In urban areas, the importance of honey bees to a city’s neighborhoods and communities often gets overlooked. But in Detroit, honey bees are crucial to the city’s rebirth, says Joan Mandell. Mandell operates Green Toe Gardens, which has more than 100 beehives in community gardens, schools and yards all across the Detroit metropolitan area. Not only do bees help pollinate many plant species in Detroit, says Mandell, but their collective behavior could also serve as an example of how to work together for a common good.
Warm weather has promoted fruit trees in Michigan to bloom four or five weeks ahead of schedule. That means that bees need to be here early, too, but most of the bees that pollinate orchards in Michigan are still wintering in Florida or are busy pollinating crops in California.