Bloggin' About Bees on Kaua'i and Beeyond : )

Archive for July, 2012

We Bee Wet Today

That’s the scene up here in Kapahi this morning. It wasn’t wet in Kapaa town earlier today but it bee wet right now.  I had planned to visit a friend in Wailua where we were going to install some beetle traps and harvest some honey. We inspected the boxes earlier this week and did not see much evidence of beetle; although there was a hive that had been recently abandoned and was hosting plenty of larval matter. We could identify wax month cocoons but were not sure of the other wrigglers in the abandoned comb. There were very few bees in the hive, probably robbers and no sign of queen activity or capped brood. My friend collected the frames and put them in his freezer to kill whatever was in the comb. This was a small colony that survived being relocated from a wall last fall. They looked good the last time we had opened it up but they weren’t ready for a super just yet. When we discovered that the hive had been abandoned last week it was kind of a surprise because my friend thought that it had swarmed earlier this season so we were expecting to find bee activity and spent queen cells. No such luck and in the fading light of the day we discovered wax month cocoon and larval matter. We did see a couple of small hive beetles and killed them as fast as we could crush them with our hive tools. Very bummmed that this will bee a continued experience but like wax month infestations we just need to bee diligent in managing our bees.

Well, it may not bee the best day for bee work but not too bad for some Sunday bee bloggin’. Check back for more information about the upcoming KCFB Farm Fair.  KBee will again bee hosting a honey tasting on opening night  like last year. Also coming up are the Hive Box Building class at KCC this week and an Introduction to Beekeeping class in early August. Unfortunately the Feral Hive & Swarm Removal class has been postponed due to low enrollment.  Contact the Office of Continuing Education and Training at 245 8318 to enroll in the upcoming apiary classes.

checking comb for brood, honey or parasites


Bee Informed…..

Well, it was great to have Danielle Downey from the Hawaii State Apiary Program at KCC last Monday. May bee great is the wrong word bee cause having Small Hive Beetle on the Garden Island is not so great. How can we sleep at night knowing our hives are at risk of beeing inundated by little black bugs?

does this keep you at night?

Well, thankfully we have some tools available for trapping SHB. SHB can bee pretty nasty but is manageable if proper controls are in place and regular inspections occur. A backyard beekeeper from the Lawai/Omao area shared his experience with some these oil based traps. There are other types of traps and control methods available. Perhaps we can use some of the funds available from the state to find out what works best on Kaua’i. We’ll keep you posted and try to bee informed about what’s best for our bees

Bee Aware….

straight from the HDOA Apiary Program team:

Aloha HI Beekeepers!

The Kaua‘i Beekeepers Association (KBEE) is hosting Danielle Downey, HDOA’s Apiary Specialist, for a public talk about pest and disease management for Kaua‘i beekeepers on July 09, 2012.  This event will take place from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Kaua‘i Community College, ETRO Multipurpose Rm 114.  Ms. Downey will be talking about pest and disease management in beekeeping, a timely topic given the discovery of small hive beetle (SHB) on Kaua‘i in May and the recent detection of American foulbrood disease in other areas of the state.

If you have questions about the talk, please contact Jimmy Trujillo of KBEE at 808-346-7725.  Contact information for the Hawai‘i Apiary Program can be found on our website,, or by calling 808-352-3010 (Big Island) or 808-339-1977 (O‘ahu).

SHB update for Kaua`i:  We now have reliable reports of SHB from Po`ipu to Kilauea areas.  Unfortunately, infected colonies were moved just before the beetle was initially detected.  Although spread of this pest cannot be attributed only to this movement, it is a reminder that monitoring for pests on a regular basis is a good idea.  Moving colonies with unknown health status can spread any number of pests and diseases, not just SHB.  If you are the giver or receiver of any bees or equipment, it is prudent to thoroughly examine the material prior to movement – early detection is always best!  

Just a reminder that varroa mite is so far only found on O`ahu and the Big Island – if you notice anything suspicious in your colonies or would like information on varroa monitoring tools and techniques, please contact us.

Jacquie Robson
Apiary Planner
Hawai`i Department of Agriculture/
RCUH Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit
1428 South King Street
Honolulu, HI  96814