Royal Oak, MI

Royal Oak Adding Honey Bees to Normandy Oaks

Matthew Donnellon

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Photo by Dmitry Grigoriev on Unsplash

Royal Oak residents near Normandy Oaks will be getting some new neighbors buzzing around.

Back in 2014, the city decided to get rid of the Normandy Oaks golf course. Voters decided to turn it into a park after selling off a 10 acre plot which would eventually become townhouses.

And now the park will have new residents. A couple weeks ago the Royal Oak City Commission approved a motion to place two hives in the park.

The nonprofit Bees in the D will handle the placement and maintenance of the hives “The mission of Bees in the D is to create a cooperative effort between residents, schools, organizations and businesses in the city of Detroit and southeast Michigan to contribute to the health of honeybee colonies and provide education regarding the importance of such colonies to the environment.

Healthy honeybee colonies aid pollination and maintain the diversity of natural ecosystems.”

The hives should help boost the local population as honey bees numbers have been dwindling in recent years.

The honey bees have rebounded in the last year due to the pandemic, so the numbers should be higher this year and the new hives in Normandy Oaks ought to help.

Michigan is one of most bee friendly states, according to Dr. Jason Gibbs, ““Michigan has a fantastic landscape,” Gibbs said. “It’s actually a diverse state.”

The ongoing studies will help us understand what’s going on with the bees and keep track of the health of colonies.

“We found 465 species in the state,” Gibbs said. “Which is about 13 percent of the bees in the United States.”

Local gardeners will also be happy as more bees can mean larger and more bountiful crops.

The hives will also serve another purpose, to honor the late Stephanie Comptois, which is one reason Normandy Oaks was chosen for the hives, as it is near her home. The Arboretum was also considered but ultimately the park won out.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI
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