This is a story about the streets of
And I'm thinking ... honey.
It's the first week of spring, so why not, instead of the same old negative talk, focus on rebirth?
Which is why Tim and Nicole, who are dating, have purchased empty lots around the city -- some, they say, for as little as $100 -- and populated them with boxed beehives, all for the long-range purpose of making honey and educating the community.
"I wasn't an outdoorsy person," Nicole admits. "I had a fear of getting stung. But once we started studying about the medicinal properties of honey and I started loving these little creatures, I was like, oh, this will be perfect for
Detroit Hives, the nonprofit Tim and Nicole cofounded, is just one of numerous, creative enterprises that have seen gold in our weeds and harvest in our dirt. Recently, there were stories about
'THE PLACE TO BEE!'
Tim and Nicole have received a good amount of media attention since starting their efforts two years ago. I met them recently through some radio and TV interviews, and was struck by the energy they bring to their entrepreneurship. They're a bit of a vaudeville act, finishing each other's sentences, harmonizing on corny expressions like, "We think weeds are the bees knees!" and "
But they really know their stuff. Tim went to
Something buzzed in the idea of beekeeping, an appreciation, perhaps, of its graceful, natural order. Tim and Nicole learned you can buy bees from local beekeepers, either in boxes with the queen separate from the colony, or a nucleus colony where the queen is already getting busy, laying up to 2,000 eggs a day while thousands of worker bees are ready to gather pollen and nectar.
They set up the hives on the lots they have purchased. And while they wait, nature does the rest.
"Most of (
It turns out neglected lots, in the bee universe, are primo real estate.
SOMETHING TO BEE-LIEVE IN
Tim and Nicole have also mastered the art of removing honey from the hive -- something you definitely don't want to try at home -- and they claim a single mature hive can yield 30-50 pounds. They bottle this amazing raw honey and are already selling it in local stores and their website, Detroithives.com, under the Detroit Hives label.
But beyond that, they want to educate Detroiters on bees and their critical importance to our ecosystem. They want to show how humans and bees can -- and must -- live together. They want to teach kids about the benefits of naturally grown food, something that is in short supply in many areas throughout our city.
"I call them food deserts," Tim says. "Most of these residents don't have access to fresh organic food. (They) have access to liquor stores, gas stations and fast food joints. So by putting that honey farm in there, we're able to provide the community with local raw honey and also support local food initiatives like urban farms."
It's all part of a taking-back-the-streets initiative that is growing day by day in the
It takes a certain positivity to see decay and weeds and think "this is something good." It would be much easier to run.
"Work hard," Tim and Nicole say together, smiling, "and stay bumble!"
OK. Not sure what that means.
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