''Live and Let Live'
I've grown up with the principles of 'live and let live' to value every life no matter how small. So, when I took a trip down to Northern Connecticut with my family to see a beekeeper 'cleaning out his hives,' I realized that meant taking piles of dead bees that didn't make it through the winter, and throwing them into the bushes.
I still relive this moment sometimes and left that farm with a purpose. To save our bees. I joined my high school science research program and conducted a study on eliminating varroa mite infestations from honeybee hives, the root cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), using a 3-d printed thymol-coated entranceway. I set up an experimental hive in my backyard and although this wasn't the sole purpose, I used to take raw honey and royal jelly straight from the hive, and mix it with ginger and turmeric to create an elixir immunity shot, a recipe passed down from my grandmother.
Little by little...
When my beehive died from CCD and I couldn't create the elixir shot anymore, I looked to the market for similar products but wasn't able to find anything that was good-for-you and tasted good too. During this time, Covid hit and the lab shut down, halting all experiments.
This is when I started questioning why it was just beekeepers who have the power to make an positive impact on our bee population, shouldn't everyone be able to make a difference?
As a string of sequence would have it, I thought what if I commercialize this health and wellness shot providing good-for-you supplements to consumers, and in an effort to save the bees and restore our environment, a pollinator tree is planted for every bottle sold.
We've partnered with an organization where in Sub-Saharan Africa, unemployed farmers are taught to plant and nurture agricultural trees to create a 'gardens of life.' This not only helps the environment and the local economy, but also provides a stable income to the farmers and their families.
I don't want to be always be known as the girl who saves the bees, because I hope at one point they don't need to be saved anymore. But for now, I will proudly hold this title.
I want to prove that sustainability and profit are not mutually exclusive and that although it may not be an easy journey, I know it's possible with your support.
Raina ~ Queen Bee Founder and CEO