Honeybees are an important and vital part of our ecosystem. This is not newly discovered information but has become a hot topic in recent years because of the threats that bees face due to a variety of modern-day influences like climate change and industrial farming practices. The business and importance of beekeeping has kept the operators behind Big Island Bees motivated for multiple generations. Big Island Bees was started in 1971 and is currently operated by fourth-generation beekeepers. According to Whendi Grad, Queen Bee at Big Island Bees, “Hawaiian honey is unique in that we are able to harvest single blossom honeys, each with a unique taste unlike the others. Our bees can gather pure nectar year-round which means that they are never fed artificially. Bees play an important part in local agriculture and by supporting beekeepers, you are helping to support all local agriculture.”
As part of the local economy, Big Island Bees feel that the most rewarding part of the business is to see it grow in many directions. They started as an apiary producing honey in barrels that shipped out to packers. Now, they have transformed into an apiary that does their own line of honey that they wholesale in Hawaii, the mainland and Japan. Over the years, the business has transformed and now features a retail and agro tour store on their South Kona farm.
Their picturesque farm is home to 120 million bees and is located off Napo’opo’o Road in Captain Cook. You can take a beekeeping tour, visit their museum and their delicious tasting room. Tours are offered Monday – Friday between 10AM – 1PM and can be booked online.