New law to blossom local honey bee businessesUPDATED 7:55 PM HST Jun 17, 2013Video Transcript
Governor Neil Abercrombie proclaimed this week as Pollinator week in Hawaii. Recognizing the importance of butterflies...birds... and even bees--- the pollinators that keep our ecosystem thriving. And the buzz word was bees.... As the governor signed into law a bill designed to encourage smaller honey businesses to blossom. :2:16-12:30 GOVS BEES BY THE TIME IT CAME TO FULL EXTENSION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 7-8 FEET MAYBE MORE, IT WENT FROM UPPER BRANCH ALL THE WAY DOWN THE TRUNK Governor Neil Abercrombie describing the wild beehive in the tree next to his Makiki cottage he lived in when he was a member of the state legislature. Bees were the buzz word at the governors office.... As bee keepers and former bee keepers looked on as the governor signed into law SB 482. 6:50-703 GOV BEES ARE JUST FASCINATING CREATURES BECAUSE HERE THERE'S 100-100S BEES YOU JUST WALK RIGHT BY. THEY HAD THEIR WORLD AND THEY ALLOWED US TO BE IN IT THAT WAS THE GREAT THING ABOUT IT Beekeepers-- large and small are an important part of Hawaii's agriculture industry. Sales from bee pollinated crops here are valued at nearly 213 million dollars. This bill was designed to encourage more small time honey producers. It increases the maximum number of gallons sold from 50 to 500 annually---- without obtaining a health permit... Or using a certified honey house. The honey producers must include certain wording on their labels.... attend a food safety workshop ... and keep volume and product distribution records... And make them available 23L37-23:50 kevin ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO I WOULD SAY IT WAS VERY EASY TO BE A BEEKEEPER. YOU WOULD GRAB SOME BEES, THROW THEM IN A BOX AND STEAL THE HONEY FROM THEM ONCE A YEAR. YOU GIVE THEM AN EMPTY BOX THEY FILL IT UP WITH HNONEY AGAIN :50 SO IT WAS FUN, IT WAS EASY 23;52 With this bill... Kevin Mulkern hopes to get back into beekeeping. The state hopes to see more small time businesses emerge. At least one beekeeper we spoke with says there are problems with the law. He says the lack of a health permit could be a health issue.... And there is nothing preventing the PRODUCER from bringing "cheap honey" into Hawaii and selling it as Hawaii honey.