LAYTON — When Clint Betts first read about 15-year-old Bryce Bunderson’s bees and honey being stolen from hives the young entrepreneur had in Layton, he knew he had to do something.
If nothing else, there was the connection of the name.
Betts is founder and editor-in-chief of Beehive Startups, a Provo-based organization covering Utah’s startup and tech ecosystem, telling of Utah tech entrepreneur’s stories, celebrating their successes, and learning from their failures, according to the company’s website.
Upon reading of the young beekeeper’s loss, “We couldn’t get past our unique connection to this kid,” Betts said. “The name of our organization is Beehive Startups. Bryce runs a literal beehive startup. We had to do something.”
Betts felt the company is in a unique position to help Bunderson out by turning to technology companies in the state to ask for donations so Bunderson can replace his bees and honey.
Beehive Startups’ campaign to help Bunderson was launched Monday morning, Aug. 25 and by about !0:30 a.m., there were already $1,100 in donations pledged, many by individuals such as CEOs donating in the name of their company, Betts said.
Bunderson’s bees and honey were taken from his operation in Layton, B&B Honey, by what police believe were thieves who know bees and beehives. Bryce and his brother Tate operated the business to help pay for their LDS missions. Tate Bunderson is currently serving a mission.
Betts and his team jumped into action, making a video to launch the campaign. It wasn’t until the afternoon of the first day of filming the video that Betts met Bunderson.
“When I met him, the campaign took on a whole new meaning,” Betts said.
“Bryce is a shy, humble kid who comes from a working class family. He started working the beehives to help his family make ends meet, and to start saving for life after high school,” Betts said.
“Bryce’s father is currently working 18-hour days doing a variety of labor-intensive jobs — pest control, mowing neighbors lawns, working the beehives for a local honeymaker, and anything else that comes his way just to recover from the loss,” Betts said.
“After spending some time with Bryce and his father it was clear they were the type of people who shunned the spotlight, believing there are others more deserving of the kindness of strangers. They’re not afraid to put their heads down and work their way out of a jam.”
But Betts believes that everyone needs a little help from time to time.
And now, he said, is Bunderson’s time.
The campaign has really taken off on social media, especially Twitter, Betts said. Companies that have donated are passing the word along to other companies, that are also donating, Betts said.
Betts plans on running the campaign until the entire $12,000 is raised. For more information or to contribute to the fundraising effort, visit http://www.gofundme.com/dhn3h4.