Elevated Honey Co. started for the passion of beekeeping and the love of beekeepers that mutually existed between Katrina, Li Qing, and He Guoqing. Katrina arrived in Diqing Prefecture of China in 2010 to train farmers how to raise honeybees. She immediately fell in love with the beautiful mountain landscapes, the amazing culture of the local beekeepers, and the incredible Asian honey bees that work the flowers in the mountains. The hardworking local farmers she met had all been practicing traditional Asian beekeeping for generations.
After first arriving in a Lisu village, she could not speak any local language and did trainings by using her hands as a way to communicate with local beekeepers. She met a carpenter during her first village trainings named He Guoqing. He was interested in becoming a beekeeper, spoke all the local languages, and was able to build equipment for the project. He soon became integral to the project.
In 2012, Li Qing joined the training project, and in a remarkably short time fell in love with honey bees. She was fascinated by their social lives, the ability of such small insects to create such beneficial products, and the genetic traits that could be coaxed out of honey bees through queen breeding. She began working in earnest to become a master beekeeper and successfully became a skilled breeder and apiculturist.
After a few years of training farmers, it became clear to the trio that without a strong market connection, the project would not be successful. So, the three friends started Elevated Honey Co. with one big goal: To help beekeepers thrive in their villages by creating an efficient, connected, and transparent supply chain between rural producers and urban consumers. We are dedicated to producing 100% pure honey and test every batch we buy for adulteration.
We are also dedicated to preserving traditional beekeeping in China and throughout Asia. To do this we work hard to create strategies and technologies that work with traditional beekeepers’ time honored methods. We buy our honey from them at above market prices, and we invest more than half our profits back into our social mission to be certain that beekeeping is a respectable, profitable, and attractive profession for the rural people that we work with.
Katrina and He Guoqing eventually fell in love and got married after years of beekeeping together. They have an infant son they take with them around villages when working with beekeepers. Li Qing is also married to a local farmer and is an important part of their family unit, working in her husband’s village as well as advancing the honey company. The three friends are dedicated to offering their life’s work to the honey bees and beekeepers of South West China and broader Asia in general.