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TEDx Christchurch

Biofabricate Conference 2022 - New York 

News & Media

New Zealand’s Humble Bee Bio is using bees to create bioplastics

Humble Bee, which just raised $3.2 million (NZD $5 million) in convertible notes as part of its Series A, has been studying the Australian masked bee, a type of solitary bee that doesn’t make honey, but does make a nesting material for laying larvae in, which has many plastic-like properties.

Is this the technology to win Kiwis over to genetic engineering?

You’ve heard of fermenting yeast to make beer, but what about brewing GM microbes to make bioplastic? Using designer microbes to make stuff in fermentation vats has been described as the next manufacturing revolution, with potential to produce everything from cow-free cheese to sustainable fossil fuel replacements. But is GE-free New Zealand ready for it?

This humble Australian bee is helping to disrupt the plastics industry

It doesn't make honey, live in a hive or have yellow stripes, but the unassuming Australian masked bee holds the key to disrupting the trillion-dollar global plastics industry.

Could an Australian bee solve the world's plastic crisis?

Researchers believe an Australian bee which produces a “cellophane-like” material for its nests could help to end the world’s reliance on disposable plastics.

The Not-So-Humble Bee

Victoria University’s Professor Richard Furneaux, Director of the Ferrier Research Institute, and Professor Phil Lester from the School of Biological Sciences have worked with Humble Bee founder Veronica Harwood-Stevenson over the past year to take the first steps on the path to creating a viable bio-plastic product.

Elevator Pitch [Series]

In New Zealand, Colmar Brunton’s Better Futures 2017 research found that build-up of plastic in the environment is the fifth biggest concern Kiwis are facing. But Veronica Stevenson believes she may hold the key with her biotech start-up born out of Wellington, Humble Bee.

The amazing bees who make plastic, and the Kiwi making them into a business

A few years after studying science, but beginning a career in cosmetics, lingerie and film, today’s guest was reading a science journal for fun. A line about the properties of native bee-excreted nesting material caught her eye and made her wonder if it might make a good bioplastic. What for some might have been a quick musing, for Veronica Harwood-Stevenson became a mission and then company.

RNZ with Kim Hill

A bioplastic inspired by the substance a native Australian bee produces for nest-building could replace some regular plastic in textile, medical device and construction products.

Stuff / Dominion Post

Veronica Harwood-Stevenson stands quietly in Queensland bush, net poised. Amid the thrum of kamikaze giant bumblebees, assassin bugs that harpoon honeybees and electric-blue flying jewels, she's scanning for a tiny black bee with a gold badge on its back.

LinkedIn Pulse

Humble Bee harnesses the power of nature to solve our plastic pollution problem.

Media Coverage


'Imagine This' with Jehan Casinader

Asia Insight | Starting Up With Asia 

The Young Woman Podcast

Materially Better Podcast

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