UH Hilo’s beekeeping program is a special experiential learning opportunity for students and helps to promote the importance that bees play in local and global sustainability.

Group photo holding oversized check, students are in bee hats.
(Left to right) Chef Alan Wong, Professor Lorna Tsutsumi, and students Daniel Lunnom, David Russell, and Batina Grossett. At right is Bruce Mathews, dean of UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

Now in its seventh year, the Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong program has awarded over $20,000 in scholarships to beekeeping students at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. This year’s recipients are Daniel Lunnom, Batina Grossett and David Russell, who each received a $1,000 scholarship on April 14, 2018, at the UH Hilo Agricultural Farm Laboratory in Pana‘ewa.

Photos featuring faculty and students and their hands-on activities at the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Student in fish facility with weighing equipment, breeding tubs in background.
Tilapia experiment 2017: Aquaculture major weighs fish in a feeding experiment with Spirulina-based diets for juvenile tilapia at the Pana‘ewa farm, UH Hilo.

Two Hawaiian language students create a video on beekeeping done entirely in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language).

Still from video of two student and bee hives.
Click image to view video on YouTube (no closed captions).

The Farm Laboratory of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, located in Pana‘ewa just south of Hilo, is home to about 50 beehives with the total number of bees at an estimated 500,000. The apiary is maintained by students and is used for hands-on learning of beekeeping from hive to market to table.

Mele Adams, a senior at UH Hilo, helps take care of the bees on the farm. She manages the bee hives when beekeeping labs aren’t in session and helps to manage the honey products as well.

“I had friends who took the course and told me about it,” says Adams, referring to the UH Hilo course on introductory beekeeping. “I was able to volunteer at the bee farm all summer and ended up getting a job at the bee farm, so I decided to take the course.” Entomology 262 is taught by Professor Lorna Tsutsumi, an entomologist and expert in beekeeping whose contributions to bee awareness in the state has brought her and the program recognition by the State Senate.