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 Pre-eruption, I was thinking about keeping bees.

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1voyager1 Posted - 08/12/2018 : 09:09:27
That changed when suddenly bees began showing up around our fruit trees.
Their showing up was coincidental, and maybe not, to our fruit trees beginning to actually bear fruit.
A neighbor had apparently began keeping some before I could get it together for myself.
The impetus for me to acquire a couple of colonies waned.

Since the eruption all signs of honey bees are now gone.
Not a one to be seen anywhere on our property anymore.

I'm not sure if the person that had them moved them out, or if they were killed off by the SOx gasses.
I may need to begin planning to acquire bees again.
Another possible project once we're back home, if the county doesn't come up with more excuses to keep us out.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
1voyager1 Posted - 01/11/2019 : 12:30:04
I believe she was the instructor for the classes I took a while back.
If so, I was pleased with the quality of information offered.

The few times I've checked since then, someone else was doing them.

When I was looking into it before, the state was prohibiting the importation of honey bees.
Afraid of someone bringing in Africanized bees, I suppose.

But, with the advances being made in breeding disease resistant bees on the mainland and elsewhere, they are locking us into problems with diseases in Hawaiian hives.
Is there any progress being made in getting more resistant bees established here in Hawaii?

Little doubt that most of the health problems that bees are having is caused by the industrial beekeeping conditions so prevalent anymore.

shave_ice Posted - 01/10/2019 : 19:48:56
If you're looking for more bee info, Jen Rasmussen's class is excellent. You will learn everything you need to know about beekeeping, particularly here in Hawaii. She also sells bees. She has an upcoming course. I took it last fall and it is a very good deal.


1voyager1 Posted - 01/10/2019 : 17:58:42
was beginning to plan on getting honey bees again.
Today was a nice, warm, still and calm day.
Looked up at the Alexander palm flowers.
They were full of honey bees gathering pollen and nectar.

Whoever the local beekeeper is, they're back in business again.
My fruit trees should bear nicely in the coming seasons.

I have watched the bees as they leave here for home.
If the new batch of bees go in the same direction as the previous batch, I'll trace where they're going.
Then, I can check to see if I need to get my own.

@dan d
I did see your offer of a hive.
I did not respond because things have been so up-in-the-air since the eruption began.
Plus, my plan was to build my own Langstroth hive[s] for as many as 2 apiaries in my back yard.
I did do a UHH evening Commumity Ed. class 2 or 3 years ago, and will do another refresher if I decide to go through with it.
I have a few other projects to get done before I jump into beekeeping.

Thank you for the offer, though.

If and when I do decide to take up bees, I will need to find references for where to acquire good healthy bees and a young queen from.

dan d Posted - 09/25/2018 : 08:15:08
First im a master gardener, and an apiarist. And a swarm remover. I would be happy to educate you all about them. They are essential to our ecosystem period. They are under attack from many things. We dont need to feed them at all in Hawaii. No seasons and plenty food all year.

1v1 i have a spare hive for u for free. U will have to buy the bees ,about 125d. One of our best natural(non chemical) apiarist that teaches everybody Jen Rasmussen paradisenectar google it plz. Teaches hands on hive every month. She lost her place in Kapoho, and now is in honokaa. She has gentle bees a d doesnt use a veil. Bee keeping is a great bussiness and not a lot of work. You will be stung, just try to minimize it.
If you are serious, join master gardeners monthly hive service for free. BIBA is a great
Resource as well as CTHAR.

Pm me for more info
Bee man dan

Dan D
shave_ice Posted - 09/24/2018 : 19:23:13
If you do get bees, learn about the pests that are here on island. I just got my first hive last month and have already learned the hard way about the horrors of small hive beetle. Opening the hive to find a maggot filled box of of slime is disgusting and heartbreaking.
1voyager1 Posted - 09/24/2018 : 15:01:49
Since moving back home on the 10th, I've only seen 2 honeybees, one on the 1st day working the palm flowers along the driveway and another a few days later checking out one of the hibiscus'.
I'm back to thinking about acquiring a colony or two.

And speaking of dragonflies, every year or two we have one that patrols our yard with a resting spot on the antenna of my car.
This time, after I moved back in, we had one that was very disconcerted by my vehicle being added to it's territory without being given prior permission.

I've since pulled it into the garage to work on it.
We'll see what its reaction is when I pull it out and park it in its usual place again.
Don't think he's gonna like it.

MarkP Posted - 09/05/2018 : 22:53:00
"praying mantis, ladybug, spiders, dragonflies"

All non-native and technically invasive although each is beneficial in their own way, same as honey bees. As far as native bees go I think that they do not form hives so if you see a bee hive, those are introduced honey bees.
terracore Posted - 09/04/2018 : 17:12:21
I guess I should clarify that in the documentary they dumped something that looked like table sugar into the hive and called it "sugar", but I have no idea what it was.

