Hawaii beekeeping is fun, and here at Polestar we have honey-producing hives. We keep a close eye on the health of our bees, and had some recent luck!
Polestar invited The Hawaii Apiary Program with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to complete a complimentary inspection of our beehives. Noe, the inspector, was looking for signs of American Foulbrood (AFB).
AFB is an extremely infectious and deadly disease that plagues honey bees. It is a bacterial disease that creates spores that can be viable for 50-80 years and is easily spread from colony to colony by robbing bees, tainted tools or equipment. Historically, AFB wiped out much of Hawaii’s honeybee population in the 1930’s, and since the spores are still present, the best strategy for prevention is early detection.
Unfortunately, the threat of AFB is a very real concern for Big Island beekeepers today as a honeybee colony infected with AFB was recently discovered on the Big Island in the nearby Mountian View area.
We are happy and relieved to report that we passed! No AFB was found in our four treatment-free hives!!
In the picture, Polestar bees are showing off their building skills to the inspector. Known as chaining, the bees link together as part of the comb building process to measure space and guide the formation of comb.