Detroit Hives works to turn vacant lots into pollinator-friendly spaces

(WXYZ) – There’s a growing buzz around the Motor City that Detroit is the place to be, and thanks to a growing organization, it’s also a city of bees.

Detroit Hives, co-founded by Tim Paule, manages more than 50 hives in Detroit. The main goal is to “create sustainable bee communities and populations by turning vacant land into pollinator-friendly spaces,” according to the website.

According to Paule, Michigan is home to more than 460 native bees, including bumblebees, sweat bees, lead killer bees, mason bees, orchard bees, leafminers and more.

“By introducing pollinators or native bees into our environment, we are sure to create educational opportunities. We are sure to fight food insecurity, and we are also sure to see more beautified spaces,” Paule said.

The organization started out using vacant land, but now it’s much more. The organization strives to educate children about the importance of conservation, they work with local businesses and even sell local raw honey.

“It’s great economic mobility here in Detroit,” Paule said.

Funding for the nonprofit organization comes from scholarships, grants, and donations. They also took to social media for help. They use instagram for outreach, Facebook for connecting with vendors, and both for selling products and raising funds.

The efforts result in Detroit often being referred to as Bee City. Keeping hives healthy is a full-time job.

The next chapter for Detroit Hives is continuing education on the importance of bees and growing buzz.

“This year we are about to start the brand new project, which is the Hoover Poverty Parkway State Fair, where we are transforming a vacant commercial parking lot to serve as a centralized hub for the benefit of people and pollinators within Osborne community,” says Paule.

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