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

Childhood entrepreneurialism generally doesn't last much past the teenage years, but Mikaila Ulmer has taken that spirit and run with it. When she was four, she was stung twice in one week by honeybees. Instead of fearing them, she learned more about honeybees and how integral they are to the environment. Encouraged by her parents to enter a youth entrepreneur fair in their hometown of Austin, Texas, Ulmer decided to adapt her great-grandmother's flaxseed lemonade recipe to use honey from local bees. Her lemonade was such a hit that she started selling her lemonade in front of her home — all the while donating part of her proceeds to help save the bees (via Me & the Bees Lemonade).

The lemonade became so popular they were selling the drink in various locales and restaurants around Austin, like Quickie Pickie and Whole Foods Markets. Mikaila and her father, Theophilus Ulmer, appeared on Season 6, Episode 23 of "Shark Tank," seeking $60,000 for a 10% stake in Bee Sweet Lemonade.

Saving the bees, one bottle of lemonade at a time

The sharks were impressed with Mikaila Ulmer's composure, who was 10 years old at the time of filming. The company had generated a little over $25,000 in sales the previous year. After their presentation, the negotiations started. Most of the sharks dropped out for several reasons such as premium prices, the beverage market being competitive, and intolerance for lemonade. But Shark Daymond John stepped in. Ulmer and her dad ended up striking a deal at $60,000 for 25%, but only if John's distributor on the East Coast could get stores to pick it up (via Shark Tank Blog).

Now, Ulmer is 18 years old and one of the most successful young CEOs in the country. She struck a multi-million dollar deal with Whole Foods (via Insider), met then-President Barack Obama (YouTube), and has published a book (Me & the Bees). The company rebranded to Me & and the Bees due to copyright issues, according to Me & the Bees Lemonade, but you can find the honey-spiked drink at retailers and grocery shops like Kroger, Publix, and Costco. As of June 2022, the company revenues $5 million annually, according to the Shark Tank Blog.

The company is trying to save honeybees.

When you buy a bottle of Me & the Bees Lemonade, a percentage of the profits is donated to help save the bees – 10% of all profits, actually (via Beverage Industry). Mikaila Ulmer began donating some of her profits to organizations that save bees when she was still selling lemonade in front of her house. Her motto is, "Buy a bottle ... save a bee." 

As the company grew, Mikaila wanted to do more for the bees. She founded a non-profit called The Healthy Hive Foundation. The mission of the foundation is "to save all bees through education, research, and protection." Honeybees are a keystone species that have been vanishing (NRDC). 

More than 30% of commercial honeybees in the U.S. "have been lost due to the use of insecticide, climate change, loss of habitat, and a decrease in plant diversity" (via The Healthy Hive Foundation). Without bees, we would lose many of the major crops that feed 90% of the world (via BBC). The money raised through The Healthy Hive Foundation is used to support beekeepers and fund scientific research to ensure the honeybees survive and thrive.