Michael Krones, Owner and Beekeeper, Hawaiian Queen Company
Royal Hawaiian Honeys are produced by beekeeper Michael Krones. He learned the art of keeping bees in Costa Rica in the 1970s from a wise old man names Winston McGee, and has kept bees in Hawaii since 1996. His farm, the Hawaiian Queen Co., (www.hawaiianqueen.com) is located on the southwest side (Kona side) of the Big Island of Hawaii, in Captain Cook. This location is truly paradise for bees: It has the perfect combination of enough moisture and rain, abundant, year-round nectar sources, and mild temperatures.
Krones manages about 1,500 hives. He produces queen bees for export, as well as three beautiful varietals of raw and certified organic Hawaiian honeys. Honey is secondary to his queen bee production, and Krones historically sold the honey he harvested in bulk to honey packers. In 2005, Krones’ daughter, Rebeca Krones, and her partner, Luis Zevallos, decided to take over the honey producing side of the family business and founded their own company, Tropical Traders Specialty Foods, to develop a line of their family’s Hawaiian honeys that would be available to consumers at a retail level. Thus, the Royal Hawaiian Honey line was born. Krones is proud to be a family-run apiary, which is one of only a handful of certified organic apiaries in the entire United States. He has not experience any Colony Collapse Disorder, and strongly believes this is because of his commitment to organic agriculture and best management practices for his hives.