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Hawaii Pollinator Week focuses on role of bees in maintaining diverse ecosystems

Hawaii_Oahu_Bees_PollinationIn Hawaii, bees help to balance a delicate ecosystem and curate some of our signature plant species such as the ohia lehua and macadamia nut tree. Honey has also long been ranked amongst Hawaii’s top food exports.

In recent years, however, mites, small hive beetles, and a tiny parasite called nosema have decimated honeybee populations on the U.S. Mainland and in parts of Hawaii. Researchers also blame some pesticides and various environmental changes for the phenomenon dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday signed into law a measure that lifts some regulatory hurdles for small Hawaii beekeeping businesses. After signing the bill, he officially proclaimed this week Hawaii Pollinator Week to recognize the “vital role of bees, birds and other pollinators in maintaining healthy, diverse ecosystems and productive farms in Hawaii and elsewhere throughout the world.”

In observance of this special week, which echoes National Pollinator Week (June 17-23) — first designated by the U.S. Senate and U.S. Department of Agriculture in June of 2007 — here’s some facts about Hawaii honeybees that have us buzzing.

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