Royal Oak approves honeybee hives in Normandy Oaks Park

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published April 28, 2021

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ROYAL OAK — On April 12, the Royal Oak City Commission approved a recommendation from the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Advisory Board to place two honeybee hives in Normandy Oaks Park.

The contract with nonprofit organization Bees in the D would cost the city $2,440 for the placement and maintenance of two honeybee hives in the native Oak Savannah portion of Normandy Oaks Park, 4234 Delemere Blvd., near Crooks and Normandy roads.

The mission of Bees in the D is to create a cooperative effort between residents, schools, organizations and businesses in the city of Detroit and southeast Michigan to contribute to the health of honeybee colonies and provide education regarding the importance of such colonies to the environment.

Healthy honeybee colonies aid pollination and maintain the diversity of natural ecosystems.

During the April 12 City Commission meeting, Commissioner Melanie Macey, who sits on the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Advisory Board, said the board had been looking into bringing honeybee hives into the city for a couple of years.

Macey said the board deemed to place the hives in Normandy Oaks Park due to the park’s proximity to the residence of longtime Royal Oak conservationist Stephanie Comptois, who died in 2020 and lived across from the park.

“This is our first installation of beehives in Royal Oak, and we hope it’s not the last,” she said.

Macey said the board contemplated other locations for the beehives, such as the Arboretum, but ultimately selected Normandy Oaks Park due to Comptois’ avid participation in the visioning sessions for the future of the park.

Prior to the declaration of the location as a park, the property was a city-owned golf course, but the course did not prove profitable to the city.

In 2014, Royal Oak shuttered the 50-acre golf course and voters approved — with 76% in favor — the sale of a 10-acre parcel to fund the development of the 40-acre park. Robertson Brothers Homes purchased the 10 acres of land to develop townhouses and single-family homes.

Royal Oak Department of Public Service Director Aaron Filipski, who also sits on the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Advisory Board, said the honeybee hives would complement the ongoing restoration work at the site of Normandy Oaks Park.

For more information, call Royal Oak City Hall at (248) 246-3000 or visit romi.gov.

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