Cook – DuPage Beekeepers Association.

With the media’s attention on honey bees and the perils they face, beekeepers are finding themselves in the news more and more.  The experience and expertise found in our association make us a natural source for reporters.  Additionally, some of our members share their knowledge with others through articles on beekeeping and related topics in various magazines.

If you are featured in a beekeeping related article, TV or radio segment, or have been published or know of a member who has been, please use the Contact Us page to send the information including any Internet links along with your name and contact information so we can feature the information here.

We are all proud of these accomplishments and want to highlight the articles by and about our members.  Be sure to acknowledge and congratulate them at the next meeting!

More Sweet Beginnings with John Hansen, and Thad Smith.

Bee farm helps redeem poor Chicago neighborhood

In a crime-ravaged neighborhood of Chicago where most young adults are unemployed, a bustling bee farm called Sweet Beginnings has created 360 new jobs, giving homeless people and former prison inmates a place of employment and valuable job skills. Bob Dotson reports in the latest installment of his award-winning American Story franchise.  Click here to see the video.

Dan Perizak joins Mike McConnell on WGN radio to discuss the Schaumburg Apiary

Dan Perizak, president of the Cook Dupage county beekeeping association , joins Mike to discuss Schaumburg’s plan for a bee yard.  Click here for the podcast.


John Hansen and Sweet Beginnings on WTTW Chicago Tonight

What do honey bees, O’Hare Airport and second chances have in common? They’re all playing an important part in a social enterprise that aims to promote locally produced, honey-based products right here in Chicago.

Dressed in safety gear that looks like something out of a space odyssey, apiarists are ready to encounter much more familiar creatures — honey bees.

It’s winter in Chicago, and a healthy dose of honey-based syrup is crucial to ensuring these bees survive the harsh weather.

John Hansen is the head beekeeper with 36 years of experience. Today, he is teaching others how to care for this hive of honey bees. (Read More)…

Bill & Dorothy Buckley Featured in Darian Patch

The Darian Patch, an on line newsletter dedicated to local news, views and interesting people and places did an excellent feature article on Bill and Dorothy Buckley.

There’s a symphony with thousands of tiny musicians inside Bill Buckley’s swimming pool.

No longer filled with water, the above-ground vessel provides shelter for Buckley’s four steadily humming beehives, part of a collection he’s cultivated during more than 35 years as a beekeeper.

At 84, Buckley has scaled back the number of hives he tends from a high of 30, but he and his wife, Dorothy, continue to spread the word of the bee throughout the region.  Read More

O’Hare Apiary Profiled on ABC 7

Cook DuPage Beekeeper John Hansen has been very busy this spring.  Working with the North Lawndale Employment Network, John has helped Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport become the first airport in the US with it’s own “Bee Farm”.   ABC 7 highlighted the apiary and the help it brings ex-offenders back into the work force.  For the full story and video, click here.

Hanover Park Considers Apiary

An article during the discussion phase of opening the Hanover Park Bee Yard in the Daily Herald.

“There’s a buzz in the air in Hanover Park about thousands of prospective new residents.

Officials are backing a proposal to create a community apiary that would house honeybee hives on village property, a green initiative supporters say would lead to educational opportunities, the chance to help rebuild a vital pollinating population that’s been decimated in recent years and, of course, gallons of honey.” Read more by clicking here.

ABJ Features Article On Ron Fischer

CDBA Members Chuck and Karen Lorence’s article on CDBA member Ron Fischer and the iconic photo of him by Richard Avedon was featured in the May issue of American Bee Journal.  The article tells the story of Ron and the photo that turned into one of the most recognized images in the 20th century.

Ron Fischer, the Bee Man of Orion

Many of you know Ron Fischer, either in person or through his work as the editor of “The Buzz”, the CDBA newsletter.  Ron was recently featured in the February 20th edition of the Quad City Times.

Ron Fischer was born and raised in Oak Park, Ill., and spent much of his adult life working as an accountant for various high-powered financial services companies.

But always in the background was the pull of his grandparents’ 1844 farm between Orion and Coal Valley, Ill., the fifth-oldest in Rock Island County.

He spent a lot of time there as a child, developing an interest in gardening, and as an adult he staked out a plot of his own where he planted an orchard and berry patches of all kinds. He worked in the Chicago area, but he returned to the farm for his hobby.

In 1970, he bought a honeybee hive because his berries and fruits needed bees for pollination and, having “no idea how to keep bees at all,” he took courses from the University of Illinois and Ohio State University.

Fischer’s life has now come full circle.

In 2005, he bought 60 acres of the farm and moved there. Now he is the expert, teaching others about beekeeping.

(For the full story, click here)

A Primer on Keeping Bees

Ron also contributed to a side bar article in the Quad City Times on how to start keeping bees.  For that article , click here

Article by CDBA Members featured in American Bee Journal

The March issue of the American Bee Journal featured an article by Chuck and Karen Lorence.  “Illinois Beekeepers Share Their Honey Show Secrets” (page 253)  looks at the “bee life” of Jim and Karen Belli of Wadsworth IL.  The article looks at how the Bellis became interested in beekeeping and honey judging and provides some useful tips for beekeepers interested in placing their honey in competition.

This article joins others the Lorences have published including “Farmer’s Market” and “A Dream Realized” published in 2008.

North Aurora Beekeepers Life is as Busy as the Bees he Keeps

Who in the club doesn’t know Harry Patterson, long time member of the Cook DuPage Beekeepers Club and a well known speaker on bees and beekeeping in the area.  The Daily Herald feature on Harry looks at some of the things that keep Harry going.

(article by Susan Dibble)

On his five acres of property in North Aurora, Harry Patterson keeps 12 hives of bees. In September, he gathers the golden honey to sell and give away.

Patterson has even had doctors send allergy patients to him to buy pollen-containing honey to help them build immunities.

But as sweet and healthful as that liquid gold might be, Patterson spends a lot more time talking about bees than selling honey.

The retired schoolteacher gives presentations on honey bees to schools, garden clubs, nursing homes and civic groups.

“I enjoy teaching. It comes easy,” said Patterson, who spent 32 years teaching fifth grade in West Aurora Elementary District 129.  For the rest of the article visit the Daily Herald by Clicking Here.

CDBA Members Speak on Oak Park “Bee Ban”

Three members of the Cook DuPage Beekeepers Association spoke on behalf of the bees at the Oak Park Board of Health meeting October 5th where the board voted to recommend removing bee hive maintenance from the “nuisance designation”.     Jane Collins, Gary Gates and Oliver “Skip” Pronger addressed the board in support of bees and beekeeping within the city and sat as a beekeeping expert panel for the board members, who looked for input from the beekeeping community as well as the medical community.  Dr. Paul Luning, chief medical officer at Lake Street Family Health Center in Oak Park, said that fatalities from bee stings are relatively rare. He said about 40 to 100 Americans die from anaphylactic shock every year from stinging insects, which includes not only bees, wasps and hornets, but also fire ants and other insects. He also agreed that his researched showed that honeybees are often not the culprits.

Dr. Luning also indicated that anaphylactic shock deaths associated with other allergies, such as nuts, seem to be much larger than those caused by stinging insects.

The Board of Health has asked that CDBA review the suggests the’s will be putting to the Village Board of Trustees in November for regulations on keeping bees in the Village.