The metro Detroit area has historically been a destination that attracts anyone looking to make their mark on the world by becoming an entrepreneur. A large population paired with space and opportunity to be creative, innovative and have a positive impact on the community, resulted in the metro area becoming a hub for startups. In the words of Jeanette Pierce, CEO of the Detroit Experience Factory, “Detroit is big enough to matter in the world and small enough for you to matter in it.”
Home to long standing businesses passed down for generations, startups, co-ops, over 50,000 Black owned businesses and more, metro Detroit continues to make a name for itself as the perfect place to establish a thriving enterprise. Whether you’re a native to the area or looking for a fresh start in a new city, the tri-county area has more than enough room for any aspiring business owner.
We here at Visit Detroit, are proud to honor our small business culture with a monthly spotlight series dedicated to celebrating the establishments and people that make up the fabric of our city.
This Month’s Spotlight is on…
Detroit Hives was born in the winter of 2016 when co-founder, Timothy Paule, learned that local raw honey can cure a cold. Intrigued, he dove into learning about the medicinal benefits of honey, including its ability to boost the immune system. He immediately enlisted his partner and co-founder, Nicole Lindsey, and both became fascinated with the dynamic impact of bees.
These two Detroit natives, couldn’t help but to take notice of abandoned lots in the city. Tapping into their creativity and looking at the silver lining, they agreed that these spaces could serve a greater purpose. Combining their new knowledge with a strong awareness of their community’s need, they acquired their first lot in 2017 and started their first urban bee farm.
Since then, they’ve become the buzz of the town, adding more lots to their roster, expanding the number of hives and bringing the community with them along the journey. Armed with the goal of bringing diversity, bee awareness and rebuilding communities, Detroit Hives is proud to introduce Detroit as the place to “BEE”.
The Hive Impact
Detroit Hives harnessed the expansive power of bees into three vital stakes that pushes their mission of working to create sustainable communities and bee populations by transforming vacant lots into pollinator friendly spaces. Their values are reflected through their deeply dedicated work to protect the bees, educate the community and revitalize empty spaces throughout the city. Check out their formula to create a thriving cycle of community change:
The bee farms that Detroit Hives creates provide safe homes for bee colonies to live, feed and grow. Bees need our help and protection because population declines has severely increased over the past several decades.
Do you know just how important bees are to our ecosystem? Not only do they produce delicious honey, but they are important pollinators for the bulk of foods that make up our diet. We want to change minds about bees so that people come to appreciate them for the incredible workers they are. We educate locals and visitors to Detroit alike through farm tours and school visits to show the public that bees aren’t something to be afraid of.
Not only do we want our bees to thrive in Detroit, but we want the people of Detroit to thrive as well. By transforming vacant lots in the inner city, we are cleaning up local neighborhoods and adding value to our community, making them safer and stronger. When we plant gardens at the farms we provide food for the bee colonies and in turn, they pollinate our plants, increasing fresh vegetable harvests for the neighborhood residents. By starting urban bee farms, we are not only rebuilding honey bee populations but rebuilding the beautiful city we call home.
How to Bee Involved
Detroit Hives works diligently to create a more sustainable community and we needs all the help they can get as they continue to add more farms to the current ecosystem.
Donations are always accepted! As a non-profit, all donations help team Detroit Hives move their mission forward and expand their impact within the community.
If you believe in the work like we do, give them a buzz to see how you can make magic together.
Help up support their local food and farm initiatives by sponsoring a hive in underserved communities.
Three unique facts:
- Have an unexpected bees’ nest onsite? Detroit Hives will work with you to safely relocate bees’ nests from businesses and residential homes, and release them into a nearby urban forest.
- The definition of a partner, Detroit Hives connects with the community to provide their space for collaborations such as Bee Yoga, make educational appearances like at S.A.Y. Play Detroit, or the Detroit Shoppe to provide their raw honey for purchase.
- Detroit Hives was awarded the 2020 Environmental Excellence award from the National Association of Environmental Professionals, for being a national leader in sustainability. Detroit Hives is the first to bring this national award to the state of Michigan.