HĀNAI HIVES, the Birth Story

Published On: 

April 10, 2021


Katie Metzger
Springtime at the Waialua Apiary

You may of heard, but last month on the Spring Equinox, I gave birth to my beautiful, BEEutiful baby.  

I named her, HĀNAI HIVES.  

Some of you may not have even known I was “pregnant” because I held it close to my heart, because it IS my heart.  I’ve been dreaming of having this baby for years.  

I wondered, was I smart enough? Was I strong enough?  Was I ready to bring this dream to life, all on my own?  My heart said YES!!

Like an expecting parent, I dreamed of her long before I was pregnant; in fact, I’d been daydreaming of her for years. What would she be like? What would she look like? How would I help her grow?

Putting words to all that was building in my mind, heart, and spirit was a daunting task. Just the thought of having to write about it made me feel queasy, like morning-sickness.

…Because I didn’t just daydream, I researched, analyzed, interviewed, calculated, consulted, read, considered and reconsidered… let’s just say I did my homework. But, I loved the daydreams. They were my favorite.

I knew there was a secret message in my daydreams. When I quieted my mind, my heart figured it out, I just had to turn it around, instead of daydreams, I started having dreamdays.

Dreamday at the Mokuleia Apiary

And I’d be lying if I said that bliss is all rainbows, flowers, and bee-fairies. Beekeeping can be hard, sweaty work. Sometimes you get stung, but it’s all part of the magic. My beekeepers catch the buzz pretty dang quick.

I love mentoring new beekeepers, I’ve done it for many years. I’ve always welcomed people to my apiary to shadow and learn. But I wanted to take it a step further.

I’ve met so many people who say they’d “love to have bees someday,” but they don’t have the time, or the property, or any idea of how to get started.

I made up my mind to remove these obstacles so people can discover how magical these creatures are. I truly believe, to know bees is to love them. And we protect what we love, especially our ‘ohana.

When it comes right down to it, when we save bees, we save ourselves, both on a physical and spiritual level. Over 1/3 of the food we eat is made possible by the pollination of bees. Furthermore, protecting them, in whatever way that takes form is soul-food; doing right by this planet elevates the spirit.

I decided, that was it! I’m going to provide an opportunity for people to host or adopt a beehive and teach them best practices so they know how to care for the bees. I devoted time and energy to create my own unique program and started with a few clients. I put a hive in their backyards and committed to the process of making this the best experience for all involved. I took it really seriously, but, I had a blast at the same time. SO much fun!!

“Boogie” being introduced to the new members of his ‘ohana

I’m grateful for the fun we had, but also for the learning shared. I can say with confidence my beekeepers gained valuable experience and developed a genuine connection with their honeybees.

Denise,a host-a-hive beekeeper in my program often texts me photos of “our girls” (aka honeybees). Her property is a pollinator-paradise and it gives me such joy to see the honeybees thriving there. Denise has been beekeeping with me for a year and has some stories to tell! She has 3 hives and named all the colonies after their respective queens. She chose names based on their personality as well as how and where they came from.

 One day she asked me what I was going to name my business. I told her it hadn’t come to me yet. I shared how I wanted the name to reflect the unique opportunity hosting-a-hive provides, as well as my intention for starting this business in the first place. She shared with me her host-a-hive experience, how it gave her the opportunity to bring bees into the fold of her life in a whole new way. She said what I was doing was “giving people the opportunity to hānai a hive.” My heart and mind knew at that moment the name- HĀNAI HIVES.

Denise in her backyard with “the girls”

My new baby, HĀNAI HIVES is not just my business, it’s my life’s work. My time on this planet is limited. Beekeeping is my profession, but it’s also my contribution to creating a better, healthier world for the bees, for people, and all future generations.

The HANAI HIVES birth story is still unfolding, I invite you to join me on the journey and grow your ‘ohana; hanai-a-hive and share Aloha!


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