Bee Venom a new alternative Profit stream for Australian Beekeepers
New Brisbane startup making a big difference for struggling beekeepers.
James kenny and James Watts
Whale Labs, Australia started in November 2017, is an innovative research and development company that focuses on bringing new novel designs to life. Comprising of a team of talented individuals, Whale Labs is constantly branching out and exploring new innovative ways to help our clients reach their goals.
Address: 50 PO Box Sandgate 4017 QLD
Phone Number: 0450929843
Australian Bee Venom Collector Being a beekeeper in todays climate is challenging. The sheer amount of work involved in maintaining a healthy hive which can produce a profitable amount of honey is often exhausting. Currently,the main sources of income for professional beekeepers are honey followed by wax production and breeding.
One of Whale Labs founders, also a budding beekeeper, wanted to explore potential alternative income streams. The goal was to create extra profitability from a hive without providing significant extra workload or impeding on the hives effectiveness. He realised that the collection of bee venom,known as apitoxin, was a virtually untapped market within Australia. Apitoxin has proven to have many medical benefits as well as potentially new cures and treatments to known diseases such as dementia and HIV.
Historically, collecting bee venom proved fatal to bees. The traditional method was forcing them to sting a rubber mat - injecting their venom, ripping off their stinger and killing the bee in the process, much like what happens when a bee stings a human. This process is not only unprofitable due to the incredible amount of bee death, but also detrimental to the environment, as it removes productive bees from the ecosystem.
Later innovations realised that bee venom could be collected through providing a small electrical charge to the bees, causing them to enter the defend hive mode, and getting them to sting a glass plate. This causes them to deposit a portion of their venom onto the glass, while generally leaving the bee unharmed in the process. There are some commercially available models following this system available internationally, however, their process does cause a small amount of bee death due to voltages too high for a bee to withstand.
Whale Labs has innovated on this process with its own bee venom collector, which through its countless hours of testing has not resulted in a single bee death. The collector is placed at the entrance to a hive, switched on and left on for however long the beekeeper wants to collect venom for. The collector causes minimal agitation to the bees - which, while it results in them depositing less venom, causes them far less stress and allows the collector to be left on for several hours while the beekeeper is doing other things, perfect for hobbyist and professional alike.
The Whale Labs bee venom collector is also the only available device currently made solely within Australia, suited to the Australian climate. It is hand-assembled in Brisbane from quality suppliers,and available at a cost which is easily recouped through the value of the bee venom collected. Bee venom, depending on its quality and its end use (cosmetic, pharmaceutical, etc.) can fetch prices of $50-300 per gram, which can be collected within a few days from each individual hive.
Whale Labs is also currently working on a range of soaps, cleansers and masks containing bee venom, which it aims to have on the market shortly.