Featured Beekeeper of the Month
“The starter yard consists of around 280 hives in very close
order. Here we raise queen cells, from 1200 to 1600 a day”.
Not all queens were good enough to keep, so as you
caught the queens, you looked at the brood pattern and the whole
hive in general and then, either caged or killed her, depending
on what you saw. After we caught all the queens, one group of
the workers would take the bees back to be shipped out and get
ready for the day’s graft. The other two groups would feed
and put in the queen cells in the nucs.
Kona Queen Co. runs around 4000 ten frame hives
in about 40 yards for drone production and 28,000 nucs in about
16 nuc yards for queen production. Kona Queen Co. produces around
150,000 queens a year. There is an average of 350 days of sunshine
which is good queen raising weather.
When I was there, we also re-queened the 10 frame hives. 8 to
10 workers can go through 80 to 100 hive yards, in no time at
all. Some of the beeyards had fruit you could pick, such as, bananas,
avocados, lemons, and macadamia nuts.
The job was just about perfect, but one in five people can not
live on an island, in the middle of nowhere, and unfortunately,
I was one of them. So I had to give up the best job I ever had.
But all is not lost, Hawaii was a great learning experience for
me and I will start over in Iowa, using what I learned. I hope
to work fulltime in bees in about 3 or 4 years, having around
“By around 9:00 a.m. we were in the nuc yards, catching
queens with around 1400 to 2000 nuc per yard”.
I’m always looking for good bees and equipment.
If you see me, ask me to tell you more, I love to talk about bees!
Submitted by Ron Wehr