We had our first “shake bee” experience – selling nearly 100 lbs of bees for packages to fill hobby beekeeper’s hives this spring. A package of bees is about 3-4 lbs of honey bees with a queen suspended in a queen cage, a feeder – and that’s it. These “packages” are, in essence, artificial swarms and can be placed in any style hive.
Our experience began at our bee farm on a sunny day in College Station. Essentially half of the bees from a good number of our colonies were put through the process of being shaken into their new, temporary homes. Bees are extremely resilient and are generally unfazed by being shaken in this way. This was very much a learning experience for us – watching the pros shake the bees and looking at the tools used to get the bees into these boxes as easily as possible.
Next year, if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll sell some package bees ourselves, but for now, we were able to pair with a larger bee company to get these bees to the consumer! We’re thankful for the people we’ve met and the connections we’ve made – beekeepers across the board are pretty awesome, but Texas Beekeepers are even cooler.