Volunteers with Bees in the D, a Detroit-based nonprofit, install a pair of beehives at Schulak Farms in West Bloomfield. The West Bloomfield Parks Commission and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital worked together to bring the hives to the community to educate residents about the importance of honeybees.

Volunteers with Bees in the D, a Detroit-based nonprofit, install a pair of beehives at Schulak Farms in West Bloomfield. The West Bloomfield Parks Commission and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital worked together to bring the hives to the community to educate residents about the importance of honeybees.

Photo provided by Meagan Kurnat


Parks, hospital team up to install local beehives

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 22, 2018

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Two local organizations are creating a buzz with their project to bring honeybees into the community. 

Two bee colonies were installed at Schulak Farm May 20. The goal of the project is to educate the community about the importance of bees in the environment and to encourage residents to do their part to conserve honeybees. 

The West Bloomfield Township Parks Commission teamed up with Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital on the project. 

The Parks Commission will host events aimed at community education for residents to learn more about honeybees and what they do. 

“It’s an important stewardship opportunity for us, and it’s a good tool for educating the public,” said Jennifer Tucker, executive director of the Parks Commission. “We will be able to enhance our naturalist educational opportunities for residents.” 

Honeybees are not aggressive, unlike wasps. They are focused on pollinating plants, fruits and seeds. 

“It’s a conservation step,” said Tucker. “It’s important (to know) what we can do as homeowners to help conserve bees.” 

The hives are the first to be installed, and project organizers are hoping to install more. Tucker has her own hives at home, and she has wanted to bring hives into the parks for a while.

“Everyone can really help out pollinators,” said Meagan Kurnat, marketing coordinator for the Parks Commission. “There’s things (everyone) can do within their own backyards. With us, it’s helping to get the word out — if we all do a little bit, big change can happen.” 

Populations of the honeybee have suffered in recent years due to an increased use of pesticides and a decline of natural food sources. 

The hospital helped fund the venture and plans to host healthy cooking classes using the honey harvested from the bees. 

“Without pollination, we would not have the food that we have,” said Trevor Johnson, resident farmer at the hospital. “It’s important for us to bring attention to the systems that bring us food. ... (We’re) bringing awareness to that in a way that’s engaging and fun.” 

Bees in the D, a Detroit-based nonprofit, will manage and maintain the hives. The nonprofit helps organizations to install honeybee hives, currently managing more than 90 hives in 30 locations around metro Detroit. 

The hospital will begin to host cooking classes based around honey at the end of this year.

For more information, visit www.wbparks.org.

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