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One Hive at a Time, Backyard Beekeepers Try Saving the World

DETROIT -- For the past few years, national media have touted Detroit's comeback story: It endured dark days, went through the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy, and is — literally, with the construction of a new skyscraper — on the rise.

The city is about to face a different kind of buzz.

"We're starting to see more bees in the city," said Timothy Paule, who, with his girlfriend, started a nonprofit to build beehives on vacant city plots. "Some people are planting urban farms, and they're adding bees to help with the yield. Others are doing their part and placing hives in backyards to help the declining bee population."

As the weather warms up, their bees — and millions of others — will get busy.

Paule is among a growing number of people in Detroit and around the globe who are cultivating urban beehives as part of social missions and small businesses. It is a trend that has prompted cities to lift beekeeping limitations and inspired entrepreneurs to sell beekeeping starter kits and the bees' honey.

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