This Saturday the whole gang went to the farmers' markets in Waimea. Doug's college friends Derek and Alon are visiting and wanted to go, plus it was the first Saturday of the month which is supposed to be the biggest Saturday market of the month.
While we were there I met Shannon, a beekeeper and owner of Beeing Aloha. We bought some of her amazing black honey.
But even better than the honey, she gave us the name of Ron Hansen of Honey Bees Forever who sells nucs and even full hives to aspiring beekeepers. Ron also runs a class/meet up of island beekeepers at his home in Pahoa every couple weeks on Sundays. On Saturday we called Ron and he invited us to come over the very next day to learn about beekeeping, meet some of the other beekeepers and discuss buying some bees for our farm!
So on Sunday Joey, Sam, Aly, Mike and I squuuueeeezed into the Hyundai and drove the 2+ hours to Pahoa to learn about beekeeping.
It was great! We all got to see the bees and use the bee suit to go up close and personal with the hives. We learned how to identify the queen, the workers and the larva, how to check for beetles and mites in your hive, and what techniques to use when checking the hives - like smoking and how to hold the frames of honeycomb.
The bee suit was really cool! Even though some bees can still sting you through the canvas and the veil, I felt very safe in the suit.
The only downside was how hard it was to put on! I definitely needed assistance.
There was only one extra suit, so we had to take turns with who could wear it and go by the bees.
Aly was clearly also very excited about beekeeping :)
Because of our precautions, no one got stung while working with the bees! However, I got stung on the nose while I was just waiting around and not even near the bees. Just my luck. Thankfully, it did not swell!
After our lesson, we hung out with all of the beekeepers and learned about their hives and how they got started beekeeping. I didn't get the name of everyones' apiary but Pattie from Apiary Arts messaged us on facebook which was so nice. They all had great advice for starting a small bee operation on our farm and we are very much looking forward to learning more and then getting our hives in the coming weeks!
After the bee class, we stopped at Lava Tree State Park which is right by Ron's house in Pahoa. I hadn't been there before but it is BEAUTIFUL. Definitely worth a trip if you are ever on the Big Island.
It is called Lava Tree because it was a forest that the lava swept over in such a way that whole trees are encased in lava rock. Super cool!
While we were there we walked through the park,
climbed some trees
and just basked in the beauty of the rainforest.
It was a great trip!