Treatment-Free Beekeeping & Sustainable Living
If you lure them they will come.
If you love them they will stay.
Paradise Nectar is located on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Our home hives are cared for in a lush jungle sanctuary of endemic ohia'lehua, hala, and other indigenous species of Hawaii. Bees forage orchards of exotic fruits such as jaboticabas, grumichamas, coconuts, sapotes, surinam cherries, avocados, soursops, and many others. We are blessed with many apiaries in the lower Puna area, Kapoho to Kalapana, where the land is covered by old lava flows from Pele's fire. With an unlimited amount of nectar to choose from, our bees feed themselves year round. We are blessed with honey that is never the same as the harvest before and always delicious.
For bees and beekeepers this is paradise. Two years ago Hawaii beekeepers experienced dramatic losses of thousands of colonies due to the arrival of the varroa mites, small hive beetles, and nosema ceranae. The varroa mite was discovered in 2008 and the beetles were found in Panaewa in 2010. The mites feed on the body of the honeybee and weaken its immune system making it more susceptible to disease. Some colonies develop crippled wings and some become very disoriented. The small hive beetles move quietly through the hive trying to remain unseen while they lay eggs in the pollen and brood cells. The young larvae hatch in the cells and begin to devour all protein sources in their path before they follow the light to a place to pupate. The result for the bees is slimy comb filled with beetle larvae and a very unappealing dwelling. For most beekeepers, these losses brought great despair and it seemed our plentiful utopia had come to an end. The bees were not prepared for what they endured and many did not survive. Many beekeepers turned to miticides, antibiotics, and stimulants to try and combat the pests. It was through these hardships that I began to see the survivor bees emerge. The stronger bees started to aggressively fight the beetles and even pick them up and carry them away from the hive. They began creating propolis prisons and kept the beetles exiled to the outside combs of the hive. There are many ways that bees and their keepers have found to deal with the mites and the beetles. Many apiaries are growing and the bees are flourishing once again.
The bees are sweet and life is swell!