Yakima bee paste makers say product could go global
YAKIMA, Wash. -- It's been four days since Chris Nobbs and Shawn Hazen of Instar Naturals took home the top prize in the Enterprise Challenge for their innovative bee paste, which you can apply to trees to attract bees, who then pollinate flowers and increase the amount of fruit that grows.
They say they've already got big plans for their future.
“Our big dream for the company is to certainly expand outside of just the bee attractant. We have a lot of other natural attractants and repellants that we already have in the pipeline that we're developing,” said Chief Executive Officer Shawn Hazen.
Aside from farms, Instar Naturals is also turning their attention to home gardeners. They're looking to have their bee paste ready for homeowners to use this summer so people can make the most of their gardens.
They're also branching out into other countries.
“I was just in Costa Rica two weeks ago, and met a company that has 47 locations in Costa Rica and Honduras, and they have an interest in possibly selling our product commercially, for coffee beans, and then other crops that are in Latin America,” said Hazen.
And they're taking a plunge into the ocean. They say they were contacted by a commercial crab fishing fleet in Alaska, who's asked them to come up with a crab attractant.
“If we can come up with a product that they can put in their crab pots, put under water, it attracts crabs faster and from a wider area, then that's a plus for the commercial crab fishing fleet,” said Hazen.
Chris Nobbs, the Chief Technology Officer of Instar Naturals, says although they see their company going global, he and his business partner have every intention of keeping their headquarters here and staying true to their roots.
“We want everything to be local. If we can source things locally, if we can spotlight things locally, our research and development as well, and have our offices and manufacturing here,” said Nobbs.
While they have a laundry list of goals, ultimately, they say they want to create hundreds of jobs for the Yakima Valley, and to help farmers put more dollars in their pockets by giving them the product they need to help them grow their crops.