Here's What Happened To Bee Sweet Lemonade After Shark Tank

Many people have spent at least one childhood summer selling quarter-a-cup lemonade in their front yard. The number of people who turned that childhood hobby into a full-scale business is probably pretty small, but at just 4 years old, Mikaila Ulmer sought to do exactly that. Her determination resulted in Me & the Bees Lemonade, formerly known as Bee Sweet Lemonade.

Ulmer's family encouraged her to enter several competitions for young entrepreneurs, so she went to the drawing board. On her company's website, she says that two major events happened in one week: She was stung by a bee twice, and her Great Granny Helen sent her a 1940s cookbook with her favorite flaxseed lemonade recipe. The bee stings led Ulmer to research bee's profound impact on the environment as pollinators, and the cookbook gave her an idea for a product: a honey-flavored flaxseed lemonade.

Ulmer and her father, Theo Ulmer, appeared on Season 6, Episode 23 of "Shark Tank" to acquire a new wave of investment in their company and help them expand throughout the southwest region. Young Mikaila Ulmer, who was just 9 at the time of filming, impressed the judges right away with her poise, confidence, and business know-how, and her father and business partner knew the numbers backward and forward — but as fans of the show know, no "Shark Tank" pitch is ever straightforward.

What happened to Bee Sweet Lemonade on Shark Tank?

Mikaila began her pitch by explaining that she was seeking an investment of $60,000 for a 10% stake in her company. She then explained that her lemonade has health benefits since it's made with flaxseed and is, as she described, "honeybee-sweetened." As such, the lemonade is meant to be a less-sugary, better-for-you beverage alternative. Theo Ulmer went on to say that at the time of filming, they had already been in business for 4½ years and had year-to-date sales of $25,000.

Kevin O'Leary noted that the price point of about $2.50-$3.00 for a bottle of lemonade seemed steep and remarked that the premium beverage industry is extremely competitive. O'Leary and Marc Cuban ultimately decided they were out because, while they were impressed with Mikaila's business prowess, they wanted to work with a CEO who wasn't still in school for the foreseeable future. Robert Herjavec stated that he was out due to competition for shelf space at the store level. Lori Greiner bowed out as she was allergic to lemonade but complimented the company's logo and Mikaila's potential.

Finally, Daymond John said he was unfamiliar with the beverage space but wanted to take a chance on the young entrepreneur, offering $60,000 for a 25% stake in the company, on the condition that his distributor connection could stock the product.

Bee Sweet Lemonade after Shark Tank

Evidently, the deal with John must have worked out; after the "Shark Tank" episode aired, the company continued to grow, and Mikaila has cited John's investment and mentorship as a reason for that success. Perhaps the most obvious change following the company's "Shark Tank" appearance is that the company had to switch names due to a copyright issue and took on the new moniker Me & the Bees. Despite this alteration, the branding remained very similar.

In terms of product, the company first offered the classic variety, ½ and ½ (half iced tea, half lemonade), ginger, prickly pear, and mint; the only major changes since are that the iced tea version is no longer available, and a black cherry flavor was added to the roster. Though flaxseed and honey were toted as the product's unique ingredients upon its release, monk fruit sweetener is now also a featured recipe addition.

Me & The Bees expanded its product line to sell more than just lemonade, launching a small merch line of branded shirts, hats, tote bags, stickers, and more.  After the show, Mikaila appeared on several television programs, including a spot on "Today" with Megyn Kelly during a segment called "Teen Titans." In 2020, Mikaila authored and released a book titled "Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid," in which she shared her experience as a young entrepreneur. The book is for sale through the Me & The Bees website. 

Is Bee Sweet Lemonade still in business?

In 2023, Mikaila appeared on Season 14, Episode 17 of the show to provide an update on Mee & the Bees, one of the most memorable "Shark Tank" food companies. At the time of the original episode's filming, the lemonade was in just 30 Whole Foods stores around Austin, Texas, where the brand was founded, and it had just $40,000 in sales; at the time of the update, the company had made $10.2 million in sales (via Black Dollar Magazine). Its products can also be found across North America at several retailers, such as Target, Kroger, World Market, and Ralphs. Unfortunately, it's still not possible to buy the actual beverages through the website on a direct-to-consumer basis.

Not only did Me & The Bees' profits explode — its mission seemingly evolved, as well. The original "Shark Tank" episode emphasized that the lemonade was health-conscious and was made with natural honey, and though the company always put some of its profits toward bee conservation, this environmentally friendly concept has come to the forefront of the company's branding thanks to the establishment of the Healthy Hive Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Mikaila herself. Now, a portion of the company's profits are diverted into this organization, which is devoted to bee conservation and research, giving Me & The Bees its slogan, "Buy a bottle, save a bee." The company has currently contributed $250,000 to bee conservation causes.

What's next for Bee Sweet Lemonade?

At just 18 years old, Mikaila is an author, CEO, and non-profit founder, so when it comes to what's next for her and her company, it seems there's no real limit. Daymond John, "Shark Tank" judge, investor, and mentor to Mikaila Daymond, agrees. During Mikaila's update segment on "Shark Tank," John said, "Mikaila has the DNA of an entrepreneur. She's created such a brand, and I don't see any end to her success."

As of late 2023, Mikaila is enrolled at Emory University and is studying business administration. Mikaila continues to speak on panels at various conferences and workshops about her passion for both entrepreneurship and bee conservation. Mikaila also dreams of expanding her reach beyond Me & The Bees, saying, "My dream is to use my experience growing Me and The Bees to fund other youth and minority-owned businesses; sounds like I need to be a Shark!"

While her company's full line of lemonade products isn't available for purchase through the website, the company did have a special-edition "Shark Tank" reunion box that included six bottles of its black cherry and prickly pear lemonades, as well as various other merchandise, so the company may expand its e-commerce offerings in the future.