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Let’s Talk Bees!

By Lisa Bishop

Yes – Bees! Life is full of wonderful surprises. A couple of months ago, my family was blessed by a feral colony of honey bees that chose to build a hive in one of our garden statues. Since I always wanted a beehive in my garden on the mainland, I was charmed to have that wish fulfilled on Oahu.

However, it soon became apparent that the thriving colony was not in the safest place for the bees, or people and pets. Fortunately, there are several great beekeepers on Oahu who can successfully rehome feral bee colonies, and we were fortunate to work with Max Towey.

In a couple of hours, Max was able to remove the surprising number of combs in the statue,

transfer the queen to the combs,

and lure the vast majority of worker bees to the combs so they could be transferred to an apiary on the windward side.

Our hive was active for about 2 months, housed over 10,000 bees, and created these beautiful honey combs! We marveled again at the beauty and abundance of their work, and learned a lot about these interesting insects.

Pollinators are critical to agriculture everywhere, especially to island communities like ours that have a limited bee population. In the spirit of mauka to makai conservation we all share, please consider rehoming feral bee colonies instead of destroying them. We need our bees!

You can find more information about local Hawaii beekeeping organizations here, or contact Max Towey: (808) 255-3730.