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Up Close Look: A 'Truly Magical' Hive Of Activity In The Loop, Thanks To Urban Beekeepers At Alveole

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's an incredible view of bees like you've never seen before, high atop the CBS 2 Broadcast Center in the Loop, and it recently created a buzz for some Chicago teens.

The CBS 2 Morning Insiders can share this inside peek thanks to photojournalist Reed Nolan, and his special lens.

The hive on top of 22 W. Washington St. is one of more than 100 maintained in Chicago by Alveole, an urban beekeeping company. Most of those hives are in the Loop area.

"Inside of one of these buildings, people have their tasks that are promoting the success of their organization," Alveole team director Shelby Schulman said. "The bees are doing something really similar to that, just in a contained box that we can put on top of the roof."

Bees typically live for about 30 days and spend their lives tirelessly working; collecting pollen and nectar for the colony, pollinating plants, and storing honey in their honeycombs.

Ty McClinton and other teens in the YouthBuild Lake County education and job training program visited the bee hive on top of the CBS 2 Broadcast Center.

"They didn't say nothing about no bees at first," he said.

Schulman and her team provided the teens with mesh beekeeping hats if they wanted them,

"Us, we're not used to being around bees," McClinton said. "I don't like bees. Nah, they hurt."

However, Schulman said honeybees are not likely to sting you if you leave them alone.

"They're incredibly docile; non-aggressive," she said. "We often get bees and wasps or other scary pollinators confused, but bees they're really just out there to promote the safety and health of their colony."

Schulman pointed out to the young men and women from YouthBuild that every move her team makes while working with the bees is very slow and deliberate, to avoid startling or provoking the bees.

Kristen Jackson also said she has a fear of bees, and "blanked out" when Schulman showed them how to identify a queen bee, but said she's glad she was able to conquer that fear.

"It's truly magical to see that transition from extremely vulnerable, almost, into highly comfortable," Schulman said.

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