This summer marked the inaugural offering of the Master Gardeners Introduction to Beekeeping course. Twelve Master Gardeners enrolled in the program, which lasts from June to January. Scott Nikaido, a graduate student from the bee project, has been providing instruction to the group, including hands on training using UH Honeybee project colonies located at the Urban Garden Center. This training program aims to provide Master Gardeners with knowledge about honeybee health, but also impress the importance of pollination services to growers in Hawaii. More...
Creating a Native Plant Pollinator Garden
The UH Honeybee Project has been collaborating with the Urban Garden Center in the development of a Native Garden Plants for pollinators. On September of 2013, the staff of the UGC, UH Honeybee Project, students and teachers from Waipahu High School began planting native species that attract pollinators. A list of the species recently added to the UGC can be downloaded here. The list provides information about the biology of the plants and their planting requirements. We are hopeful that this native garden will contribute to the education and awareness of the public about the uniqueness of native flora and the importance of ecological interactions between plants and insect pollinators.
Collect Small Hive Beetle Population Data
The recent arrival of the small hive beetle, a honeybee pest from South Africa, has caused much concern for the local beekeepers and farmers. The beetle is a highly mobile pest and can track colonies on scent from miles away. The beetles feed on pollen, honey, and developing bees, and can destroy colonies if the bees are weakened by Varroa mites and/or diseases. We are currently working at gathering much needed baseline data on bee populations, seasonality, and control methods. As always, the bee project is interested in finding sustainable, low impact ways to control this new pest.
Assess Colony Health Under Different Pest Levels
Honeybee colonies depend on the group effort of the queen and her daughters to survive. Understanding what may be threatening our bees is crucial to the sustainability of beekeeping and diversified agriculture in Hawaii. Our team is currently working to gather unique data on the survival of "baby bees", eggs, larvae, and pupae. These developmental stages maybe susceptible to increased mortality due to a number of diseases, pests, and pesticide residues. Understanding the causes for these relatively undocumented losses will help us help beekeepers improve colony management and pest control techniques.
Bee a good student: helping local schools
The worldwide decline on honeybee populations has resonated with local educators and many schools are now, more than ever, interested in keeping gardens and learning about pollinators. The UH Honeybee Project is involved in providing support to schools and teachers that need presentations and materials to illustrate the need for pollinators. More...