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The Founders of Detroit Hives on Their Love of Bees

Detroit Hives is a nonprofit that transforms vacant properties into bee farms and educates the community about the importance of honeybees.

Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey are the founders of Detroit Hives, a nonprofit that buys vacant properties in the city to transform into bee farms. Timothy and Nicole also educate the community about the importance of honeybees.

Detroit beekeepers Nicole Lindsey and Timothy Paule

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Timothy got interested in honey and honeybees because of a cough he couldn’t shake. He was sick for months, until a store owner in nearby Ferndale recommended local raw honey for its medicinal properties. Soon Timothy’s cough was gone. He researched beekeeping, and his partner, Nicole, suggested they bring it to Detroit.

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A few hundred of Timothy and Nicole's bees

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Timothy and Nicole, who took classes to become certified beekeepers, bought their first vacant lot and built three hives and vegetable garden plots on it.

Detroit Hives cofounder Timothy Paule

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“Beekeeping has allowed me to understand that everything and everyone has a purpose in their environment,” Timothy says. “It’s taught me to be a good steward of our surroundings.

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Nicole conducts a tour

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In addition to making and selling honey, Detroit Hives spreads awareness about bees through public tours of the farm.

A smiling boy displays a board of bees

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Timothy and Nicole also speak at schools. Some students are afraid of bees at first, but “we talk to them about how everyone has a place in the hive, from the queen to the worker bees and drone bees,” Timothy says. “The students find it intriguing that each honeybee has a unique job.”

Timoth and Nicole with members of their community

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As Nicole and Timothy strive to educate people about apiology (the study of bees), their motto serves them well: “Work hard, stay bumble!”

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