Nonprofit transforms vacant lots into urban bee farms

Posted at 11:00 AM, Oct 19, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A nonprofit is transforming vacant lots in Kansas City's urban core into bee farms.

MO Hives KC's main apiary (bee farm) is located on a six-acre lot at 5030 Wabash Ave. in the Blue Hills section of south Kansas City.

Dr. Marion Pierson says the idea to create an urban bee farm came from a similar idea she noticed out of Detroit.

"We want to repurpose these lots just like we can do all over the city, and really all over the state, repurpose these lots for something good," Pierson said.

Pierson says the urban bee farms bring more to a community than beautification.

"Everybody needs to know that bees and pollinators are part of the food chain," she said. "This helps you with food security. You can't wait for a store to pop up. You have to support pollinators."

As a pediatrician, Pierson explained she doesn't have a background in the study of insects but has an interest in bees. She says anyone can get involved and added everyone has a part to play in the environment.

"Everyone can maybe consider what they're spraying as far as chemicals and pesticides," Pierson said. "Everyone can become aware that the food chain is not just the grocery store. The food chain doesn't start there. Having a healthy food chain and a food supply chain starts with having healthy pollinators."

Pierson will be recognized for her work as Missouri's Beekeeper of the Year on Sunday, Oct. 17.

MO Hives KC operates bee farms at five locations in Kansas City near the VA Hospital, Hospital Hill, two locations near the old Adam's Mark Hotel, and the main location at 5030 Wabash Ave.

This story was originally published by Bryant Maddrick at KSHB.