According to bee expert and University of Illinois professor Gene E. Robinson, urban environments like Chicago are actually great for bees. There are often less pesticides and a wider variety of flowering plants and trees to feed on.
Still, raising bees in the Midwest comes with its own challenges. Since bees go into hibernation in the winter, they're generally left outside. And this year in particular, Kinsman said, beekeepers in Chicago struggled to have their hives come through the winter successfully.