By late 2019 it had become evident that the bee colonies were established in at least 5 hive locations on the Palace’s upper walls (mainly the cornice level areas). Removing the bees became a top priority, to avoid harm to visitors and staff.
Image courtesy of Iolani Palace: left to right, Jasmine Joy and Elko Evans from Beelieve Hawaii, and Paul Pestana from Bob’s Equipment Sales and Rentals (lift operator).
With the help of a grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the bee removal began early August 2020. The work required partial removal of the cornice in four locations, and subsequent repairs to those locations. It also required sealing any possible openings that might allow bees future access into these cornices. The bees were removed safely, and most of each colony relocated to a farm in Waimanalo.