Tuesday, January 30, 2018
A pair of Detroit natives have decided to combat neighborhood blight in a pretty
sweet way — by transforming abandoned vacant lots in their city into honeybee
Detroit Hives, a nonprofit organization founded by Timothy Paule and Nicole
Lindsey in 2017, purchases vacant properties and remodels them into fully
functioning bee farms.
“These properties are left abandoned and serve as a dumping ground in most
cases,” Paule told HuffPost. “The area can be a breeding ground for
environmental hazards, which creates a stigma around the city.”
Paule, a photographer, and Lindsey, a staff member for the health care provider
Henry Ford OptimEyes, had been dating for some time before launching the nonprofit. Paule attributes their inspiration to a cold that he just couldn’t get rid of.
“I went to the local market that I normally go to, and he suggested that I try some
local honey for my cough,” Paule said. “He said you consume local honey because
it has medicinal properties.”
After he started to feel better, the couple also began to think about how urban
blight contributed to allergies through overgrown ragweeds in abandoned areas.
They put producing local honey and erasing urban blight together, and Detroit
Hives was born.
To become certified beekeepers, Paule and Lindsey took two courses at Green
on Detroit’s East Side for $340 with the help of the Detroit Land Bank Authority,
an agency that works to redevelop abandoned properties.
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“The land bank offers a community partnership program for nonprofits and faith-
based organizations to purchase structures or vacant land from the land bank to
put back to productive use,” Darnell Adams, director of inventory at the land bank,
told HuffPost. “We encourage them to bring their visions and their proposals to the
land bank so that we can give them access to land to implement them.”
Currently, Detroit Hives owns just the one farm, but they’re looking to expand in
Besides raising honeybees, the nonprofit aims to spread awareness about bees by hosting public tours of the farm ― they encourage community members to
schedule an appointment ― and by traveling to schools in the Detroit area to
speak with students.
“It was a little hard at first because most high-schoolers are afraid of bees or
they really don’t care,” Paule said. “So I had to find a unique way to introduce
bees to them. One thing they found intriguing is how each honeybee had a
And of course, Detroit Hives sells honey to the public and to local vendors that use
it to create products such as handcrafted beer and sauces. They’ve even created
Bee Moji, an emoji sticker app.
While you’d think people would be concerned about thousands of bees in the area,
the local community loves the bee farm, according to Paule and Lindsey.
“The neighbors love it. They say they wish we were there 10, 20 years ago,”
Lindsey said. “That area has always been a place where people dump trash, so
when we came there, we gave that area a sense of purpose. The neighbors keep
an eye on the area to make sure that people aren’t dumping anymore.”
Detroit Hives’ tagline is “Work Hard, Stay Bumble,” fitting for a city that knows all
“We’re hustlers, innovators and thinkers,” Paule said. “Bees work really hard, and
they’re humble. In Detroit, you have to work hard and be humble. It’ll take you far.”
The Hollywood premiere for the long-awaited “Black Panther″ movie had a dress
code that told guests “royal attire requested” and, damn, they delivered.
On Monday night, actors, actresses, and other attendees gathered to celebrate
African culture and rock truly stunning outfits in every color of the rainbow.
The Marvel film follows a black superhero, T’Challa, who faces danger when
he returns home and becomes king of the African nation Wakanda after his
At the technicolor premiere, the star, Chadwick Boseman, donned a black
and gold silk dress shirt. Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia, wore a gorgeous
purple gown with a gold harness.
“I was hoping for this,” “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth E. Carter said on
the purple carpet.
“All of the award shows I was watching on TV, I was like, ‘Oh, you wait until ‘Black Panther’ red carpet rolls around. It’s a celebration.”
Carter added: “How best to get the party started than to, on premiere night, have
the cast, have the crew, have the directors and everybody participate in this
explosion of patterns and African prints? Everyone can join in the fun!“