August 12, 2022

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Travel Finishes First

These Kansas City beekeepers are bringing hives of pollinators to urban gardens and rooftops | KCUR 89.3

5 min read

In the coronary heart of Kansas City’s Blue Hills community, countless numbers of honey bees excitement in and out of 13 white hives, shaded by towering Japanese honeysuckle vines. Some of the containers are adorned with bee drawings other folks are signed by personnel.

This location is the greatest of 6 destinations around the city supported by Mo Hives KC, a nonprofit which is been working for two yrs to revive the regional bee population and educate youthful people about conservation.

“If the bees die, we die,” claims founder Brian Reeves. “I like to snack and try to eat. If the bees are gone, in 5 many years, it’s gonna appear like ‘Mad Max.’”

Reeves set about educating himself about beekeeping in 2017 after listening to a radio software about bee decline. He observed a neighborhood bee introduction course and was hooked. Now he maintains 15 hives scattered in between his home and a friend’s property.

Then he fulfilled Prairie Village pediatrician Marion Pierson at an introduction to beekeeping seminar in 2020.

Close-up photo of bees swarming around the base of a hive box. On the box is a label that reads: "KC MO HIVES."

Carlos Moreno

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KCUR 89.3

Bees swarm all over the foundation of a hive box at MoHive KC’s Wabash Avenue good deal in the early morning just before the day warms up.

Pierson experienced by now been thinking about acquiring a application in Kansas City modeled after one particular in Detroit identified as Detroit Hives, which commenced in 2016. Pierson was particularly motivated by the organization’s mission of engaging with and educating people of coloration about beekeeping and conservation.

“A lot of interior metropolis children — Black and brown young children — really don’t comprehend that there is an HBCU two hours from them wherever they could major in agriculture,” she says. “And so they come to feel like agriculture is some far-off, large-tract factor. But agriculture can be city ag.”

Collectively, Reeves and Pierson proven Mo Hives KC as a nonprofit and set up a foundation of functions in an vacant area on Wabash Avenue in Blue Hills.

The strategy is relatively easy. Mo Hives KC builds beehives in vacant urban plenty or on top of buildings inside city areas. They companion with Community Builders of Kansas Town — of which Pierson’s partner, Emmet Pierson, Jr., is president and CEO — which leases the area to them at a low price.

The small bee farms, recognised as apiaries, then aid pollinate nearby community gardens.

A woman wearing  a bright yellow shirt gestures while talking near several raised plant beds.

Carlos Moreno

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KCUR 89.3

Marion Pierson, the co-founder of MoHives KC, talks about the elevated planting beds and other capabilities included to their large amount at their Wabash Avenue area where by they preserve an apiary and a rising assortment of indigenous plants made to attract pollinators and made a sustainable ecosystem.

Mo Hives KC has given that developed to address 6 areas in Blue Hills, and they are supporting five other hive destinations around the metropolis, including two hives on leading of the Adams Mark lodge and two at Children’s Mercy.

Not long ago, they have even expanded over and above Kansas City — positioning two hives at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson Town, and securing a potential area in St. Louis.

The team monitors the hives each individual thirty day period. For the Governor’s Mansion, they at present deliver beekeepers to Jefferson Metropolis to test on the colonies, but they’re training and outfitting the team there to keep the hives themselves.

“It gives us visibility to all the vital political people and all the distinctive features they have at the Governor’s Mansion to convey to the tale of, a person, Mo Hive, but in the long run of the worth of bees to the ecosystem,” Reeves claims.

A wooden box with bees swarming on it sits next to a sign that reads: BEE Urban, BEE Beautiful. It sits on a grassy location with automobile traffic in the background.

Carlos Moreno

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KCUR 89.3

A bee hive positioned by MoHive KC sits close to a local community garden taken care of by Children’s Mercy Clinic around the intersection of 22nd Avenue and Gilham Street.

Their original Blue Hills plot has blossomed into a micro prairie, brimming with the varieties of native plants and grasses that pollinators appreciate. The team is slowly slicing and burning the invasive Japanese honeysuckle plants that surround the hives.

“It’s a way to reforest in the middle of the metropolis,” she suggests. “So it really is reforestation vs . deforestation.”

They’ve additional a Zen backyard garden and a small pond, raised vegetable beds and constructed a picket deck for seminars. And they’ve planted fruit-bearing trees like paw paws and wild plums.

Their efforts have also kept this large amount clear from trash and unlawful dumping.

“Nobody dumps listed here anymore,” she claims. “And we do not truly mow. And so then we don’t place all that pollution into the surroundings.”

Brett Creason, the website coordinator at Mo Hives KC, claims he’s passionate about transforming these vacant spaces into something beneficial — like escalating foods in its place of turf grass.

“Finding all those species of plants that are beneficial to pollinators but then also useful to people,” he says. “We will need to rethink what our suburban landscapes are.”

Creason is functioning with students from the Kansas City metro in an internship system identified as Mother nature Action Crew, sponsored by the Missouri Section of Conservation, that teaches them the ins and outs of city agriculture.

A man wearing coveralls over a bright yellow shirt uses a hose with a nozzle to water freshly planted plants next to a fence made of corrugated sheeting.

Carlos Moreno

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KCUR 89.3

MoHive KC web page coordinator Brett Creason waters some freshly put in plants outside the house the nonprofit’s lot on Wabash Avenue.

“It just builds self confidence where by they understand how to plant a yard,” Creason claims. “They master how to keep bees. I assume that they obtain self esteem that they can do these kinds of factors in other areas.”

Kelli King, a 14-12 months-aged who joined the Mother nature Motion Crew, in no way handled bees just before. But just a several days into the plan, she’s previously discovered peace with the bugs that excitement in and close to the Mo Hives KC plot.

“I utilized to be worried of bees so significantly,” she states. “But they are really serene.”

King states she’s contemplating researching agriculture in the foreseeable future.

“I’m definitely not a bug person,” she suggests. “But bees make me so cozy. They are really good and sweet.”

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