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Bee Sanctuaries in Detroit: Conserving Honeybees on the City's Vacant Lots

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
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Land-use and acquisition concerns in Detroit usually revolve around who owns what property and how it is used to support the life of the neighborhood -- and often the answers to these questions are "a millionaire" and "not very well." But Detroit's many wide-open spaces allow us to peer through the thin veil that separates city life from nature and ask much bigger questions about how the use of land can sustain life in general. Recent studies suggest that the vacant lots in Detroit hold great potential to conserve declining honeybee populations, and smart, local beekeepers are taking heed.

Meet Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey of Detroit Hives. Their story is more uplifting than our recent comics journalism investigation into the city's failed Amazon bid -- unless you suffer from melissaphobia (the fear of bees). But if you do, read on! Timothy and Nicole are not only helping to preserve Detroit's population of pollinators, they're set to convince a whole generation that honeybees are awesome.

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ENDNOTES:

1. Personal interview with Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey on February 9, 2018.

2. Also interesting is that the wild honeybee decline under development appears largely due to negative effects of changes in land-use on female bees. "Big city Bombus: using natural history and land-use history to find significant environmental drivers in bumble-bee declines in urban development," Paul Glaum, Maria-Carolina Simao, Chatura Vaidya, Gordon Fitch and Benjamin Iulinao, Royal Society Open Science, May 17, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/5/170156

3. "Why Are the Bees Dying?" Hilary Kearney, BeeKeepingLikeAGirl.com, July 3, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018: http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com/why-are-the-bees-dying/

Copyright Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes 2018.

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes

Anne Elizabeth Moore is a comics journalist, cultural critic, and author of several award-winning, best-selling nonfiction books including Unmarketable (The New Press), Cambodian Grrrl, and Threadbare (Microcosm Publishing). She is a Fulbright scholar, a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, and is the recipient of a 2016 Write A House Fellowship in Detroit. Her work has appeared in The Baffler, Al Jazeera, Salon, The Onion, Talking Points Memo, Wilson Quarterly, Tin House, and in international art exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial and a solo show at the MCA Chicago. She has appeared on CNN, NPR, Voice of America, and in The New York Times, among others. Her most recent book, from Curbside Splendor, is Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes.

Melissa Mendes was born and raised in Western Massachusetts. In 2010, after graduating from the Center for Cartoon Studies, she won a Xeric award to self-publish her book Freddy Stories. Since then, she's worked with Anne on Threadbare and Harvey and Me, published a graphic novel called Lou, and is now working on an epic family saga called The Weight, based on her late grandfather's life. You can see more of her work at mmmendes.com.

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Bee Sanctuaries in Detroit: Conserving Honeybees on the City's Vacant Lots

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, Truthout | Graphic Journalism
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Land-use and acquisition concerns in Detroit usually revolve around who owns what property and how it is used to support the life of the neighborhood -- and often the answers to these questions are "a millionaire" and "not very well." But Detroit's many wide-open spaces allow us to peer through the thin veil that separates city life from nature and ask much bigger questions about how the use of land can sustain life in general. Recent studies suggest that the vacant lots in Detroit hold great potential to conserve declining honeybee populations, and smart, local beekeepers are taking heed.

Meet Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey of Detroit Hives. Their story is more uplifting than our recent comics journalism investigation into the city's failed Amazon bid -- unless you suffer from melissaphobia (the fear of bees). But if you do, read on! Timothy and Nicole are not only helping to preserve Detroit's population of pollinators, they're set to convince a whole generation that honeybees are awesome.

2018 0313aem 1

2018 0313aem 2

2018 0313aem 3

ENDNOTES:

1. Personal interview with Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey on February 9, 2018.

2. Also interesting is that the wild honeybee decline under development appears largely due to negative effects of changes in land-use on female bees. "Big city Bombus: using natural history and land-use history to find significant environmental drivers in bumble-bee declines in urban development," Paul Glaum, Maria-Carolina Simao, Chatura Vaidya, Gordon Fitch and Benjamin Iulinao, Royal Society Open Science, May 17, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/5/170156

3. "Why Are the Bees Dying?" Hilary Kearney, BeeKeepingLikeAGirl.com, July 3, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018: http://beekeepinglikeagirl.com/why-are-the-bees-dying/

Copyright Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes 2018.

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes

Anne Elizabeth Moore is a comics journalist, cultural critic, and author of several award-winning, best-selling nonfiction books including Unmarketable (The New Press), Cambodian Grrrl, and Threadbare (Microcosm Publishing). She is a Fulbright scholar, a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, and is the recipient of a 2016 Write A House Fellowship in Detroit. Her work has appeared in The Baffler, Al Jazeera, Salon, The Onion, Talking Points Memo, Wilson Quarterly, Tin House, and in international art exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial and a solo show at the MCA Chicago. She has appeared on CNN, NPR, Voice of America, and in The New York Times, among others. Her most recent book, from Curbside Splendor, is Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes.

Melissa Mendes was born and raised in Western Massachusetts. In 2010, after graduating from the Center for Cartoon Studies, she won a Xeric award to self-publish her book Freddy Stories. Since then, she's worked with Anne on Threadbare and Harvey and Me, published a graphic novel called Lou, and is now working on an epic family saga called The Weight, based on her late grandfather's life. You can see more of her work at mmmendes.com.