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Carey Yost

WAS Hawaii Director

Hawai`i Region Director

As a partner beekeeper with Jim & Careyʻs Happy Bees apiary, I have been trying to untangle the nutritional sources our bees utilize in a tropical rainforest environment.Becoming beekeepers was a series of unplanned coincidences for Jim & Careyʻs Happy Bees. With a background in chemical engineering and volunteer research diving, Jim and I moved to Hawai`i to pursue my Masters in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science studying watershed conservation. In Hawai`i, my studies and our home orchard began to highlight the importance of pollinators. I was able to do some field work on Hawaiian 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 district of Hawai`i. Abeekeeper friend offered to set a hive in our orchard, and fruit back to our orchard. Seven years later, we inherited his hive and equipment. Our bees have brought us nectars that have placed in the top three, statewide, in every Hawaiian Honey Challenge we have entered honey.I began to research how to identify the botanicals sources of our winning honey and realized that the most methods used in honey botanical source research did not have our local botanical source databanks. Meanwhile Jim was working at the Dept. of Agriculture and was working with labeling compliance with Hawaiian products and researched the legal requirements for labeling honey, both for FDA and Hawai`i labeling compliance. We have begun initial testing of honeys from our district apiaries to try to identify seasonal and elevation differences in the botanical sources utilized by bees in Puna, Hawai`i. (

Carey Yost
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