On our vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii, we couldn't help ourselves but check out some local bees.
We searched around and found Big Island Bees, who are not only the largest honey producer on the island and family run but also offer tours and honey tasting! Say no more!
Their website is beautiful and makes it very easy to read up on them as well as book a tour.
We quickly reserved a tour for our second full day on the island and were all very excited!
The drive to Big Island Bees was gorgeous. Hidden away in an amazingly lush area of the Big Island, breaking away from the thick lava fields. We cruised up and down windy roads until we reached the Captain Cook area.
We saw the gate for Big Island Bees but, being early, we continued on to Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook first set foot on the island of Hawaii! A very cool spot to check out.
After we checked out the historical site, we headed back up to Big Island Bees!
The view from their museum/tasting Room is amazing. Our iPhones couldn't do it justice but the picnic tables overlooking the view were a perfect place to sit and relax before our scheduled tour and see all the beautiful flowers.
We checked in at the desk and we were quickly whisked away by Joe for our tour. We sat in a breezy room and were offered some delicious treats as we watched a 10-minute movie about the Big Island Bees company.
The video showed a bit of history about the company, and showed how they move their hives a few times a year to hit certain nectar flows from different plants in bloom.
We then headed out to the yard, tea sweetened with honey in hand.
Here they have constructed a one of a kind viewing area so we could get right up close and personal with the bees while still feeling safe from stings. Though we are about to venture into the world of bees ourselves, for now, they still make me a bit nervous.
My nerves, however, slowly subsided as Joe talked about his bees.
He was very knowledgeable and passionate about everything beekeeping and made for a very detailed tour guide. We got to see him handle the bees first hand and give us an amazing visual for each frame he pulled from the hive. He answered all the questions we, and another group could think of. We all left knowing something about bees that we hadn't before.
After the tour, we were brought inside to do some tasting! There were 4 types of honey to taste and each was uniquely different from the next. We learned how they move their bees three times a year to get the bloom of three distinct flowers, creating different varietals.
My personal favourite was the white organic Leuha honey infused with cinnamon, but all of us left the table with our eyes for the combo pack featuring three of the flavours.
After the tasting, we walked around the shop/museum and checked out all there is to see. And there were lots! There were tons of interesting books and pictures and even old artifacts.
All our questions were sufficiently answered by our tour guide, Joe, and we ventured off to check out all the snippets of information throughout the museum. There was also a "Bee Photo Booth" which we could spend so much time having fun taking pictures.
A good hour is needed to check out all there is to see inside the shop. Including the honey!
Lots of honey was for sale in all different sizes. There were treats made with honey, soaps and candles and even t-shirts.
As our visit came to an end we thanked Joe, took a picture of him and his honey, and said our goodbyes.
We learned so much during our visit to Big Island Bees and many things we will remember as we venture into the bee world ourselves.
We would love to say Mahalo to Big Island Bees for our fabulous visit and tour.
The next time we are on the Big Island we will be sure to come back. Until then we will definitely keep in touch with them and share our story as we get our two new hives this spring!