Beekeeping is a long standing form of agricultural that is often appreciated but overlooked. People love honey but many often think of the buzzing yellow and black bees as nothing beyond pure pests. Some people in Detroit have decided to transform some of Detroit’s empty space into honeybee farms.
Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey joined forces in 2017 to buy up some empty property in Detroit and remodel them to be the home of their joint nonprofit venture, Detroit Hives. Prior to beginning this organization, Paule worked as a photographer and Lindsey as a staff member at a health care provider. The two had sparked a relationship and been dating for quite some time before creating Detroit Hives, and attribute the inspiration for the venture as a cold that Paule just could not get rid of. Paule was told at a local market that he should try eating local honey because it has medicinal properties. When he started to feel better the couple began thinking about how the sad urban state of their area increased allergies due to the overgrown ragweed in these areas. They put the idea of local honey being such a helpful remedy together with the problem of overgrown vacant areas together and just like that, Detroit Hives was born.
Paule and Lindsey had to take two courses at local places to become certified beekeepers. They then went on to buy a vacant space on the east side of Detroit through Detroit Land Bank Authority, a group that offers a community partnership program for non profits in the area who are looking to purchase vacant land that will be put to very good use. While Detroit Hives still just has the one farm, they have plans to expand their business in 2018.
Detroit Hives goes beyond simply raising bees. The group also works to educate about bees and spread awareness about them and how endangered they are through public tours of their farm. They also travel to local schools to help educate students on bees. Detroit Hives also sells their honey to local business and vendors as well as to the public. It goes towards creating things like sauces and handcrafted beer in the area. The neighbors love the organization too, stating that prior to Detroit Hives, the area was always run down and people generally just dumped their trash there. Detroit Hives has given the area a sense of purpose which has lifted the neighborhood. For more information on Detroit Hives as well as pictures, visit Huffington Post.