Traveling Beekeeper Coming to Big Island

Media Release:

Nationally recognized bee expert Larry J. Connor, Ph.D. will discuss how to rejuvenate bee colonies after “a devastating year” of attacks on Big Island hives, according to Cary Dizon, Big Island Beekeepers Association president. Connor is known for working with local beekeepers around the country and helping them establish breeding programs to improve the health of their bee colonies.

A columnist with Bee Culture Magazine and the American Bee Journal where he is known as “The Traveling Beekeeper,” Connor will speak at the Keaau Community Center on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and at the Kainaliu Extension Office in Kona on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The public is invited to the meetings, both of which will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Big Island beekeepers are reeling from bee colony losses due to such invasive pests as the Small Hive Beetle and Varroa mite. “We need to replace the lost colonies and begin to supply orchardists and new beekeepers with managed colonies, to replace the lost feral colonies that once dominated pollination on our island,” Dizon said.

Connor will also conduct a day-long master class to enable local beekeepers to begin a program producing queen bees for replacement colonies. His work has focused on improving colony genetics by breeding for disease resistance and local conditions.

Connor received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University before becoming Extension Apicultural Entomologist for Ohio State University at Columbus. He helped establish the world’s first mass production facility for instrumentally inseminated queen honey bees. The author of four books, he has owned the publishing firm Wicwas Press since 1988.

For more information, call Dizon at 966-7421 or visit the Big Island Beekeepers Association website at http:///bibahawaiibees.org.

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