You may be surprised to learn that Me & the Bees CEO, Mikaila Ulmer, is only 16 years old. That’s because her journey with Me & the Bees began before she hit kindergarten!
When Mikaila was just four, she got stung by two bees in one week. This led her to fear bees, but it also sparked her curiosity about them: Why do bees sting? How do they make honey? Where do they live?
Not one to let a couple little stings set her back, Mikaila began learning everything she could about bees, including how vital they are to our food systems and the danger they face at the hands of humans.
Mikaila came up with the idea to use her great-grandmother Helen’s flaxseed lemonade recipe and give it a bee-centric twist by using honey to sweeten her drink instead of just sugar.
As Mikaila grew older, her bee obsession only grew deeper. When her family members encouraged her to enter a children’s business fair, the idea for Me & the Bees truly came to life. Mikaila came up with the idea to use her great-grandmother Helen’s flaxseed lemonade recipe and give it a bee-centric twist by using honey to sweeten her drink instead of just sugar. She also dedicated a portion of all her lemonade proceeds to organizations committed to bee preservation.
Needless to say, people loved Mikaila’s lemonade! Folks started inquiring about where they could buy it locally, so Mikaila and her mother set about figuring out how to bottle and label her product. Not long after, when Mikaila was only eight, she fulfilled her first big Me & the Bees wholesale order.
Today you can find Me & the Bees lemonade varieties nationwide, including on Co-op shelves! Currently, Mikaila is an active high school student who has received numerous awards recognizing her work with bees. She recently established the Healthy Hive Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to protecting pollinators.