The startup Bee-io introduced the world’s first cultivated honey

Did you know that the main purpose of honey is to provide carbohydrates and other vital elements such as amino acids, antioxidants and natural antibiotics for bees? In fact, many vegans avoid honey because industrial honey production may be harmful to bees. Many vegans do not differentiate between beekeeping and other categories of animal husbandry. Many commercial beekeepers use methods that are unethical by vegan standards in order to maximize their income. Vegans choose to protest these exploitative practices by rejecting honey and other bee products, including honeycomb, bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis.

However, the team at Bee-io Honey, a business founded in 2021, has turned this around by producing processed honey. Their herbal honey is produced in a laboratory at the Rehovot Science Park using bee protein and organic plant nectar. Read on to learn more about this amazing golden syrup.

The need for herbal honey

The antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of honey make it an excellent source of many nutritional components such as vitamins, minerals, calcium and antioxidants. Food and cosmetic products containing honey, such as sweeteners and serums, are also in high demand, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the seven bee species now attracting attention from pollinators have a lot of work to do as a result. Additionally, as these species are decimated by pesticides, disease, and climate change, it becomes more challenging to replace their populations with the remaining bee species. Hence, herbal honey is the need of the day.

The unique concept of Bee-io Honey

According to Ofir Devash, CEO of this innovative startup, cultivated honey does not contain antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals or poisons. Eliminates the need to use bees while enabling on-demand production independent of time of year, weather or climate change! After merging with Shell Whitestone, the business has been trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since May under the name BHNY with a market capitalization of $11 million. Bee-io currently holds six US patents related to various processes and technologies being developed in honey.

An insight into their innovative process

In addition to successfully conducting a trial that demonstrated the antibacterial properties of the protein, Bee-io was successful in producing cultured royal jelly protein in a precision fermentation process using a bioreactor as a primary or mass production step. They developed a truly special technology that enables them to replicate the process of producing real honey. According to Doash, they don’t need to use bees because they can make proteins in microbes using fermentation techniques and bioreactors.

Bees that visit flowers and consume their nectar have a unique stomach that produces enzymes in the body before placing them in the stomach with the nectar. By breaking down various sugars, honey is produced, which then brings the bee back into the hive. In order to create a product that closely resembles real honey, they recreate this process [with plant nectar and protein from bees].

Dash adds:

The nectar content in the blossoms of the coffee plant is incredibly low. And only a few places are used to grow coffee. As a result, not much coffee honey is produced. Nature cannot create enough even if it tries. With the help of our technologies, we can offer exotic honey to the public at a reasonable price. We remove the negative qualities currently found in the natural honey we buy from supermarkets, so our honey only has positive aspects.

We have a variety of plants and flowers that we can pick from, and we can produce honey without the use of pesticides, antibiotics, or botulism, according to Davash. The goal is to introduce a variety of honey products, such as lavender honey, Camila honey, and even coffee-flavored honey, to their store.