11-Year-Old Girl Turns Lemonade Recipe into a Bee-Saving Business
Meet Mikaila Ulmer, an 11-year-old entrepreneur from Texas who decided that she wanted to do something about the globe’s dwindling bee population. Since the late 1990s, beekeepers around the world have noticed a rapid decline in bee colonies due to bee-killing pesticides which are commonly used by large industrial farms to keep insects away from crops.
The widespread use of bee-killing pesticides poses a real threat to honeybees as well as other wild pollinators. This has the potential to gravely affect food production as a third of the world’s food depends on bee pollination. But Makaila wanted to do her bit to save the bees, so she created a lemonade business called BeeSweet which donates 10% of its proceeds to international groups working to protect the pollinators.
“I can do something really big in this world,” says the eleven-year-old who’s on a mission to educate families about how to save the bees because she believes that “it needs to be done.” Saving the bees is fortunately something that Mikaila is very passionate about. She explains, “they are one of the largest pollinators . . . The bees contribute over fifteen billion dollars to the U.S economy a year. Helping the bees saves us a lot of money.”
In 2015, Mikaila addressed a panel of potential investors and managed to convince Fubu CEO Daymond John to invest $60,000 in BeeSweet. She later entered in a contract with Whole Foods to sell her products in stores across America. Right now, Mikaila is working on developing new flavours of lemonade, and inspiring her peers to start their own businesses.
BeeSweet was renamed “Me & The Bees Lemonade” in April this year to incorporate a wider range of products that can help save the bees including honey, clothes, lotion and lunch boxes.
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Visit meandthebees.com to learn more.