Natural Products Insider, 5/14/2014
Native to Europe, honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been introduced successfully to every continent except Antarctica. Many cultures revere honeybees more than we do in North America. Consequently, the export market for most bee products is larger than the domestic market. Asian countries, including Singapore and the Philippines, widely regard bee products as promoting superior health. These countries understand that bees are phytochemical experts. Bees have had millions of years to determine which plants in which areas during which seasons provide the correct nutritional, medicinal, and construction materials for the hive to thrive. Humans simply take advantage of this.
I spoke with Bruce Brown, CEO of CC Pollen Co. in Phoenix, AZ.
“We’ve been exporting our products for 30 years and importing raw materials for 27 years,” Brown told me. “Currently exports (mainly Asia) are 75 percent of CC Pollen’s business, and they’ve been as high as 85 percent. Most companies in our industry don’t have brand-name identification. We were lucky that people from other countries found us. The story behind the beehive products and a charismatic owner/promoter all helped secure their business. The GMP program certification is a huge effort, but is necessary because markets such as Japan have stringent import requirements. We spend considerable funds to utilize a top-tier German testing laboratory with expertise in beehive products. Few other companies, if anybody else, in the U.S. does this…