“Some of the best years of my life, I spent at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. I will always support UH Hilo because I am an extremely proud graduate! I believe wholeheartedly that my years spent there, prepared me well for law school, my legal career, but more importantly for life.”
Jennifer L. Zelko, Esq.
Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris
Attorneys at Law, A Law Corporation
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The Office of Applied Learning Experiences (ALEX) in partnership with the UH Hilo Alumni & Friends Association, invites you to reconnect with the University by becoming a mentor! Mentorship provides an opportunity for alumni to give back to the community and experience the satisfaction of helping a student reach his or her academic and professional goals. Mentors also have the opportunity to network and expand their own professional development by participating in events scheduled throughout the year, designed to bring mentors and mentees together.
It only takes 1-2 hours a month to meet with a mentee (student), whether it be on campus, at a coffee house, or at your workplace. Enroll online at hilo.hawaii.edu/ALEX/mentorships or contact the ALEX Office directly: Shannon Sampaga (ALEX Event Planner), email@example.com, 808-933-9986; Dr. Tom DeWitt (Director - ALEX), firstname.lastname@example.org, 808-987-6551.
There is a myth from the San people of the Kalahari Desert about a bee that carries a mantis a tremendous distance across a river searching for a safe place for the heavy load. The mantis seemed to get heavier and heavier and the bee flew lower and lower, skimming the surface of the water, until finally the exhausted bee finds a floating flower and gently places the mantis on it. Before the bee dies it plants a seed in the mantis’ body. As the sun rises and the air warms the seed germinates and grows to be the first human.
The genetic DNA of the San people is the most diverse of any other group, which suggest that they are the oldest race of people on the planet. With that long view of human existence it is very profound that their cosmology is directly tied to the life of bees.
We know that more than 80% of our food supply is directly or indirectly associated with honeybee pollination. This is concerning because we also know that honeybee populations around the globe are rapidly declining due to parasites, pathogens, pesticides and other potentially urban-related factors. And across Hawaiʻi, where honeybees have helped sustain agriculture for over 150 years, bee colonies began collapsing in 2007 because of the varroa mite invasion.
Is our food supply threatened? Yes.
Is there something we can do about it? Yes.
A few years ago Chef Alan Wong visited the renowned Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio. Chef’s Garden is an innovative, sustainable farm growing artisanal produce, run by the Jones family that has partnerships with chefs from around the world and with educational institutions like the famed Culinary Vegetable Institute. Besides growing award-winning produce the farm also raises bees. The farm relies heavily on the work of honeybees to maintain their operation. It was at the farm that Chef Wong learned about beehive adoption as a way to sustain their population and ensure food production.
The Culinary Vegetable Institute, a farm-to-table educational organization, encourages chefs and the general public to adopt a beehive to help fund the Jones’ project in return receiving annual gifts of honey and reports on the hive.
Chef Wong came back to Hawaiʻi inspired by the efforts of the Jones family and enthusiastic about doing something with bees and honey. It was through his associate, marketing expert, Curt Ozaki that a crucial connection was made. Ozaki knew that Chef Wong was fired up about doing something to ensure the survival of bees and he knew that UH Hilo Entomology Professor, Lorna Tsutsumi and her beekeeping students were developing hives in Panaewa.
Hawaiʻi’s own Adopt-A-Beehive program was born.
State Representative, Clifton Tsuji commended the efforts of Chef Wong and UH Hilo, saying, “This is really proactive, the community helping itself.”
UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) students keep the bees; “parents” pay $300 to $1000 to adopt a hive for a year, receiving email updates from students and a supply of honey; excess honey is sold to support the program.
About the project, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney said, “This is a great example of how the smallest things in an ecosystem really matter. Participation in the beehive program is a down payment on food security.”
The University of Hawa‘i is the only academic institution in the state doing research and outreach on honeybees and UH Hilo, through CAFNRM, is the only campus offering beekeeping courses.
According to Chef Wong, the program, “not only sheds light on the bees in general, their plight, but also puts a spotlight on the school, on the classroom and what Lorna [Professor Tsutsumi] is teaching everybody.” Perhaps it is through efforts like Chef Wong’s partnership with UH Hilo