I ended my day last Thursday by using a hive tool to break into a fresh coconut with Lauren Rusert on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
From December 4-18, I was in Hawaii working with the queen breeders to introduce them to the BIP program. Lauren and her boss Danielle Downey run an apiary program for the beekeepers across the Hawaiian Islands. They run tests for beekeepers, certify for shipping queens, teach classes, take samples for the National Survey, monitor for swarms, along with a host of other tasks. The program has been in operation for just over a year, and they have really established something that looks like it will be long lasting. They have been kind enough to host me and take me around to different beekeeper operations.
Most of the islands in Hawaii have recently acquired both Varroa and small beetle and many beekeepers are still struggling to adapt their management practices to deal with these pests. With a brood cycle without a break, and with much of the islands being humid and warm, both pests thrive. Danielle and Lauren have been working with beekeepers to help them deal with theses pests and prepare others if they are in an area lucky enough not to have either pest yet.
I have felt nothing but lucky the two weeks in Hawaii. Oh the places bees can bring you.
Thank you Danielle and Lauren!!