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?
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.
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.