by Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey

Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey are the power couple bringing buzz to, the city of Detroit in a pretty sweet way. What started as a cold, has transformed into a social enterprise, as the two playmakers are making bold strides with their nonprofit.

Together, the pair create urban bee farms, where the community is able to experience, firsthand, honeybees, conservation and their role in our ecosystem. Visitors to the hives, also have the incredible opportunity to see the inner workings of a honeybee hive, and even sample raw honey from the hive. Located on the eastside of Detroit, Michigan, The Detroit Hives is purposed to bring diversity and cognizance to bee awareness and rebuilding inner-city communities, introducing Detroit as a great place for honeybees.

Since launching in 2017, the urban bee farmers have been revitalizing the Detroit community through operating hives on vacant lots. The Hives’ team saw an opportunity to not only beautify the city but create health alternatives for the community. By housing honeybee hives in recently vacant lots, the organization achieves a Triple Bottom Line Solution (TBL) with environmental, social, and financial gains towards the sustainability of the community, the organization, and the environment.

Typically ridden with trash and debris, vacant lots are key contributors to common allergy issues as well as the negative stigma on the city. Although this was a challenge, Paule knew the risks and found it important to own the land utilized, to put it to good use. With all of the new traffic coming into the city, there is an importance in remaining localized. With assistance from the Detroit Land Bank, Paule and Lindsey were able to acquire their first land plot. Being a part of the city, the two know exactly where the city needs development. Encouraging others to invest in the community, the Hives’ team thrives on the importance of localization.

In occupying vacant lots, the organization is able to provide a healthy home for bees. For over 20 years bee researchers have reported massive bee die-offs, starting in the 1990s. In spring of 2013, the issue gained national buzz when a study showed that by spring, the average beekeeper loses about 45% of their bees. The widespread use of pesticide, climate change and the advent of extraneous pests, diseases and loss of habitat has caused the huge declination in bees. Most plants rely on bees and other natural pollinators to produce natural foods.

As bees require ongoing care season to each season, the team checks on them frequently, but observing their needs and fulfilling them. Monitoring the hive activity takes up a good percentage of the beekeeping process. They organize beekeeping tasks by the season, setting the bees up in spring to harvest honey, and preparing the hive for winter. This cyclical process ensures that the bees are healthy and happy to do their environmental duties.

As the environment changes, it is imperative for Paule and Lindsey to remain abreast of new information and education in beekeeping. They strive to spread this knowledge with the community, aiming to shift deep rooted fears about bees. For many people, honeybees are associated with wasps, often confusing people, perpetuating fears of the extraordinary creatures. The team continuously aims to cultivate a new outlook on bees. By educating the community on honeybees and their importance, a familiarity and appreciation can potentially be formed uprooting the fear of bees and their negative connotations. By spreading this awareness, the benefits of honeybees and their delicious honey are also emphasized.

Honeybees are amazing for the environment, the insects pollinate the plants and produce that we consume regularly. By pairing with other local businesses and nonprofits in environmental development, like, Detroit’s Peace Tree Parks, the bees are able to pollinate the plants and produce of these local gardens, producing food free of herbicides and pesticides. Dedicated to sharing the fruits of their labor with the community that they serve, the Hives’ team passes out the produce to their neighbourhood, providing healthy alternatives to the snacks/foods, normally, accessible in Detroit.

Honey itself has a plethora of health and healing uses that, when localized, leave astonishing results achieved in health issues such as pollen allergies, diabetes, and even weight loss. The honey is also great for skin, hair, healing wounds, and is an excellent source of antioxidants. To expand their reach, The Detroit Hives has partnered with, Detroit restaurant, Slows BBQ. The local staple uses a percentage of The Detroit Hives’ honey to create a signature Honey BBQ sauce. As both entities expand, the opportunity for reach expands as well.

The team is also working with the Detroit Land Bank for expansion. The goal is to purchase an acre per year. As they buy more land, the green land will be transformed into an environmentally stable space. For a larger impact, the Hives’ squad is currently transforming a vacant parking lot into a community greenspace. Partnering with the local beekeeping associations, The Detroit Hives are bringing the first ever beekeeping workspace to Detroit. Inviting other beekeepers to space, the social enterprise creates a hive of it’s on, sharing responsibility, resources, and profitability allowing for longevity across the board.

Furthering the importance of localization to the sustainability of the organization and community, Paule and Lindsey partner with local businesses to create revenue for all. Forging genuine relationships, as The Detroit Hives grow, the opportunity to create jobs becomes possible.

With all of the successes of the organization, Paule and Lindsey remain incredibly down to earth, continuing to place their focus where it’s most needed; the community. Their motto, “Work hard, stay bumble” epitomizes the efforts of this team, proving that their philosophy works. Knocking out goals left and right, The Detroit Hives’ team is single handedly improving the state of Detroit ecosystems, literally, from the ground up.

Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey

Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey

Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey are the power couple bringing buzz to, the city of Detroit, in a pretty sweet way. What started as a cold, has transformed into a social enterprise as the two play makers are making bold strides with their nonprofit. Together, they create urban bee farms, where the community is able to experience, firsthand, honeybees, conservation, and their role in our ecosystem. Visitors, to the hives, also have the incredible opportunity to see the inner workings of a honeybee hive, and even sample raw honey from the hive. Located on the Eastside of Detroit, MI, The Detroit Hives is purposed to bring diversity and cognizance to bee awareness and rebuilding inner-city communities introducing Detroit as a great place to “BEE”.