Many of us understand and appreciate the importance of bees to our environment, our economy, and to our food supply. The web of life that bees support or enhance through pollination is so far reaching that they are believed to be responsible for 80% of the yield of Hawai’i Island's acreage of food crops.
Beekeepers, in their many roles, support bee husbandry in the undertaking of queen bee production, pollination services, hive sales, honey production, and through backyard beekeeping. It follows then, that the keepers of bees themselves are a valuable resource to our island community, and should be encouraged in their endeavors, and responsibly provided for in local regulations and ordinances.
In this spirit, the Big Island Beekeepers Association (BIBA) has initiated a campaign (Save The Bees Hawai'i) for the creation and passage of an updated, fair and inclusive County of Hawai’i bee ordinance that will allow bees and their keepers to flourish and continue to provide benefits to our island’s economy.
Save The Bees Hawai'i would like the current County of Hawai’i ordinances to be updated. Our goal is to provide input to our legislators for the development of a draft ordinance that is dedicated specifically to bees in the County of Hawai’i and identifies where and under what conditions beekeeping is allowed to occur.
For us to have confidence that any new regulation we propose reflects the requirements of our local community, we are soliciting the input and support of beekeepers, bee entrepreneurs, and concerned and caring citizens. Finally, we will be initiating a public outreach campaign focused on educating the general population on the significance of bees on the island economy, the precariousness of their position in current legislation, and the very minimal risks of coexisting with neighborhood apiaries.
We seek to include beekeeping best practices in order to mitigate nuisance behaviors and reassure the general public who may be unfamiliar or uninformed on the habits of bees.
Finally, our aim is to develop an ordinance for bees that addresses all levels of beekeeping in one statute, from backyard hobbyists to commercial honey producers, pollination services, hive sales and queen bee producers. We believe that our efforts will strengthen the protections for all island beekeepers and their hives, and will in turn serve to improve the island’s agricultural output and economy.
We have seen that beekeepers worldwide who are governed by responsible, common sense legislation and who utilize best practices of beekeeping demonstrate that beekeeping, at both the amateur and professional level, is a safe, satisfying and productive endeavor, beneficial to the environment, economy and mankind.
This is your chance to help us ensure that the needs of private and commercial apiaries are codified in the county statute for today, and for the future. For any concerns or questions you may have reach us at