Erik Diemer first became interested in beekeeping when he was 9 years old. Today, you could say he is one busy bee because he owns and operates a small business called Mite Fight, a subscription service that helps to protect hives from Varroa Mites.
Diemer graduated in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and concentrations in small business and entrepreneurship.
“I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart,” Diemer said. “My family members have some local businesses so I’ve always been involved that way.”
Diemer has become an expert in the beekeeping community, having started when he was just 9 years old.
“My mom is a master gardener, so we got bees to help with the garden,” Diemer said.
Diemer revealed that he noticed many beginner beekeepers often have trouble maintaining healthy hives because they often lack the proper training to prevent pests from infesting them, so he created Mite Fight.
Diemer said one of the biggest threats to healthy hives are parasites called Varroa Mites, which feed off the blood of honeybees exposing them to diseases.
“I saw so many beekeepers getting involved and having hives that die,” Diemer said. “Beekeepers have to treat for them, but don’t always know how to.”
According to Diemer, Mite Fight is a subscription service that provides beekeepers with the proper materials and supplements to maintain healthy hives, including a Varroa Mite treatment. The kit sells for $90/hive per year and includes a Varroa Mite treatment, seasonal supplements, pollen or probiotics, and even a set of stickers.
Many beekeepers often paint their beehives, so Diemer included a sheet of stickers as a way to include the arts in beekeeping.
According to Diemer, well-treated colonies can produce up to 30 more pounds of honey than those that are not properly treated, and using Mite Fight is one way to do just that.
“When you treat properly,” Diemer said, “your colony has a 20 percent better chance of surviving the winter months. Honeybees are responsible for 1/3 of the food we eat, so studying and understanding the honeybee is really important. Bees are important.”
Diemer also noted that usually when people start beekeeping, they want to save the planet and not create waste. So, he took this into consideration when designing Mite Fight, which is eco-friendly and creates zero waste.
Diemer said that his goal ultimately was not just a mission for profit, but a mission for a healthy planet and happy employees.
“I want to become a social entrepreneur where I’m addressing different issues all at once,” Diemer said.
This all came to be with support from the Warrior Launchpad at the Innovation Center, which helps students get their ideas to market and also helped launch Mite Fight into existence.
Diemer encourages students to use the resources on campus because they helped him to make connections, acquire grants, network and allowed him to attend workshops across northeastern Pennsylvania.
“My advice is to find something you’re very passionate about, anything that brings you some kind of joy, and try to find 3 issues in that field and ways technology can help to solve those issues,” Diemer said. “If you can figure out what technology there is and how it can fix a problem, then you’re set.”
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