By Sandra McNeill

DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit man is creating a buzz on the city’s east side — literally.

About five years ago, Ian Perrotta stumbled upon a tree that had fallen down; and in the tree was a beehive.

Perrotta told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil he took part of the honeycomb home because he thought it was “cool, and he thought making honey might be something he could do.

This year, he finally made that dream come true when he ordered bees from the south on the Internet.

Perrotta, who came to Detroit from Pittsburgh in 2009, is one of the many young people who have been moving into the city and buying up homes in recent years.

The bees were driven to his home near the Davison and Ryan Road by truck.

“I keep the bees out here and check on them every few days. I don’t really bother them,” said Perrotta. “They just do their thing and I do my thing. Once they make the honey, I take it.”

Perrotta said that bees make honey to store up for themselves to eat. “They build a honeycomb, and they cap it with wax. And that’s what they’re going to eat for the winter. The trick of keeping bees is that you just fool them into thinking that they have to make more.”

Perrotta dons a beekeeper suit to go in and melt the wax and drain off the honey. “It’s somewhat of a symbiotic relationship,” Perrotta joked about his dealings with the bees. “Although they might call it parasitic.”

That may be why he’s been stung about 10 times.

It doesn’t bother Perrotta, though. He called the stings part of being “good employees.”

His “Bees from the D” label honey has been in higher demand than he can keep up with. Many people like locally-grown, honey, he said, because they believe it helps with their allergies.

Perrotta said his honey has a very sweet taste — no doubt due to the bees pollinating a peach tree next door.

The bees brought that tree back to life, Perrotta claims. That’s why he thinks more people should get into beekeeping.

“Bees can help pollinate the area, and help the wildlife thrive,” Perrotta said. “If you’ve got honey coming right from your backyard, no one can complain about that.”


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