Sometimes I call my wife "sugar" but that doesn't mean I can replace her with something that's 49 cents per pound at Walmart.

Carey Posted - 08/26/2018 : 18:52:05
Actually, that dumping sugar over the comb is the least best desirable way of feeding bees, as this is also an invitation to just about every other sugar craving animal...

Most beekeeper that need to feed, use hive feeders & supply a nectar substitute... some will use a simple syrup, others will use a fortified nectar replacement... but dumping crystal sugar inside a hive is not a recommended method of supplementing the nutrition of bees... & anyone who would do that on anything but an emergency basis is asking for a whole slew of beekeeping problems... the only time I can even think that this might be excusable is when dealing with a catastrophic hive event in a freezing temp... & then, most likely, you are just trying to salvage as much of the population until something can be done...

& neither of these replaces the proteins that bees need from the pollen... for bees, the absolute best thing is a diverse selection of pollens & nectars... & we have that here...
ElysianWort Posted - 08/26/2018 : 17:35:41
Interesting info Carey.

"the bees have to be fed by the bee keepers by dumping white table sugar over the honey combs."

- I hope they were using organic non-GMO sugar!
Carey Posted - 08/26/2018 : 14:18:02
In Keaau, we have never had to feed our bees... this is something a beekeeper that has bees that have not stored nutritionally diverse nectar & pollen sources year round... seems we do have

Swarming is normally a function of a bee colony splitting, not normally because of calories (though this can happen, it is very very uncommon, esp in Hawaii), but because of the queen & colony size.... the worker bees communicate with each other by shared pheromones in trophallaxis, if the workers do not sense the queen pheromones, they will work to create a new queen.....This can happen with a super large colony or a smaller one with a queen that is older & "less fit". The queen will normally leave with some of the worker bees (those that sense the queen pheromones, from the hive (also older, as younger workers, nurse bees, do not yet fly....) This is normally done when the nurse bees have determined another queen must be made & start working on queen cells.... If the older queen does not leave by the time a new queen hatches, either the workers, or the new queen will try to kill the older one...

Here the main care is in making sure that the colony size is right for the queen, that the queen is healthy & laying eggs, that the workers are healthy & not infested with any organisms.. that the hive stays dry & is not rotting....that pigs, dogs, elements & such do not knock over or tear apart the hives, & to try to responsibly control swarming tendencies & try to monitor & collect any swarms from the hives you maintain..
terracore Posted - 08/26/2018 : 13:37:20
I watched a fascinating documentary about keeping bees. Typically beekeepers make half of their money selling honey, and the other half by renting their bees out to farmers who need pollination. Some of the crops they pollinate don't produce enough calories for the bees to sustain themselves and to keep them from swarming away to greater resources the bees have to be fed by the bee keepers by dumping white table sugar over the honey combs. They might be insects but they require care just like any other form of livestock.
ElysianWort Posted - 08/15/2018 : 20:03:29
Gosh that sucks that our native bees are in decline. I love those little buggers and what they can do/make...
along with praying mantis, ladybug, spiders, dragonflies. Even the dragonfly nymph. It is such a cool creature. But I digress, back to bees...

How do I know what type of wild bees I have? I don't think I'll be getting up that tree and looking close up.

So just in case they are an endangered native type of wild, I'll just leave them there to do their job in my orchard which I have been so grateful for. I'll get my honey elsewhere.

Or they could be an invasive type? In which case I'll be leaving them because I was thinking/hoping for them to be native but it won't matter to the plants and trees the invasive type will do the exact same job anyway.
bananahead Posted - 08/15/2018 : 16:20:20
fyi the Western Honey Bee, is Bad for Hawaii!
it is ALSO ... NOT Native to North America, Central America, South America, Australia, Oceania, much of Asia, Africa, etc.
thus its probs with hive collapse via having to adapt to new foods and having their 'food' stolen daily for nonvegan human consumption.

here in Hawaii, we have many endemic bees on the endangered species list... ALL because of the invasive western honey bees!

try read, try conserving the natural flora and fauna of our unique island chain! NOT INTRODUCED INVADERS that push out the native!

'For the First Time, Bees Declared Endangered in the U.S.'

save our indigenous and endemic Hawaiian Plants... learn about them, grow them, and plant them on your property, ....instead of all that invasive non-native garbage I see in most yards... aloha
ElysianWort Posted - 08/14/2018 : 19:11:13
Yes a delicate balance. The ohia has been ravaged and are suffering from ROD but have shown promise of resurgence and resistance in healthier species.

The bees, wild and domestic, have their own plethora of challenges:
A mite that attacks them
A fly that attacks them
A beetle that attacks them.
Not to mention decline from overuse of pesticides.
And an overall decline from other unknown factors.

So I may choose not to touch this situation of delicate balance. Just enjoy their benefit of their presence. Their buzz filling my orchard with vibrant energy.

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