A taste of honey at Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair

PUHI — A taste of honey will be available Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. when the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair opens at the Vidinha Stadium Parking lot.

The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s Apiary Program and the Kaua‘i Beekeepers Association will be hosting a Kaua‘i Grown Honey Tasting  at the Kaua‘i Grown Demonstration area at the fair.

Jimmy Trujillo of KBEE said honeys from Kaua‘i will be featured and tasters will be able to taste the difference between a variety of honeys produced from around the island.

“There are as many kinds of honey as there are flowers,” said Danielle Downey, Apiary Specialist with the Hawai‘i DOA in a KBEE release. “You can taste the difference in location and season and the honey may vary from year to year.”

Trujillo said having a honey tasting allows people an opportunity to experience why bees are so important. The honey tasting is also a lot better than just having information and pictures, he said.

“We are excited to collaborate with the Department of Agriculture to get the word out about honeybee pests and the host of issues which beekeepers have been facing,” Trujillo said. “We need to stress the importance of bees and their contribution to diversified agriculture.”

Kaua‘i beekeepers who would like their honey included in the tasting event should contact Joyce Takahashi at 245-9072.

Takahashi, who considers themselves to be amateur beekeepers, last year won high honors in a Big Island honey tasting competition.

Her husband, Francis, constructed a special demonstration hive which attracted large interest, Saturday, during the Kaua‘i Community Market coordinated by the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair at the Kaua‘i Community College parking lot.

“We’ll have a demonstration hive at the tasting as well as Downey and other members of the State Apiary Program and Kaua‘i Beekeepers available to answer questions about bees and honey,” Trujillo said.

During her visit, Downey, based in Hilo, Hawai‘i, will be visiting local beekeepers.

Awareness of honeybees has been on the rise, Trujillo said. Recently, with the arrival of three new bee pests to Hawai‘i, that awareness has been raised more.

The varroa mite reduces the survival and reproduction of bees, the small hive beetle which eats its way through everything in a beehive and spoils honey with its droppings and a new species of nosema, a single-celled gut parasite of bees are the recent threats to honeybees.

“These pests threaten both the local honey industry and the queen bee industry which exports queens to beekeepers around the world,” Trujillo said in the release. “Kaua‘i remains the only county free of both varroa mite and the small hive beetle.”

The Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair runs from Aug. 25 to 28. Visit www.kauaifarmfair.org.

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