Detroit’s Newest Industrial Workers: Bees


The buzz about Detroit has been its resurgent development. Historic buildings are being renovated into bars and hotels as new stadiums rise along Woodward Avenue, the city’s central corridor. But there’s a literal buzz as well: Detroit is home to a healthy population of bees, both wild and domestic.

A team of University of Michigan researchers led by Paul Glaum, a doctoral candidate at U.M.’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, studied 30 urban farms and gardens in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Detroit, Dexter, and Ypsilanti. Only Detroit showed an increase in wild bee numbers, with a population that was stable and thriving.

The group published its findings in Royal Society Open Science. “The decline in wild pollinators–bees in particular–is a widespread phenomenon with serious consequences…

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