Washington Teen Starts Sweet and Spicy Business to Benefit Bees!
15-year-old entrepeneur Henry Miller is living proof that young people can accomplish big things.
Before he hit middle school, Henry was already CEO of his own company and had a presence in supermarkets across the United States. It all started with a plane trip and a bee hive.
"It all happened one day when me and my mom got on a plane and sat next to this bee farmer," Henry writes on his website, HenrysHumdingers.com. "He talked about helping bees and the dreadful hive collapse disorder."
Colony collapse disorder occurs when the worker bees in a hive disappear suddenly. It was first reported in the U.S. in 2006, with the disappearance of large numbers of honey bee colonies.
Though explanations for the disorder range from mites and diseases to environmental change and pesticides, no one is sure what causes this kind of collapse.
The bee farmer told Henry that humans couldn't live for seven years if bees were to disappear, and went on to explain that bees are responsible for pollinating all of the plants people consume, from corn to wheat to tomatoes.
This scared Henry. He felt he had to do something about the nasty things that were happening to bees.
"I thought that was horrible," Henry said. "By the end of the flight I convinced my mom to get me a beehive for my 12th birthday."
She did. Immediately Henry started cultivating the honey.
He donated the honey to The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, with the money going toward research to help stop colony collapse disorder.
As he collected more and more honey, he realized he could do more with it than simple donations.
"We had so much honey we didn't know what to do with it," Henry said. "We started mixing spices with it to change it up.
He created a brand of raw honey full of delicious spices, called "Henry's Humdingers."
Raw honey differs from most bottled honey because it's not watered-down and comes straight from the beehive.
His spicy concoctions are named after his family members. The raw honey comes in flavors Grumpy Grandpa, Naughty Nana, and Phoebe's Fireball, named after Henry's cousin Phoebe.
From the beginning, Henry's goal was to benefit the bees.
"We donate a portion of the profits to go to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees to help find a cause and a solution for colony collapse disorder," Henry said.
Henry's business started small, but word of mouth spread and soon it transformed from his stand on the side of the road to a nationwide presence. Today, the honey he makes on his farm in Washington state are available in supermarkets in 31 states and Washington D.C.