Did you know that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat?

We learn about pollination as kids. Crops grown for their fruits, nuts, fiber and seeds need insects to transfer pollen and ensure a bountiful life. That’s where bees come into play. As the the main insect pollinators, the buzzing bees play a pivotal part in the agricultural industry and in the world around us.

Kalapana on the Big Island will be holding its first Bee Buddy Festival this Saturday to keep the honey flowing, and by that, event coordinators hope to educate the community on this matter. Being in the middle of a vast ocean, Hawaii relies on bees to sustain its communities. We take pride in what we are able to grow in the islands with the help of bees.

The event will feature bee products, bee movies and talk story sessions with beekeepers, seed giveaways and entertainment. The big question they’ll be asking is: “What are you doing with your honey?” It’s part of their Bee Buddy project. And apparently there are tons of uses for honey – from curing a hangover to cleaning cuts and scrapes. I remember putting it on my lips as a kid after reading in a mag that they’re a sure way to soft lips. My mom, of course, thought I was being ridiculous and usually scolded me for using all the honey! Sorry, Mom!

Beekeeping on Kaua’i.

Today, however, I’ve taken a more serious approach to bees and their succulent treasures. My boyfriend’s parents are beekeepers on Kaua’i. I’ve learned a lot from just watching them (from behind a faraway tree since getting stung is no fun!) and enjoy hearing them talk about bees over breakfast, as if they’re a family pet. Aloha Aina Honey, as they call it, couldn’t be a more fitting name. Simply put, they love their bees and in a reciprocal relationship, give them as much Aloha as the bees do to the ‘aina. It’s the secret life of bees that I never knew existed, but thanks to our family beekeepers, the circle of life continues…in the heart of Omao, Kaua’i.

Photo Courtesy (second): Jana Viles

BEE BUDDY FESTIVAL

• Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012; 12-4pm • Uncle Kava’s Club, Kalapana 96778 • www.beebuddieshawaii.com

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