Thompson Rivers University

Students give bees a chance

April 26, 2017

Two thirds of Beez Pleez: Brayden Hearne and Kolby Klassen

Companies like TOMS and tentree have proven that consumers will support a product which gives back. In the case of TOMS, a pair of shoes bought, equals a pair given to a child in need. Tentree plants ten trees for every purchase.

This business model has been adopted by current Master of Business Administration student Brayden Hearne, along with Bachelor of Business Administration student Kolby Klassen and Brayden’s younger brother Jaylen.

They’ve just launched Beez Pleez, a company that aims to address the current bee crisis.

Their mission is to increase bee populations and improve the local ecosystem, while providing a natural product. The trio contributes 20 bees to regional bee farms for each product purchased.

Brayden has done his research and explains why this company was started out of necessity.

“84% of crops grown for human consumption—around 400 different types of plants—need bees and other insects to pollinate them to increase their yields and quality. Annual global crop pollination by bees is estimated to be worth $170 billion USD. There has been widespread death of honeybees in the US, where 40% of colonies are still dying each year.”

In the short term, they hope to run a successful Kickstarter campaign to increase awareness and spread the message. They’re looking to manufacture more of their natural beeswax candles and are working to get into retail stores.

They have also started 1 Million Bee Project, aiming to contribute 1,000,000 honeybees to local bee farms.

Their long-term goal is to run a sustainable bee farm, as their current location in Kamloops, BC can house up to 100 bee hives and 100,000 bees.

Brayden and Klassen attribute their ability to launch this project to the skills they gained in the School of Business and Economics.

“The BBA at TRU is a great program to get an introduction to the business world. Both of us are economics majors and we agree that the thorough understanding of economics concepts has really helped. Marketing and finance have definitely contributed to the way we operate Beez Pleez, as we have drawn much of our knowledge from those classes,” said Klassen who is graduating this spring.

“The MBA program included several group projects which improved my communication and team management skills. I have absolutely benefited from project management with Nancy Southin. I’ve gained real insight into large projects and how to implement them,” said Brayden who earned his BBA at TRU and will be completing his MBA in 2018.

Brayden also earned his Leadership in Environmental Sustainability certificate at TRU which he attributes to helping him find his passion and discovering who he wanted to be as a business individual.

“We needed to create an ePortfolio to identify what we have contributed to the environment in terms of academics and real life scenarios. In doing this, I realized how much I care about environmental sustainability, and realized I wanted to pursue a career that would impact the planet in a positive way.”

The youngest Hearne plans on attending TRU in 2019, as he is currently nearing the end of grade 11. He has a passion for business and is a salesman at heart. Every summer he goes diving for golf balls in the Penticton Chanel which he sells back to golfers.

“He works so hard and I am really proud of him. I look forward to continuing a close business relationship with him in the future,” said Brayden.

“I’m excited for Jaylen to experience the TRU atmosphere. Being a writing tutor, learning innovation fellow and participating in intramural sports were highlights during my past five years here.”

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