Lisa’s work at the Ypsi Food Coop includes serving as the leader of the Local Honey Project. Its mission is to educate customers and support volunteer beekeepers as they learn new skills in natural beekeeping. Additional benefits are to create and increase sustainable, Michigan-adapted, survivor honeybee colonies, and support entrepreneurship by encouraging more and more small urban holdings of hives.
The Local Honey Project has had lots more impacts than just producing honey. Really, you could say that our LHP volunteers are our most valuable “product.” Our key volunteers learn to LOVE honeybees and then go out into our community and do great work to protect our important pollinators. Brennah Cavanaugh (center), our youngest volunteer and “bee whisperer,” is providing mentorship to her home-school community on how to raise honeybees. Germaine Smith (left) has started a new apiary and hop farm this year called “New Bee Apiary“. It’s a part of the Tilian Farm Development Center in NW Ann Arbor.
And our longest-serving volunteer, Jamie Berlin, has started Ypsilanti’s Festival of the Honeybee (Sept 4-5-6), created a backyard beekeeper program called “Ypsi Melissa“, AND has helped Ypsi & Ypsi Township team up to win the first Bee City USA designation in Michigan. Click to read a news article about Bee City USA.
Jamie is also responsible for the brand new teaching apiary (right) created by Ypsilanti Township. In July 2015, 10 hives were established with the help of this large group on volunteers.