Bees Bring Buzz as Urban Hives Grow in Detroit | NBC Left Field

The bees were there for me when I really
was having a rough time. I would go in my hives to find relief and to find purpose.
I felt an obligation to be a voice for the bees because they’ve done so much
for me. This is TAG. For the last couple months,
we’ve been across the country meeting people who are making a huge impact in
their communities. And today we’re in Detroit hanging out with Brian from Bees
in the D, hence why we’re dressed like this. When we first started, we only had
six hives. That was about three years ago. This year were projected to have about
100 hives. There’s about 60,000 bees in each hive, so we’re talking, you know,
upwards of 6 million bees. Every bee has its role, and they know what they need to
do, and they work together to be successful. I’m married to another Brian
so we’re the Brians, but most of our friends call us the “Bees.” And obviously
we live in Detroit, which has a nickname of the D, and so when we were trying to
come up with a name, it was, it was right there in front of us. Our mission is
education. I am a teacher, that’s the most important, but also the conservation
of honeybees. So there are three main bees that are in a hive, OK?
There is a queen bee, there are no kings, everybody always asks me that,
no king bees. So she has a larger abdomen and she’s the largest bee in the hive.
Bees play a very important role in our ecosystem. Bees are actually pollinators,
like many insects, but bees, there’s a lot of bees in one hive, so there’s
strength in numbers. They’re the ones that help bring plants to seed and to
fruit, and without going to seed or going to fruit, the plant can’t reproduce
itself. The bees pollinate most of our crops that we have in America.
In the United States, honeybees are crucial for pollinating crops like almonds. Every
year, almond farmers in California pay beekeepers across the country $171 dollars for each honeybee colony brought to a farm.
Unfortunately, we’ve started to see a decline in not just honeybees, but all
pollinators in America. Bumble bees, honeybees, a lot of the native
pollinators we’ve noticed their numbers are starting to decline. In 1980, there
were 4.5 million honeybee colonies in the U.S. As of April 2017,
there were 2.9 million, a drop that’s attributed to pesticides, habitat
destruction, and parasites. Detroit is just primed to be a leader in urban
beekeeping, and the main reason for that is there are so many vacant spots,
and so many urban gardens now that are popping up. These actually symbolize
resurrection and prosperity and so I just think it’s a perfect match for here
in Detroit.


  1. Bees are soo kool!
    I get a kick out of killing wasps and hornets in vicious cruel ways.
    Cause they out here messin with my bee bros….

  2. Aren't Honeybees a super invasive species? As opposed to other pollinating bugs, honey bees take the source of nectar so the other pollinating bugs can't eat?


  3. Back in the 50s, there was a bee and honey company at 12th and Cortland, in Detroit. They had a dozen bee hives on the roof, and hundreds more out in the country. They sold bee supplies and bottled honey for many different stores in Detroit, including A and P, Krogers and others. It's gone now, and just a vacant lot. But there was literally hundreds of backyard beekeepers in Detroit, back in the 50s and 60s. In 1935 there were 382 beekeepers in Wayne County and over 2000 hives in the city of Detroit."

  4. Thank you for all your doing to create awareness to the Bees and working to save them!~ Love, WovenWorld~ We shared you to twitter!~Keep it up!

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