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Milwaukee-Area Hatches New Trend: Urban Chicken Coops and Beehives

Max Thomsen

While many Milwaukeeans buy eggs and honey at local farmers markets, few have considered raising chickens or bees in an urban setting. But the number of chicken coops and hives has been steadily growing in the Milwaukee-area.

READ: A Milwaukee Rooftop Apiary Asks Us to 'Bee' The Change

Writer Carolyn Kott Washburne went in search of the reasons behind this latest trend and she wrote about the agrarian phenomenon in the June issue of Milwaukee Magazine. Washburne believes there are two main reasons behind all the buzz:

"People want to know where their food is coming from," she explains. "There’s also a whole kind of sustainability movement - people [want to be] able to take care of themselves."

But urban beekeeping, especially, comes with its own set of challenges and lessons to be learned.

"You want to reach out to other local beekeepers,” Washburne suggests. “[Honeybees] are very local. The pollen they produce is local, the taste of the honey is local - so you want to find out what it takes to keep a local bee going.”