A Year of Beekeeping in Bulgaria

After our prolonged blog silence – for which I apologize! – I decided to share with you chronological glimpses of what happened with our GA Local Initiative Program: Sofia, Bulgaria. Just as a reminder, our program revolves around an urban beekeeping project which I, Elena, and my friend Teo have been working on for over a year now.

At this time we have wrapped all summer and fall activities and are assessing the results and sustainability options. Our first and foremost achievement is the successful and legal installation of two Langstrot Ruth hives and one demonstration hive in the Physical Garden at the very very center of the city. We also managed to lead over So here’s how it all progressed.

February, 2013 – Brussels

We leave for Brussels! So, the funding we received for our project came from a contest for sustainable urban development ideas. The contest was conducted in many other European countries including the Czech Republic, Luthuania, Romania, Hungary, Poland. The winning teams were invited by CEE Bankwatch to present their ideas in support for changes in the structure of the EU funding mechanisms that would allow small citizen-lead projects to qualify.

People loved our project and we loved the dynamic and vibrant international community. Other projects included urban farms and community gardens, bike-recycling, and many more!

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As Chicago thaws, things are heating up for LETS GO Chicago

LETS GO Chicago members have been quite busy throughout the late winter and early spring and we are excited to tell you why. As Chicago thaws, the Rogers Park solutionaries are revving up for their fourth season of gardening, community building, youth empowerment and more. We have been preparing for our spring garden since early March by planting seedlings in our new greenhouse in West Rogers Park. Through a new partnership with the Westwood Manor Nursing Home, we are breathing life into the 18 by 32 foot space with the help of nursing home residents. The greenhouse is allowing us to select a wider range of crop varieties while providing a valuable learning experience for all involved.

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The greenhouse at Westwood Manor

Come mid-May, we will also be adding a community garden to this open space on the nursing home grounds:

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Future site of a community garden

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Sofia’s Better Idea for EU Funds

“In 2012, the CEE Bankwatch Network, in cooperation with its partnering organizations from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Poland and Slovakia organized a series of contests for best citizens’ sustainable project proposals: ‘Better Ideas for EU Funds’.”

Our Sofia, Bulgaria, program’s project “Bees in the City Park” was selected as one of these projects! 

“The project – settling of a bee colony – will be implemented on the roof of a public building in one of the many parks in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Workshops for both children and adults will be run by professional beekeepers, biology teachers and volunteers. Children will be given the opportunity to produce some honey themselves.”

Check out this short video clip of program leader Elena being interviewed at the event!