Apiculture is the “farming” of bees. Like other livestock, they must be managed in order to achieve maximum productivity for their pollination services and harvestable products from their hive. The bee area at the UH Hilo farm consists of:

1) a one acre bee garden, Mapuhonehone, which contains a variety of bee friendly plants to support one hive on a yearly basis. The garden uses very little pesticides and has a water source for the bees.

2) a giant hive that visitors can enter with all the basic parts of a hive to experience being a bee.

3) a honey bucket which contains a colony of bees. From behind protected glass, visitors can observe a honey colony at work or a beekeeper tending to the colony.

4) two apiaries (collection of hives) which are used for hands-on student learning in the beekeeping courses that are offered. Students learn the basics of beekeeping so that they can properly raise honey bees.

For more information about the beekeeping courses and activities visit https://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/cafnrm/faculty/arita-tsutsumi.php

If you are interested in supporting the beekeeping program, please contact Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi (tsutsumi@hawaii.edu).

Picture credits to Nyssa Kushi, Ryan Young, and the CAFNRM staff

The Honey Bee

The Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, is an insect that belongs to the Order Hymenoptera, Family Apidae. In the world, there are other types of bees that are closely related to the honey bee but they do not have the same colony and behavioral characteristics.

The Hive

The basic Langstroth hive consists of one to several hive bodies, a bottom board, and a cover. The hive body is a standard dimension of 19 3/4” x 16 1/4”. The depth of the hive body is variable and is commercially available at 9 5/8”, 6 5/8” and 5 11/16”. These hive bodies can then be stacked one on top of the other

The Honey

The USDA defnes honey as nectar and saccharine secretions from plants which are gathered, modifed and stored in the comb containing no more than 25% water.

Therefore honey is a “bee-made” product.

The Courses

The beekeeping courses include ENTO 262 Intro to Beekeeping and ENTO 350, Advanced beekeeping. These courses can be taken as electives, as an animal production course, or to complete a certificate.

The Beekeeping Certificate helps to recognize the level of achievement in beekeeping gained by UH Hilo students and will assist them in future career positions. Courses have hands-on laboratories and are taught primarily at the UH Hilo farm in Panaʻewa, Hawaiʻi.

UH Hilo has been recognized by the media, public, and state Senate for its efforts to bring greater awareness to the honey bee, an important and vital pollinator of many crops.

Basic Equipment: Tools.mp4

Beekeeping Tools

Basic Equipment: How to start a smoker.mp4

Starting a Smoker

Basic Equipment: How to suit up.mp4

Suiting Up

Inspecting a hive for brood health HR.mp4
Inspecting a hive for honey HR.mp4

Hive Inspection