Entomology

There was information on sustainable agriculture, farming, animal production, bee harvesting, and aquaponics by the students of horticulture, animal science, entomology, beekeeping, sustainable agriculture, value-added products and aquaculture.

By Justin Ziminsky.

Students holding goats wrapped in towels.
Animal science students and farm animal exhibits.

The College of Agriculture Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo opened its annual Ag Fair Day on April 27, 2018. The fair was very educational for students and visitors alike. There was a lot of information on sustainable agriculture, farming, animal production, bee harvesting, and aquaponics available for everyone by the students of horticulture, animal science, entomology, beekeeping, sustainable agriculture, value-added products and aquaculture.

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo alumna Noelani Waters is a technician at the Hawai‘i Apiary Program of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. She tells us about her work.

By Noelani Waters, Alumna, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Tropical Plant Science and Agroecology Specialty, UH Hilo.

Noelani Waters holds some wood with a beehive covered in bees
Noelani Waters

Aloha,

My name is Noelani Waters and I am a College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management alumna who graduated in fall 2014 with a degree in agroecology and tropical plant science with a certificate in beekeeping.

Just before graduating, in October 2014, I was hired as an apiary technician with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) Hawai‘i Apiary Program under the direction of the state’s head apiary specialist at the time, Danielle Downey. The mission of the Hawai‘i Apiary Program is to safeguard the beekeeping industries of Hawai‘i through the application of science-based regulations, regular monitoring and prevention of invasive honey bee pests, interactive educational opportunities, and open communication with beekeepers throughout the state.

Our program was officially established in 2011 and became a permanent part of HDOA in 2014. Though honey bees are not native to Hawai‘i, they have been here for over 150
years, providing a variety of excellent honey and, most importantly, critical pollination of local agricultural goods.

Two alumni volunteers assist UH Hilo entomologist in creating a digital accession database of the moth for the university’s web-based Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection.

Agrotis baliopa
Agrotis baliopa

An entomologist and two alumni from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo have collaborated to create a digital accession database of an endemic moth collection donated to the university.

UH Hilo alumna Quinn Hamamoto (bachelor of arts in English), along with alumna Ellison Montgomery (bachelor of science from the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management), and Assistant Professor of Entomology Jesse Eiben, who serves as manager of the UH Hilo Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection (TRAC), collaborated to curate and digitize pictures of the endemic Hawaiian insects. The database is posted to the web as a way to raise awareness of the moths.

Professional beekeeper Harald Singer, from the Department of Integrative Zoology at the University of Vienna, gave a talk on “Interactions between honeybees and Varroa mites influenced by cell sizes and hygienic behavior.”

Harold Singer with group who came to hear him speak.
Harald Singer (center with lei) came to UH Hilo to give a talk on beekeeping and Varroa mites.

Professional beekeeper Harald Singer, from the Department of Integrative Zoology at the University of Vienna, recently gave a presentation at the University of Hawaii at Hilo on “Interactions between honeybees and Varroa mites influenced by cell sizes and hygienic behavior.” Singer specializes in small breeding cells in honeybees and ways to overcome the Varroa crises.

In attendance were UH Hilo students, staff, faculty and community beekeepers and representatives from the apiary program of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

Singer is a professional beekeeper, bee inspector for the Styrian state government, president of the European Beekeeper Association, and a member of the Professional Beekeeping Association of Austria. He comes from a family of beekeepers and has taught beekeeping professionally.

This article was originally published in the Feb 2018 CAFNRM/Agriculture Club Newsletter.

The fearless women who run the UH Hilo bee program raise awareness about honey bees as vital pollinators of crops around the island and worldwide.

By Maria McCarthy, Student, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture student, with an animal science track.

Lorna Tsutsumi holds up honeycomb from hive.
Lorna Tsutsumi

Screaming, swatting and running are the common reactions that majority of people have on sighting a bee. Cheryl Yara, Alex Doi, Maria McCarthy and Vanessa Staffer of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, do the opposite. They spend their days getting as close to the honey bees (Apis mellifera) as possible.

“I enjoy giving back to the ‘āina (land) and helping save the honey bees for our future generations to benefit from a crucial insect in our ecosystem,” Yara explains.