As founder and CEO of the wellness brand Beekeeper’s Naturals, Carly Stein’s mission is to improve the health of humans and bees alike, which is why she left her job on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs to launch Beekeeper’s Naturals full-time in 2016.
As a beekeeper and a tireless advocate for the preservation of the waning global bee population, Carly is dedicated to using her company as a platform to make a difference and raise awareness for the bee cause. Carly was recently recognized as a game-changing entrepreneur on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Rather than relying on conventional junk like refined sugars and artificial ingredients, Beekeeper’s Naturals’ potent nutraceuticals are made from plant extracts and powerful remedies from the beehive—like royal jelly, propolis, and bee pollen. To make the most out of what nature has to offer, Carly and her team use scientific rigor to craft the highest quality solutions to everyday health issues—like brain fog, low energy, and scratchy throats.
How did you come to create Beekeeper’s Naturals?
I never intended to start a company. Beekeeper’s Naturals grew organically out of my search for a solution to my own health issues.
After years of struggling with chronic tonsillitis and an autoimmune condition that made me allergic to most antibiotics, I discovered bee propolis. Propolis is this incredible natural bee product that the bees create to protect the health of the hive. It contains hundreds of beneficial compounds and has powerful germ-fighting properties.
After taking propolis for a couple of weeks, for the first time in my life I started feeling better. I finally stopped getting sore throats all the time and actually started feeling good. It was life changing.
Before discovering propolis, I had experienced firsthand how limited the medicine cabinet is. Most remedies are full of refined sugars, nasty chemicals that come with side effects, and synthetic ingredients that can slow down healing. I knew I wanted to create cleaner, science-based solutions for people like me; people who want to feel better but don’t feel comfortable taking products full of dirty ingredients. And so, Beekeeper’s Naturals was born.
How do you source your products?
When I launched Beekeeper’s Naturals, I knew I wanted us to do things the right way. Honey bee populations (and bees in general) have been on the decline for years. I want to do everything in my power to help save them, so I decided to make sustainability and sustainable beekeeping a hallmark of our company.
Sustainable beekeeping means we never over-harvest from our hives and we never feed our bees anything but their own products. At BKN, we exclusively partner with small scale, remote apiaries and sustainability-minded beekeepers to ensure that our bees are treated well and that their health and happiness always comes first.
Bees can also forage up to 5 miles from their hive, which is why we also make sure that our bees can forage freely without fear of pesticides for a full 5 mile radius surrounding our apiaries. We also commit to third party pesticide testing to make extra certain that no nasty chemicals are hurting our hives or tainting our remedies.
I love that you say that your line marries science and nature to create medicine you can trust! What’s your favorite example of this?
So excited to hear that! I am a big believer in using research, testing, and scientific rigor to unleash the full powers Mother Nature has to offer.
Our Propolis Throat Spray is our daily immune support and throat soothing solution, and it is the perfect example of this. It contains just three clean ingredients: bee propolis extract, vegetable glycerin (a cleaner solvent than alcohol), and water. While the ingredient list is deceptively simple, it packs a powerful punch—thanks to science. We spent a long time diving into research, consulting scientists, and obsessively testing our Propolis Spray to make sure it is pure, potent, and can be utilized by the body to work its natural magic.
I know many people have never heard of propolis before, so here’s a brief intro. Propolis is not honey. It’s a protective bee product made from plant & tree resins. People have been using propolis as a natural medicinal ingredient for millennia—for good reason. Research has shown that it has natural germ-fighting, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It’s really this incredible substance and is one of the most powerful natural immune supporters on the planet. It gives me so much joy to be able to share this amazing bee product with those who can benefit from it.
What do you hope that your customers receive by working with this new perspective of the medicine cabinet?
I hope that people will start questioning why there are so many unhealthy ingredients in their medicine cabinet staples. So many OTC products contain dirty chemicals that have no place in our medicines—from artificial dyes and preservatives to refined sugars and dirty chemicals. These ingredients come with long term drawbacks and simply don’t support health or recovery. (Some of these ingredients may even slow down the healing process.) And yet, most of us still use these products because there has never been a better option widely available.
That’s why we are working hard to be that option. By creating health solutions that are mindfully formulated, powered by nature, and free of dirty ingredients, our mission is to be a source of everyday support that people can trust. As we continue to merge the best of nature and science, I hope people will begin to realize that it is possible to make clean solutions for scratchy throats, brain fog, and low energy that actually work.
What’s some of the best advice you ever received?
Adopt a growth mindset. Don’t let failure (or fear of failure) hold you back. You will fail, and that’s a good thing. It’s how we learn, how we evolve, and how we learn to make things that are truly incredible. Consider failure a lesson and an opportunity to build your resilience muscle. This is the thing that will most serve you as you build your career and grow personally.
If people want to help in your mission to save the bees, how can they support you?
You can support sustainable beekeeping and your immune health by trying our Propolis Spray—which you can get online at The Alchemist’s Kitchen! We also donate 10% of the profits from our apparel line to leading bee research organizations (like the UC Davis Bee Research Facility). We have some amazing Save the Bees hats, tote bags, and water bottles—plus some really cute tees coming soon. To grab those and try our other clean health solutions, head over to our website!