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40th Anniversary WAS Conference
September 5, 2017 - September 8, 2017
Dr. Ethel Villalobos and her conference organizers for the 2016 WAS Conference in Honolulu are to be congratulated for providing such an information-packed and comfortably staged meeting. Speakers from many parts of the world explained how beekeeping was conducted and the problems that are encountered, especially when keeping bees in warmer climates.
An unexpected honey bee experience occurred at the Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside Park. When we exited our tour bus, we noticed some honey bees flying around a rock wall and some trash cans. Without much thought, we suspected that they were going into the cans for leftover beverages (but they weren’t). It was a very windy day. As we headed for the trail to the overlook, there was a sign suggesting that we be aware of honey bees on windy days. I didn’t notice the bees as we ascended with the wind, but I did hear someone say that there was a drone congregation area directly overhead. At the final overlook, however, it was apparent that quite a few worker bees were flying, or more accurately, were being blown up the trail. They bumped into people and bounced off the waist-high wall, in various states of vitality.
As we were leaving, a woman bent down and picked up what she thought was a bee body. But, it didn’t look like a worker bee to her, and it had something hanging out of its abdomen. She had found a drone, fresh from mating, dead on the ground at the overlook. Taking a better look at the bees being blown up the hill, there were drones and workers intermixed, but I did not see any queens. For me, this was a first!