The earth is powered by bees. Carly Klein wants you to be too.
Coalescing the powers of science and nature, Klein founded Beekeeper’s Naturals to offer the chance at a cleaner medicine cabinet. The health and wellness brand features natural, effective remedies derived from beehives that power the immune and sinus systems, brain and gut.
As of late 2022, Beekeeper’s Naturals is the No. 1 brand on Amazon in the cold and flu category and has sold more than 1.5 million bottles of its Propolis Throat Spray.
Propolis is what started it all for Klein. After a lifetime of struggling with her health, she came down with a bad case of tonsillitis while studying abroad in Italy. There, a pharmacist recommended propolis— which bees use to safeguard their hives— and within a few days, her symptoms cleared. For the first time in more than two decades, Klein felt in control of her health.
Inspired, Klein returned from Italy to Canada and began making her own bee products.
Eventually, Klein, who studied biochemistry at university, left her job as a Goldman Sachs trader to launch Beekeeper’s Naturals.
“We're so focused on really modernizing medicine, reinventing the medicine cabinet and really bridging the gap between the world of wellness and the world of OTC (over-the-counter) pharmaceutical science,” Klein tells Modern Luxury. “The modern consumer wants a cleaner ingredient profile, they want sustainable ingredients, but they need it to work.”
The availability of Beekeeper’s Naturals products could not have come at a better time. More than a 100 million people in the U.S. experience various types of allergies every year according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which is in part further complicated by the fact that climate change is lengthening and intensifying allergy season as explained in a recent report by Climate Central, a policy-neutral non-profit organization made up of independent scientists.
In particular, Californians will be hard hit this year after experiencing unusually heavy rains. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, hay fever season could last for at least half the year. “It has been a crazy winter with a lot more rain than we usually see,” Dr. Fonda Jiang, an allergist-immunologist at the Beach Allergy and Asthma Specialty Group, told the Times. “So, we expect the pollen count this year to be robust, with more people experiencing symptoms as a result.”
The Beekeeper’s Naturals lineup of products are fitting when dealing with allergies, among other issues. The Nasal Spray helps clear nasal congestion and moisturizes the nasal passage, while the Propolis Throat Spray and Elderberry Soothing Lozenges soothe scratchy throats. For an immune system supercharge, the Liposomal packs deliver a hearty dose of Vitamin C and propolis, which itself is packed with antioxidants, zinc, iron B vitamins and over 300 other beneficial compounds. There’s also the Superfood Honey made of raw, enzymatic honey infused with royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis that improves energy levels and cognitive function.
“We want to simplify things for our customers,” Klein says. “[On our] medical advisory board, we have MDs, pediatricians and Western-trained physicians, but we also have acupuncturists and naturopaths. Our goal when we're bringing a product to market is always, ‘Can we get all of these different voices in the room with these different training styles and perspectives to agree tha, bar none, this is just the best formula?’ And so we're just very intentional about that. I think there's so much on the market, and we don't want to bring anything out there unless we know that it is the best thing possible for our customers.”
Another Beekeeper’s Naturals goal is “to go toe-to-toe with the classic pharmaceuticals.” As one example, Klein points out their cough syrup. She read a study about how buckwheat honey was shown to be just as effective as dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in most over-the-counter cough syrups. “Why would you ever give a kid, or an adult for that matter, dextro when you can get the job done just as effectively with buckwheat,” she remembers wondering.
The Beekeeper’s Natural Nighttime Propolis Cough Syrup (there are also options for daytime and kids) is—in addition to propolis— primarily made of buckwheat honey, melatonin L-theanine and lemon balm, elderberry fruit and grape seed extract.
“We really wanted to put together the ultimate cough syrup,” Klein says. “And it's also cool because it's using all natural ingredients, it's safe to use really regularly. Our nighttime cough syrup, it has melatonin and L-theanine in it. I take that before bed now. I'm using that all the time.”
The use of natural ingredients is matched by Beekeeper’s Naturals’ sustainable sourcing of beehive-derived ingredients, like propolis, royal jelly, honey and pollen. Setting up in pesticide-free zones, their apiaries (a collection of hives) can be found around the world in the likes of Canada and Brazil.
“We treat the bees with the love and care to really support their health and nourish them,” Klein says. “We can change the trend lines, we can support their populations. And so something that's built into the DNA of this brand is as we grow and scale, we need to create more apiary space. And as we're setting up these sustainable apiary areas all over the world, we're creating more habitats for the bees. So it's a beautiful model that ensures that as we scale, we're creating something good on the planet.”
Not only is Beekeeper’s Natural mindful of bees, it's especially mindful of its loyal community. It always looks to customers for product evolution, just like with the nasal spray.
Klein came to learn how “diehard” and “passionate” people are about their nasal spray of choice.
With a propolis and xylitol base, the classic formula nasal spray clears nasal congestion. And always leveling up, Beekeeper’s Naturals now offers a version with eucalyptus and oregano, which benefits anyone struggling with severe allergies, mold toxicity or chronic inflammation.
While Stein encourages everyone to check with their doctor to make sure certain products are right for them, she emphasizes how the autoimmune community champions her brand. Customers who deal with chronic Lyme’s disease, mold poisoning, Hashimoto’s disease and more have found relief upon discovery of Beekeeper’s Naturals.
“A lot of the time, our customers come to us and they're like, ‘Hey, I've tried everything. I've been on these pharmaceuticals that weren't right for my body. I'm at my wit's end,’” she says. “We get to have a really beautiful dialogue with them. We've become the source for people with these challenging concerns, and we really pride ourselves on making something that's suitable for even the most sensitive system.”
Stein points out her own experience with an autoimmune condition, noting how antibiotics and conventional cures are not suitable for her body. “When I found propolis, when I found something that stabilized my immune system and helped my body to regulate, my health dramatically changed. And propolis isn't new. The first recorded use of propolis dates back to 300 BC. In the 17th century, it was listed in the London Pharmacopoeia as an official drug. A lot of people refer to propolis as the OG antibiotic. So humans have a really long healing history with these compounds. And what we're doing at Beekeeper’s Naturals is we're just trying to bring them back, and we're trying to bring them back in formats that fit into the modern person's lifestyle.”
Photography by: Courtesy of Beekeeper's Naturals