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Lava Flow Takes Toll on Big Island Agriculture

Credit: Pixabay Commons

More than 2,500 acres on Hawaii Island are in papaya production. The majority is in the Kapoho area, which is now being affected by lava from Kilauea volcano. The Conversation's Catherine Cruz spoke with Scott Enright, the Director of the State Department of Agriculture, about the potential losses of an industry that is tied to hundreds of jobs.

But papayas are not the only agricultural product being affected. Beekeepers were among those who fled the Puna area during the first weeks of the lava flow. Hawaii Island is a major exporter of Queen Bees. The honey and beeswax industry is estimated to be more than $10 million annually. The University of Hawaii's bee expert, Christina Mogren, also gives insight into the stressors the state's bee industry is under.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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