Results from the Big Island Beekeepers Association’s First Hawaiian Honey Challenge

Media Release:

Jenny Bach of Papa’aloa’s Bee Love Apiaries dominated the competition Tuesday in the Big Island Beekeepers Association’s first Hawaiian Honey Challenge, with 89.5 of a possible 100 points. Held at Hilo’s Komohana Extension Service Ag Building. Bach’s solid honey from fruit, citrus and palm flowers in lower Puna outpaced all other competitors in judging based on aroma, appearance, taste and texture. A commercial beekeeper with eight years’ experience, she maintains 34 colonies on the Big Island.

Image(s) from when the bees were removed from my house

Winner in the liquid honey division was Francis and Joyce Takahashi of Lihue, Kauai, with an entry gathered from bees dining on mac nut, citrus and tropical blossoms harvested in the Kalaheo area. The Takahashis have been beekeeping hobbyists for the past two years and have a total of five colonies. Their honey label is Miki Macs.

Shawn Harris of Hawaiian Acres’ Wao Kele Farm captured the Peoples’ Choice award with a liquid lehua and dragon fruit honey. A commercial beekeeper of five years’ experience, he and his brother Michael Harris maintain more than 50 colonies of bees.

Runners-up in the individual categores were:

Best aroma (liquid): John Hanson’s honey from Kapoho-area blossoms

Best aroma (solid): John Hanson’s ohia blossom honey from Volcano

Best appearance (liquid): A 2-way tie between Steelgrass Farms of Kapa’a, Kauai, and Hilobees.com of Hilo. The Kauai honey came from palm blossoms in Kapa’a while the other was a Hilo blend.

Best appearance (solid): Wao Kele Farm’s kiawe and coconut blend

Best taste (liquid): A 3-way ties between two of Wao Kele’s honeys, the Peoples’ Choice lehua and dragon fruit and a liquid kiawe and coconut blend, and Dona Willoughby of La’akea Community’s ohia, tremia and garden plants blend

Best taste (solid) : Henry Iucker’s Daddy’s Stolen Honey of Hilo with a lehua honey gathered in Volcano

Best texture (liquid): Ruby Piano’s Puna wildflower blend

Best texture (solid): Paul Patnode of Volcano with his lehua honey gathered from Fern Forest

Judges for the sweet competition were Margarita Hopkins of Hawaii County Department of Research and Development; Hope Johnson, raw food advocate and food writer; Sonia Martinez, cookbook author and freelance food writer; Sandra Barr Riveria, former chef of Merriman’s Restaurant and currently teacher and writer; and Richard Short, beekeeper since the age of 10 and  manager of the UHH Agriculture Farm Lab.

Cary Dizon, newly elected BIBA president, said she appreciated the judges’ hard work and difficult task in judging 33 different honeys. She also expressed her thanks for the professionalism, patience and dedication of emcee Ken Hupp, UHH University Relations Public Information Officer.

For more information about bees, honey production, and BIBA activities, visit the website bibahawaiibees.org.

Deadline is Saturday for Entries to the Kea’au 7th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade

Kamehameha Schools Focus on Agriculture Family Farmers at the 40th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Media Release:

Kamehameha Schools stewards about 180,000 acres of agricultural lands as part of its statewide portfolio. On Hawai‘i Island alone, more than 72,000 acres of high-value agricultural lands help support a reliable food source, local jobs and a sustainable future for all Hawai‘i.

Prudent management of the Schools’ natural and cultural resources is essential. Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division (LAD) forged a strategic agricultural plan to provide goal-based initiatives for optimal agricultural management. Roughly 800 Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants are actively farming a variety of crops on Hawai‘i Island. These agricultural tenants play a vital role in providing Hawai‘i’s bountiful harvest and supporting Kamehameha Schools’ mission of creating educational opportunities to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry.

Makahiki heralds this time of year where abundance and the harvest is celebrated. With more than 70% of all Kona coffee grown on the Schools’ lands, Kamehameha Schools is honored to actively participate as a sponsor of the 40th annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

According to Les Apoliona, Kamehameha Schools North Kona land manager, “Farmers are the ambassadors of the Kona Coffee brand worldwide.” And on Wednesday and Thursday, November 10-11, the Kona coffee industry gathers at the Keauhou Beach Resort to witness the prestigious judging of Kona’s finest coffees at the Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping. The public is invited to meet these Kona coffee ambassadors and to judge a bit for themselves at the Keauhou Resort Kona Coffee Label and Website Competition. Dave and Trudy Bateman, KS agricultural tenants and owners of Heavenly Hawaiian, will be on hand alongside Kamehameha Schools to share farm information and samples of their 100% Kona coffee.

On Thursday, November 11 at the Keauhou Beach Resort, join Kamehameha Schools and their featured agricultural tenant – the family-owned Kona Coffee & Tea Company, the 2009 winner of the Gevalia Cupping Contest. The Private Reserve and Malia Ohana roasts will be available for sampling and purchase.

Following the Kamehameha Schools Kona Coffee Grand Parade on Saturday morning, November 13, the Schools will join the festivities and cultural events at the Makaeo County Pavilion. KS agricultural tenants Hawaii Island Gourmet and Kona Cowboy Coffee will be featuring delicious food pairings. With three generations of paniolo, Onaka Ranch proudly makes their special Kona Cowboy Coffee available for all to taste and savor. Hawaii Island Gourmet, known to many for their signature Atebara potato chips will also be available for sampling and purchase including taro, sweet potato and shrimp chips and cookies.

Also this week, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs is convening their annual convention at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort. Kamehameha Schools will be exhibiting and sharing their land stewardship and strategic agricultural plans with convention attendees.

For more information on how to support local farmers or to view Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants with commercial businesses, visit www.ksbe.edu/land.