In our state, the University of Hawaiʻi is the only academic institution involved in research and outreach on honey bees, and the only campus offering beekeeping courses is UH Hilo’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.
Alison and Vincent Shigekuni are passionate about our environment and bees! Since the UH Hilo adopt-a-beehive program launched in 2011, they have supported a beehive named in honor of Alison’s parents, Ben and Fusae Fujise. Now, they are building on their generosity and have created the Ben and Fusae Fujise Beekeeping Endowed Scholarship. This is the first endowed scholarship established for this innovative program and will support undergraduate students at UH Hilo.
Recently, they joined UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi for a visit to Panaʻewa to see the UH Hilo beehive farm.
Their hands-on experience deepened their commitment to the program. Alison shared, “It is gratifying to be able to support this important program. We feel connected to this project through the personal updates we get from the students about the work they are doing, and by attending events where we meet some of the students and other donors.” Vincent added, “Lorna’s passionate leadership makes this one of the most attractive programs to gift to.”
“The Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong program is extremely grateful and appreciative for the generosity of the Shigekunis,” said Dr. Tsutsumi. She continued, “Their endowment will provide much needed financial support for students so that they can pursue their beekeeping interests and become active contributors to Hawai‘i's agricultural community. As an endowed fund, their gift will make a difference for Hawai‘i now and in the future.”