Molokai Meli is a family owned and operated business that specializes in producing raw, kiawe honey from Hawaii. Every member of the Kaneshiro family has his or her part to play from honey tasting experts to bee removal professionals.
We feel blessed to have a business that allows us to work together, support ourselves, and have fun in the process! Our apiaries are set up on the remote Hawaiian island of Molokai in the heart of thriving kiawe forests. This is one of our secrets for producing the pure gourmet kiawe honey that comes from Molokai Meli. Meli is the Hawaiian word for honey. As our name shows, we are all about local honey. It is important to us to be able to provide you with best raw natural, tropical honey, bottled fresh from the hive. Another secret is to keep the bees healthy enough that we don’t have to use antibiotics and pesticides in our hives. We also uncap our frames and process our honey by hand so it is never exposed to heat. Keeping the honey raw maintains its natural enzymes and health benefits.
Because we live on an isolated island, we have been able to keep mainland diseases (like mites) from entering our apiaries. We are committed to the health of our colonies as well as those in all the other islands. We have been able to develop our apiaries from 100% local Molokai bees that we have relocated from wild hives. We know of no other apiary that has gathered all of its hives from the wild. We also raise our own queens from our best stock. As you can see, our bees our pretty special to us. We think you will agree that our honey is pretty special, too.
Although most of our effort is concentrated on producing high quality, premium, raw honey, we do have several interesting and fun value-added projects. Aside from colony maintenance and honey production, our next area of focus is to gently remove unwanted beehives from areas around our island and relocate them to our apiaries.
We all enjoy the honeybee education workshops we provide to our community through clubs and schools. We like to teach the life cylce and importance of the honeybee as well as allow the students to harvest their own honey. We also like to assist others in getting started with beekeeping.
Our children have also branched into their own products. Elijah developed a salad dressing recipe using honey, lemon juice, olive oil, and other choice ingredients when he was 8 years old. He took to heart the many comments, compliments and suggestions to market it. He began marketing it using Molokai Meli kiawe honey when he was 12. He also established a few of his own beehives and began marketing his own comb honey.
Tabitha utilizes the wax cappings that are left from honey extraction. She began making hand-dipped tapered candles that take hours to make when she was nine. She also makes votive and glass encased candles. Tabitha uses the wax to make beeswax bars for people who want to use beeswax for their own products. Tabitha is also in the process of perfecting her all-natural surfboard wax.
Esther makes birthday candles. She also sells kits so children can make their own birthday candles.
Because our children are still in school, they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand of a larger market, so they just sell their products locally here on Molokai~another good reason for you to come visit our island!
How We Began
It was the search for a raw organic local honey for Elijah’s salad dressing that gave us the idea to start making our own honey. Once we got our first hive from a tree in Papohaku in 2004, it took us about two years to get ourselves established and have enough honey to supply to Elijah for his salad dressing. It has been a family adventure since then.