Posted on August 22, 2016, updated August 22, 2016
I ordered a Beehut Summer Kit, which cost nearly $70 including shipping. I did everything as instructed, but all the leafcutter bees just disappeared and never looked back. I called the company and told them about this. The guy I talked to, David, suggested that one thing might be a problem, so he advised me to do something differently. He said that they would send me more bees if I would pay for the shipping. I asked him how much the shipping would cost. He said $5. Guess what? He charged me $7 instead!
Anyway, the bees arrived, and I made the adjustment. But guess what? The very same thing happened—they all disappeared and never looked back. I read an account by another person who had ordered some Mason bees several years in a row from Crown Bees as well, and they had the same experience with their bees disappearing.
I live on a farm in a rural area, and we don't use any pesticides. So, if this were a good product, there's no reason the bees shouldn't stick around the Beehut.
I think this product is a big ripoff, and I won't be buying anything from Crown Bees again. I would advise others to be careful before ordering as well. On August 22nd, 2016, onilollaig added the following:
"The truth is, and the reason I'm responding to this issue, is that most people are successful...."
I find that difficult to believe. As I mentioned, I read another account on the Web by someone who said they had the same experience that I did. Also, since you charged me more for shipping than you said you would, why should I take your word for this?
I would have to see many positive reviews of the Beehut Summer Kit on an independent Web site before I would believe that most people are successful with the kit. Regardless, the kit was an utter failure for me, and I won't be making another purchase.
Anyway, thank you for your comments. Company representative comment on August 22, 2016: On Aug 22, 2016 4:16 PM, Crown Bees responded with:
It can be frustrating when nature doesn't work as planned. Most of our customers are successful in some capacity, but not all. We have learned that an oasis surrounded by neighbors with toxic dumps will typically have no bees nesting. Who's to blame? Certainly not the oasis owner.
Leafcutter bees need pollen, holes, and non-fibrous leaves to nest in initially. However, there are a few things that might not work: extremely windy, too cold, chemical smells upwind, bird feeders next to bee houses, etc. I have no idea what can go wrong. If this customer only has honey or bumble bees and no native bees, then there is something wrong in the general area, not necessarily in his/her oasis.
We do all we can do to provide as much success as possible. When things are worse for whatever reason, it is frustrating.
It's easy to look at one failure and say "all things are bad from that company." It is a free world to say as one wants. The truth is, and the reason I'm responding to this issue, is that most people are successful, but not all.
We have farmers using mason bees getting double their crop. We have farmers using leafcutter bees with too much produce and not enough pickers. That's reality. We also have some people that have not one bee nesting. How many companies cares enough to send out 100 more live bees to a customer based on their issues? I suggest not many. Yes, we might have goofed with a phone guess vs. actual costs to send bees out priority which depends on a specific address.
The big picture is we need more people like onilollaig trying to raise native bees. More native bees can create a better world.
Dave Hunter, Crown Bees owner
On Aug 22, 2016 5:12 PM, Crown Bees added:
We have over 10,000+ orders a year and do receive feedback on both ends of the spectrum.
"I've never had this much fruit/vegetables ever"
"No bee nested."
Again, you're taking my word for this. We receive far more positive comments than negative. Couple this with "more people complain than praise" when sending a note to a company. I suggest it's just human nature.
You might have missed a point in our company. We're not just selling stuff to make money. We're actually working to feed the world through the use of native solitary bees. Today, we're raising funds through online and wholesale orders. Later, we'll be working on country levels to help raise their bees through similar practices to get more native pollinating bees to their crops.
Along the road will be bumps both backyard and country. Few roads are smoothly paved the entire distance. Again, I'm sorry that I misquoted you on shipping bees. I winged it over the phone and the teammate later on only charged what actual costs are. We don't add "handling" to our shipping costs.
Best of luck. When buying bees from other companies, you should ask where their bees are raised and if they'll do well in your location. Very few care. Most are just selling product.