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BEE BUY BACK

The BeeBuyBack program will be open once harvesting season has begun, typically in October. Please read below.

BeeBuyBack is Crown Bees' core program that empowers you, the backyard gardener, to help raise mason bees with the goal of growing more food, directly supporting our mission to help protect our food supply. We work hard to encourage the use of solitary bees in orchards, community farms and organic fields to help meet their pollination needs and increase yields due to mason bees' efficient pollination.

Essentially, the program works like this: you send us healthy mason bee cocoons in exchange for tubes, reeds, or other Crown Bees products. We also pay cash for the cocoons. The exchange rate will be available when our BeeBuyBack program opens in the fall.

Supply and Demand

Our vision of the future is crystal clear. Farms and orchards across North America will need mason bees to augment their pollination. There will be an increasing demand for mason bees. Unfortunately, the present demand is still relatively low. We are diligently working to market mason bees to organic orchards and farms. This takes time and requires that farmers be willing to think outside of the normal pollination box. Until farmers learn the value of these bees, need for these bees on a commercial level will lag.

Your Participation

As awareness of mason bees has increased, so has the response to our BeeBuyBack program. We would like to thank you for your commitment to not only raise these gentle pollinators but for your willingness and desire to encourage others to do so as well.

What to Do

We ask that you distribute any cocoons that you planned to submit through the buyback program to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Put the bounty from your harvest to good work by sharing with and encouraging others. If you're up to it, host a community workshop or ask a local beekeeping organization if you can talk about mason bees. We have even created a presentation you can use to help spread the word! We thank you for your understanding and hope that you will consider us next season as a source to share your bees. We project next year’s demand for mason bees to be much higher than this year.

Thank you for your understanding.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Fill out the form below (Normally available October 1 through January 15) letting us know that your cocoons should be arriving soon. Tell us where you live (so we can share your cocoons in your area) and what you’d like in exchange for your cocoons.
  2. If you have harvested your cocoons (preferred), please send us cocoons randomly selected, not just small or large ones. We like to ensure there are natural ratios of male and female bees. Please send us UNWASHED cocoons, it’s okay if they look a little dirty.  If you have already washed your cocoons, that's okay.  We will still take them.  We wash ALL cocoons received as a precaution so no need to wash cocoons before sending them.
  3. Package your loose cocoons or filled tubes and reeds in a paper towel, pad a small box with a bit of newspaper or paper towels, nestle the cocoons or tubes in the box and mail them to us. Don’t forget to include a copy of the form you filled out (we emailed it to you) in the box. Standard US Postal Service Mail is fine. Expedited shipping is NOT necessary.
  4. We’ll send you an email when your bees arrive. We will harvest the nesting material (if applicable), wash and inspect the cocoons for pests and disease, and count the number of viable cocoons.
  5. About 2 weeks later, once the cocoons have been processed, we’ll send you another email telling you what we found (quantity of viable cocoons, pests) and let you know when we’re sending your nesting material, gift card, or check. (Depending on the number of pests found in your cocoons, we may have to adjust numbers).
  6. Your bees will be placed into bins in our coolers by geographic region. (For example, Puget Sound bees will only mix with Puget Sound bees, while Eastern Washington bees will be kept separate, Minnesota is kept apart from New Jersey, etc.)
  7. We re-home your bees to gardens, farms, and orchards in similar regions with similar climates. Your amazing pollinators will go on to help produce more food in the future!