Honeydrop Tea: Buy a bottle, save a bee!
Honey is a great way to sweeten teas. It’s natural, delicious, and a great alternative to the high-fructose corn syrup that dominates supermarket shelves. Honeydrop figured this out in 2009 and started selling a line of teas and juices sweetened with a spoonful of honey in every bottle.
However, the source of all this honey, bees, is in danger. Honeydrop isn’t just sitting by and letting the diminishing bee population threaten the environment and its business model. Its Buy a Bottle — Save a Bee initiative dedicates a portion of its proceeds from every sale to help local beekeepers maintain the honey bee population.
Honeydrop is a company that’s truly aligned their business strategy with the cause they are trying to champion.
Honeydrop makes simple, honey-sweetened teas. They come in six different flavors and, from our experience, are all delicious. They aren’t the unbearably sweet teas many of us are used to (talking to you Snapple!) and not incredibly bland like some of the sugarless teas out there. Honeydrop also advertises that their honey teas include some great benefits:1
- Honey naturally contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Honey provides long-lasting, sustained energy
- Honey is used by athletes to restore tired and damaged muscles after an intense workout
- Honey strengthens the immune system
- Honey is clinically proven to soothe sore throats in children better than over-the-counter cough medicines
Their Peach Tea is particularly good, with 20mg of caffeine and just the right smidgen of peach juice, it’s a great pick-me up beverage. Now, consider that Honeydrop’s Peach Tea has 36 percent less sugar than the Snapple equivalent and 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C, and it’s easy to see how awesome these teas can be. We also really enjoyed the Blood Orange and Lemon Ginger flavors.
Now, we do have a con to list off about Honeydrop’s teas. We noticed that Stevia Leaf Extract is the last ingredient in five out of the six flavors Honeydrop offers. Only its Blood Orange tea skips the use of stevia sweetener. Obviously, its inclusion did not dilute the great taste of the tea and its up to you to decide how much it will affect your purchasing decision.
It is easy to forget how fragile ecosystems can be. Take for instance the honey bee. According to a 2010 study by the United Nations Environment Programme, the honeybee population in North America has dropped from 5.5 million during their peak in the 1950s to 2.5 million in a 2007 count. These declines have continued and have expanded to more and more countries.2 So why are the bees diminishing? Well, it seems to be a variety of issues, ranging from invasive species such as the parasitic mite Varroa destructor to harmful agricultural practices such as the pervasive use of insecticide. This multi-factor source of problems has been coined by scientists as Colony Colllapse Disorder (CCD).
It gets worse than just the decline of the bees themselves. Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.3 Bees are a critical piece of the ecosystem, including the agricultural web that we are dependent upon. Bees aren’t out there just pollinating flowers, they are out there ensuring successful harvests and the ability for billions to put food on the dinner table.
Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.
The honeybee is also critical to the business model of Honeydrop. The company requires that bees are successful in order to continue providing the pure honey Honeydrop uses to sweeten their teas. They didn’t sit idly by and watch a core element of their product wither away; they decided to take action. In 2011, Honeydrop began the Buy a Bottle – Save a Bee initiative as a way to help the fight against Colony Collapse Disorder and support local beekeeping nationwide.
They donate a percentage of all proceeds to local beekeeper partners working to battle Colony Collapse Disorder. Honeydrop requires that their beekeeper partners are active in their local communities and use their funds toward building new hives and educational programs. Here are some examples of the last few beekeepers Honeydrop and its customers have supported:
Andrew Coté — Bees Without Borders
Bees Without Borders helps empower people in the third world to become economically independent through the raising of bees and harvesting and selling honey and its by-products.
Bill Lewis — Bill's Bees
Bill’s hive is used, along with several others, to provide free beekeeping classes in connection with the Los Angeles Count Beekeepers Association.
Robert MacKimmie — City Bees
The students and teachers love the hives and have created a video system where the students can view the bees on a live feed. The school is even changing its logo to include bees!
We love a company that aligns its core business needs with its cause. Not only does it ensure the cause becomes embedded in the culture of the company, it also allows a company’s social mission to more naturally mature alongside its financial growth. Honeydrop is a great example of a self-aware operation that understands it does not operate its business in a vacuum. They have taken the issue of diminishing bee populations head-on and, in the process, continue to promote delicious products that enables their customers to make a difference.
- Buy some Honeydrop tea ($22 per 12-pack)
- Find a Honeydrop merchant near you
- Donate directly to Honeydrop’s Save the Bees campaign