Another beekeeping season is almost upon us!
Each year, we love watching the new beekeeping season roll around. Both new and experienced beekeepers are thrilled to get things under way after the long winter months are past.
Honestly, who could blame them? It’s exciting! It’s what backyard beekeepers live for.
But, before we get too excited, we need to do a reality check/intervention and it may be seen as a bit controversial.
The sad reality is that most beekeepers install bee packages the WRONG way. They are unnecessarily aggravating their bees and are likely to get attacked in the process.
Are you doing the same?
The Wrong Way To Install And Why It Sucks
The method that most beekeepers use to install their bees is what we call the Shake & Bang Method (SBM).
This method is exactly what it sounds like:
You shake and bang the living daylights out of the bee cage to try to get as many bees as possible through the feeder can hole and into your beehive
Here’s just one of many examples of what this looks like:
VIDEO: The WRONG Way To Install Bee Packages
NOTE: Like the nice gentleman says, you should absolutely use a bee suit and veil to do this. We never recommend doing an installation without one.
Beekeepers have used this method of installation for dozens of years. In fact, most beekeepers you encounter will install their bee packages this way.
But if it technically works, why do we raise such a stink about it? Why are we so adamant that you not use this method?
To put it simply, keeping your bees alive and working productively is hard enough as it is.
Our philosophy is that you should never do anything that makes it harder and/or more stressful for your bees to build up their colony and forage.
Instead, you should focus on finding ways to remove roadblocks for your bees. Anything you can do to alleviate roadblocks for them is a big win.
Anything you can do to remove roadblocks for your bees is a big win.
In other words, do everything you can to help your bees focus on what they should be doing: foraging and building up their honey supply
The SBM stresses your bees out and makes them less productive right from the start. It’s completely unnecessary to do that to the poor creatures.
This is a roadblock and it needs to be removed.
But if you can’t use this method anymore, what should you do instead?
The Easy-Install Method Is A MUCH Better Way To Install Your Bees
Ok, we’ve thoroughly lambasted the Shake & Bang Method and we hope you’ve promised yourself that you’ll never use it. Ever.
Luckily, there’s a MUCH easier way to install your bees that doesn’t aggravate them and drastically reduces the likelihood of getting stung in the process.
My dad, Bret, shows us how to do this in his instruction video (below) with a dry run of doing a bee package installation the easy way. In the video, he further explains how the bees operate and why you should never do the SBM.
After the dry run, we’ve also got a video of him showing you how to do this with a live bee package so you can see how the process works with real bees.
VIDEO #1: Learn How To Do The Easy-Install Method In Less Than 3 Minutes
VIDEO #2: Now See This In Action With Live Bees!
NOTE: As you may have seen, we do shake a few bees into the beehive in the instructional video. However, we are MUCH more gentle than the installation you see in the SBM video.
Why Do Beekeepers Still Use The Shake & Bang Method If There’s A Better Way?
At this point, you might be wondering why beekeepers are still using the Shake & Bang Method if it’s such a bad thing for your bees. It’s puzzling.
We’ve wondered this same thing for many years now and have come to the conclusion that beekeepers continue to do this because that’s how things have always been done in beekeeping.
Simply put, beekeepers often do things like use the Shake & Bang Method simply because it's the way things have always been done.
As a whole, beekeepers tend to do things the way they have always been done. Sadly, many of them will never adjust this mentality even when evidence points to better solutions.
That’s the biggest reason people continue to use the SBM even though there’s a much better and easier way to install bee packages.
Share This Much Better Method With Others
Now that you know that there is a better way to install your bee packages and you know how to do it, there’s one favor we need to ask of you:
Please share the Easy-Installation Method with other beekeepers who are doing their installs the wrong way
Click below to get started!
If you ever hear or see someone using the Shake & Bang Method, please share this post with them so that they can also learn that there’s a better way.
They will thank you for it and so will we!
Which Method Will You Use?
Now that you know the difference between Shake & Bang v.s. Easy-Installation, I’m curious to know which method you’ll use. Thoughts?
Do you agree that we should completely do away with the SBM as an industry? Disagree? Is there a different way that you like to install your bees that isn’t one of these methods? What was something new that you learned today?
I’d love to get your thoughts, feedback, and input so please leave us a comment below!