Detroit’s urban farms and gardens are revitalizing the area, aiding conservation efforts and providing vital sources of food production. The NOI Research Group recently posted an article via twitter from YesMagazine.org describing how the use of bee farms was saving the city from blight. The Detroit Blight Removal Task Force was assembled under former President Obama to “remove 40,000 blighted properties within five years”. The elimination of delapidated houses resulted in nearly 25 miles of vacant land, but some lots became more illegal dumping areas. A Detroit resident and Beekeeper, Timothy Paule described the situation saying, “People want to see their areas cleaned up. They want to see all the blight removed”.
Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey run Detroit Hives, a nonprofit organization that transformed vacant lots into honeybee farms. They purchased a 32,000-square-foot lot on the city’s east side from the Detroit Land Bank for $350 and turned it into their first bee farm. Currently they have three hives and each hive can house up to 60,000 bees. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said “Ownership of land is part of freedom”. His series Farrakhan Speaks “The Time and What Must Be Done”. Part 36 is entitled “Farming is the Engine of our National Life”.
Bee polination is important in food production. Honeybees pollinate about $15 billion worth of crops each year, according to a 2016 study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Worldwide there have been a huge decline in bees as a result of pesticides, herbicides, and other factors. Raw honey has several medicinal benefits. It’s a “natural antiseptic” and its pollens help with allergies. The raw honey can aid in regulating blood sugar.
Detroit Hives sells jars of its honey thru their website. The company relies on friends and community partnerships with local businesses who sponsor bee hives and help provide services. The company offers a $25 one-hour tour to the farm through Airbnb.com.