Iolani Palace reopens after bee infestation
Iolani Palace reopens Wednesday after a bee infestation closed it last week.
Seven hives were mitigated in the last few days. The exterior and colony were relocated to Waimanalo. Six interior hives within the palace structure were exterminated.
The timetable is still tentative. "Tuesday would be the earliest because Monday is the mitigation we have to bring in a beekeeper to get up to the right height to deal with the bee situation," said Curt Cottrell of the DLNR.
The Iolani Palace shut down around noon on Thursday due to a swarm of bees.
"With an historic building you could run into an issue where you're potentially damaging the outside in order to open up walls to get the bees out," said Dr. Christina Mogren of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The bees stung multiple visitors and staff, according to Palace director of facilities and security Noelani Ah Yuen.
"We had to think about this but the safety of both the guests as well as our staff it was a no brainer we had to shut it down," said Ah Yuen.
Beekeepers and pest control are working on extracting four hives on the Palace.
The shutdown adds to an already lengthy and pricey list of Palace improvements.
"We're looking at a $1.5 million renovation request to do tune up this is a new element we may have to factor in depending on what the cost elements are," said
Jocelyn Collado handles Public Relations for the only royal palace on American soil -- she said they could lose up to $15,000 per day.
The last time the Iolani Palace was closed for more than a day due to unforeseen circumstances was during the Hurricane warning last year. Palace representatives say that's the only multi-day shutdown they know of.
The bees still need to be tested to see if they're "Africanized" or "killer bees". If they are, the state would have to respond and try to prevent it from spreading in Hawaii. The Africanized bees looks like a honey bee but if it over-populates, it could be hard to control and pose as a threat to other bee colonies.