Retired chemical engineering technician from the Chicago area. I have been a diver for most of my life and volunteered at the Shedd Aquariums as Coral Reef diver. It is there that I met Dr. Sylvia Earle, and she wrote a letter of reference for my Conservation Education internship with Disney Worldwide in 2000. After takiing an early retirement offer early five years later, we moved to Hawai`i to pursue my Masters in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environemntal Science studying watershed conservation, to continue my lifelong interest in lookiing at living things in the water.
In Hawai`i, my studies and our small orchard home began to highlight the importance of pollinators. I was able to do some field work on Hawai`ian Hylaeus bees while studying watershed ecosystems in the Hilo Forest Reserve. Meanwhile, our home orchard failed to set crop in 2009, following the introduction of the Varroa destructor to our area of Hawai`i . A woodworker friend of ours had recently taken up beekeeping and was lookiing for places to set hives. His hive in our yard brought fruit back to our orchard and created an interest in all things bees in me. Seven years later, our friend was set to retire & move and we bought his hive and equipment. We made an accidental split our first month of beekeeping by adding a queen excluder with the queen in the upper box. At that point, we started to search for as much information as we could find on beekeeping and beekeeping in Hawai`i, and joined Big Island Beekeepers Association (BIBA) as Jim & Careyʻs Happy Bees, where we found out the beekeeping legislation on Hawai`i Island was poorly drafted and could make our hobby beekeeping either not legal, or pets in the eyes of our county code, which could leave our hives up to local interpretation on wether our bees could remain in our orchard. In 2018, I became active in informing our legislators of the inconsistancy in our laws and active in educating the public in the importance of native and introduced pollinators within our state. In 2019, we began to start up new low-income beekeepers with hives we have split, swarms that we have caught or hives we have cut-out from home owners without the means or ability to hire professional wexterminators, while trying to keep our home apiary in a very manageable range for our residential orchard lot, and having honey that has placed in every Hawaiian Hooney Challenge we entered honey (https://www.bigislandbeekeepers.com/winners). Our public education outreach has lead me to formulate public education presentations on beekeeping and the history of beekeeping in Hawai`i. My husband, Jim Klyman, was on the board of BIBA, one of the largest and longest running beekeeping clubs inthe state. It was while he was on the board that we realized that BIBA was not incorporated in any organizatin and held no liability coverage. During the last two years, we have been assessing the need for Hawai`i to have a state-wide organization for our state beekeepers and for those that are interested in the native bees, and pollinators, within our state, and have started a plan to organize a state beekeeper network (www.hawaiibeekeeper.org). It is through this lens of seeing the importance of having a formal representation of beekeepers within our state, and nation, that I am volunteering to represent Hawai`i region at Western Apicultural Society.