Earlier this month the Associated Press reported Kona coffee growers on Hawaii's big island were worried about their beans.Beetles were boring into the beans. Hawaii is the nation's only coffee-producing region and their signature bean was being threatened by a bug.
The beetle is a Hypothenemus hampei native to Africa and is about the size of a sesame seed. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service production rates have been dropping over the last few years. Last year the farmers in North and South Kona produced 7.9 million pounds of coffee, down from 10 million in 2000.
Only growers in North and South Kona can sell coffee labelled as "Kona." To save the crop and provide consumers with their kona coffee 60 farmers are preparing to coat their crops with a pesticide in hope of subduing the hungry beetles.
This process is expensive and farmers are already losing part of their products that were infested with beetles. For all of the kona coffee lovers out there, let's hope the farmers can make a treaty with the beetles and continue producing the kona coffee they are known for.