Holiday Newsletter 2009
richardAloha! Is it just me or are the years going by faster and faster? I can't make the earth spin more slowly around the sun, but perhaps I can stop spinning around so fast on the earth to spend more quality time with my family!

I always enjoy updating you about our activities of the past year in our family newsletter. Signing, stamping and mailing letters was always a part of my holiday season! But as our Volcano Island Honey family has grown and the need to save paper has become even more imperative- we are again delivering our newsletter electronically to you- and we hope you like it.

May this Holiday Season bring peace in your heart, in your family and in the world.
Holiday Specials

short and sweet gift boxHoliday honey specials for all the sweet people in your life.

For Christmas Delivery order by Dec 17th,
12 noon Hawaii Time!

Two - 8 oz jars of white honey in our small gift box.
$42.00 (Regular price $44)

Six - 8 oz jars Likikoi
$85.00 (Regular price $96)

Three- 8 oz. jars White  & Three- 8 oz. jars Lilikoi
$85.00 (Regular price $91.50)
How Are Hawaii's Bees?
rsbees As humans and as farmers/beekeepers, we have a tendency to want to control nature. After all, beekeeping is the management of the bees in a way that maximizes surplus honey production. However, despite all of our careful planning and management, nature always prevails, and we work with what mother nature offers. This year the honey harvest season was shorter than usual, and, as usual, the demand for our honey exceeds the supply. To ensure your yearly supply,check out our honey subscription!

On another note, we have continued to be proactive with our preparations for the varroa mite. The destructive mite continues to spread around the Big Island, but we have not found it in our hives. We have formulated an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) plan, and have helped spearhead an island-wide collaborative response to this potentially devastating problem. Read more about the plight of Hawaii's bees in our blog post- The Bees and the Trees (and the tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, mac nuts...)
Organic Wax Foundation Project

wax foundation

Wax foundation is a thin sheet of beeswax that is embossed with the hexagonal shape that the bees naturally form for their honeycomb. The wax foundation is placed into rectangular wooden frames that go into hive boxes, usually ten frames per box.  This gives the bees a uniform pattern for their honeycomb. The bees "draw out the comb" by adding wax on top of the foundation to create hexagonal cells, where they store honey and pollen as well as where the queen lays her eggs (in separate cells!). wax workshop

Many commercial beekeepers use toxic chemicals in their hives to treat disease.  When they send their wax to be processed into foundation, the chemicals remain in the wax.   This contaminated foundation is then bought and used by other beekeepers. We believe, and research has confirmed, that contaminated wax foundation may contribute to the decline of honeybee health.

This year we implemented a grant from the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and began making organic wax foundation from our own beeswax. Sunee Campbell was instrumental in learning and teaching about making wax foundation. We also held a workshop at our farm to share what we are learning with other beekeepers. View the learning videos on YouTube. You can also visit our Organic Wax Foundation web page and download the instruction manual to make foundation.
Bee-ing Greener
True to our philosophy of continual improvement, we have introduced a new Eco-Box for our 20 oz. jars. The new Eco-Box is made from 100% post-consumer waste cardboard and uses no additional packaging material. Humans have designed airplanes, bridges and skyscrapers with seeming ease, but designing this 20 oz. Eco-Box seemed impossible at times. It took many months to engineer an eco-friendly box that could handle the weight of the honey jars, without breaking in transit.

If you are a true honey lover and want maximum honey for minimum price and with minimum packaging- order six 20 oz jars. It will automatically be packed in the new Eco-Box.

Here is an article about our 20 oz. eco-box in Packaging Digest.
Our Team
As always, it takes a team to keep the honey flowing! In the field with Richard is super beekeeper woman Donelle Wiles-Rodrigues. Her love for the bees comes through in every spoonful of honey! Sunee Campbell came back this year to master the art of making beeswax foundation, as well as helping out with a number of other critical jobs that support the beekeepers. Andrea Dean works with us as a consultant on a number of projects, including our electronic communications.  Kerri Ambrosio is the friendly voice at the order desk and is the administrative glue that holds things together. And, of course, Richard's beloved partner Candice, whose official title is Business Manager, but who in actuality does just about everything!
Volcano Island Honey Company does not believe in or enjoy SPAM,  does not  inundate its customers with email and does not share your email address with anyone. We appreciate you sharing your email address with us so we can let you know about our holiday specials, and we guarantee we won't abuse the privilege. All of that being said, you can always unsubscribe by hitting the SafeUnsubscibe below.
In This Issue
-Holiday Specials
- How Are Hawaii's Bees?
- Organic Wax Foundation
- Bee-ing Greener
Buzzing & Tweeting


It is official! Richard has been dragged into the 21st century!

We have just launched our blog, you can follow us on Twitter, and see our videos on YouTube.

twitter button

Current, quality communications about how we practice our environmental and social values has always been a priority for us.

While we are passionate about the environment and the bees, we don't want to contribute to information clutter. 

We hope to communicate interesting and relevant information through our new blog and twitter posts.

Please stay in touch with what we are doing and thinking by:
1) Subscribing to our blog with RSS
2) Subscribing to our blog by sending us an email


Toll Free: 888-663-6639
Phone: 808-775-1000

Famous Honey! Richard Spiegel on Chef Abroad & Voyage of Kona Coffee

This year a Canadian film crew came to film us for the show Chef Abroad. The show is called Island Flavors, Hawaii and will air on Food Network Canada, on November 27th at 9:30 pm EST and November 28th at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm EST.

This will be our 5th interview for national and international TV.  We are delighted to have the opportunity to share internationally our long held belief and practices of earth friendly and life sustaining farming.

Richard was also filmed for a show called Voyage of Kona Coffee, which will air on Japanese TV in December.