Apiary Project

Honey bees are responsible for approximately 80% of the pollination of fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables in the United States, including Hawai`i’s specialty crops of avocado, citrus, coffee, cabbages, macadamia nut, squashes, and passion fruit. Having pollinators for agriculture is critical as approximately one third of America’s diet is directly or indirectly derived from honey bee pollination, making beekeeping an important part of agriculture education.  Honey bee populations are globally threatened by lack of diversity, large scale commercial farming, and diseases brought by pests such as the varroa-destructor mite. Kauai's bees are free of varroa mites, and protected by law from importation of bees. Kaua'i CC's mission is to protect Kauai's bees and educate the community about the importance and caring of honey bees.

Kaua`i Community College Apiary Project

Started: 2010 with some funding from a Kaua`i Rural Development Program. Additional funding since 2010 from HDOA, Carl D. Perkins for Career and Technical Education, and local donors. Our mission is to

  • prevent varroa mite infestation
  • contribute to pollination of crops and support sustainable agriculture
  • foster tech transfer, education and community interaction

Kaua'i CC offers continuing education classes in beekeeping and beginning May 2019 a credit class and certificate in beekeeping.

Interesting Facts:

  • In November 2018, Kaua'i CC honey won 1st Place for Medium Honey in the very competitive Hawaiian Honey Challenge. This is a statewide honey tasting contest with 65 submissions!
  • A bee makes 1/12 tsp of honey in her lifetime.
  • Kaua'i CC apiary breeds queen bees in order to protect this island from varroa destructor mites that can be brought in by illegal imports of bees or equipment. We are one of the last places on Earth that is varroa-free (also Maui, Lanai, Molakai).
  • Kaua'i CC is the only HDOA certified queen breeder and exporter on Kauai.
  • Kaua'i CC does research in controlling pests that hurt bees.
  • Products of the hive include honey, wax, and propolis, from which we can make mead (a fermented honey drink), body lotions, lip balm, clean burning candles, and baked goods.
  • Kaua'i CC’s bees forage on albezia, avocado, citrus, palm, and many tropical flowers. We do not use pesticides or herbicides in our apiary.
Honey Award Medal Bee Lab Bees on a hive frame showing worker bees

Please contact us if you have any questions at kccbees@hawaii.edu