Friday lunch: the buzz about bees

Well, hello there! After more than a year away, we’ve decided that it’s time to dust off the old blog, in part to extend the reach of our Friday lunch conversations.

If you’ve never attended a Friday lunch, we hold them every single Friday (except major holidays) at noon. Everyone brings a lunch and introduces themselves, then we introduce the work that goes on at the Green Garage and host a brief presentation, either about our work in sustainability or the work of one of our businesses-in-residence. (After lunch, starting a few minutes past 1:00, we give a tour of our building.)

From here on out, we’re going to do our best to recap all the presentations here on the Green Garage blog so that folks who can’t make it to lunch can still connect with the material & the people presenting it.

Last week, we invited Rich Wieskie, an avid local beekeeper, to talk a bit about beekeeping in Detroit. We met Rich in June when we interviewed him for a beekeeping-themed entry in Green City Diaries, our monthly sustainability series.

We changed our presentation format this time, hosting a Q & A between Matt Piper, the author of Green City Diaries, and Rich. Joan Mandell, Rich’s partner in life and bees, was also in attendance and chimed in to help answer a few of the questions.


Rich & Joan in the Green Alley

We touched on a lot in a brief conversation: the history of beekeeping in Detroit, its current state, the ecological significance of the honeybee, the meditative personal dimension of beekeeping, as well as the life cycle of these fascinating creatures. A great insight from Rich was how relatively healthy urban bees have remained during the recent decades’ honeybee crises, compared to bees that live near large agricultural sites. The diversity of urban flora (a diversity that is, in fact, promoted by bees) and smaller-scale use of pesticides in cities has helped urban honeybees stay safe. Fascinating.

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