You’d be hard pressed to convince the average Detroiter that brothas are bee keeping on the East side of the city, but it’s true.
Detroit natives, Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey are the founders of Detroit Hives, an organization that uses blighted land to create opportunities for education and supports the conservation and awareness of bees.
On Saturday, February 17, Paule and business partner Keith Crispen of Detroit Young Professionals were featured as guest panelist at the inaugural Men of Courage pop-up event at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) located on Detroit’s east side.
During that interview, Paule recounted the story of how he came up with the idea to harvest fresh honey out of vacant lots in Detroit. It all started when he had a cold he couldn’t shake. While shopping at a local market, he learned about the healing power of honey. After doing a bit of research, the vision for Detroit Hives was born.
While most people eat honey, many are unaware of its healing properties. From the Men of Courage stage, Crispen broke down the health benefits of consuming raw, local honey. It works much like a vaccination. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, digesting raw honey harvested from local bees can help to desensitize and inoculate them from the specific, localized strains of pollen that trigger their allergic reaction through a process called immunotherapy.
The impact of Detroit Hives doesn’t stop there. Aside from the undeniable health benefits derived from the product, the nonprofit organization also contributes to neighborhood revitalization by converting blighted land into fully functioning bee farms.
Paule is intentional about changing the conversation around blight in the city of Detroit. “When you see a vacant lot you see a dumping ground, that doesn’t add value to the community,” he said. “By changing the landscape of the community you begin to see a perspective change and people who care more about their environment.”
When it comes to community development, Detroit Hives has a clear three-fold approach. Their mission is to spread bee awareness, support the conservation of honeybees and educate communities, schools, and businesses about bees.
The organization has found the perfect audience with youth who want to learn more about STEAM careers and the science behind bee conservation. The men visit local schools to speak with students and schedule tours of the bee farm.
The economic impact of Detroit Hives is also growing, they sell to the public and local vendors that use their honey to create products such as Slows BBQ for sauces and Detroit Wick for candles. Additionally, they’ve created the Bee Moji app that uses technology as an educational platform for people to learn more about their company.
Check them out in the video below:
For more information about Detroit Hives, visit their website at www.detroithives.com.