HILO (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you think a bee sting hurts it's nothing compared to the pain there would be if bees were gone completely.
To renowned Chef Alan Wong his menu means a lot and the little honeybee plays a big part of it.
"Bees are responsible for 90 percent of the world's food supply whether directly pollinating fruits and vegetables or indirectly pollinating something cattle might eat," said Alan Wong, Chef and Adopt a Beehive Founder.
Bee populations have fallen behind and Wong wants to help before it's too late.
"Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that if the bees were to disappear from the face of the earth, we have seven years to live. That's how important they are," said Wong.
That is why he started the Adopt a Beehive Program in conjunction with the University of Hawaii at Hilo which is one of the few schools in the state with beekeeping classes. They program raises awareness and is trying to fight the dreaded varroa mite. That's the blood sucking pest that has killed an estimated half the colonies in country and threatens to do more damage.
"We're turning more towards colonies that are cultivated, that need to be maintained on hives as opposed to feral colonies that were once quite plentiful," said Lorna Tsutsumi, Entomology Professor, University of Hawaii at Hilo. "Many of the newly introduced pests are causing a great deal of concern."
Chef Wong, Professor Tsutsumi and UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney were recognized at the state capitol for going above and beyond in their fight for the bee.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," said State Senator Gilbert Kahele, Hilo, Ka'u, Puna. "Without the honeybee here just imagine that, if they stopped, bzzzz, you know, pollinating a lot of the vegetables the farmers would be in deep hurt."
"It's our generation that has to step up to the plate and make decisions today and create programs like this so we can put the spotlight on the bees the plight of the bees. Bring about awareness and education so that people can get behind the program and reverse the trend because the bees are disappearing," said Wong.
If you'd like to get behind the cause and adopt a bee hive click here.