I was supposed to get two packages of Italian bees from Betterbee shipping on or around May 1st. So I got antsy and called them this afternoon and the rep says "Sorry. The apiary called Friday and said due to weather etc. they're not shipping bees." Grrrr.
Swell. I've been waking up early for the last several days anticipating a wakeup call from the post office. The boxes are in the beeyard, the syrup is mixed and in the feeders.
If you're expecting Betterbee packages they're sending word of the cancellation by mail. You've three options: store credit, refund or if you're in the New York area they're having a bee day I think she said at the end of the month.
I figured anyone else on tenderhooks might want to know.
As aggravating as it is, I don't think it is the fault of Betterbee. They are buying their packages from Wilbanks. I was supposed to have 2 packages on the 24th of April, due to poor weather in Georgia they have not been able to produce the bees. Everyone is getting hit together.
You just gotta love this farming stuff .
Here in the Northeast bees are at a premium right now.
I ordered and picked up in NY. Ordered 10 but had to settle for 9. Same 10% deduction for all their orders. They said a late frost was the problem. You have my sympathy.
I had a problem with getting queens from someone this year. When I called they put me on their WAMB list-"where are my bees?" I was upset that they had not called me, but the WAMB list helped, got them in a few days.
I wonder if this forum could support a equipment suppliers review list? Making things fair would be interesting to do...
Order early is what the commercial guy I work with does.
Suppliers should have a backup plan if things go awry. If they don't then they are not a good business. Believe me. I know.
I don't exactly blame Betterbee, they're dealing with a contractor (in this case an apiary in Alabama according to the receipt they sent me last week) and it caught them as flatfooted as anybody, but I am disappointed.
I'm having a bad week with bee suppliers. The only negative transaction I've ever had in multi-years of Ebay-ing involves one of those thrice cursed foggers that no one around here seems to carry (though Lowes has one of the brands mentioned as being experimented with.)
I am not sure where in TN you are, but I live in the Memphis area. I purchased a nuc from Jesterbee Co. from NE Arkansas. I do know they sell packaged bees as well. The guy there is Kevin. A great help and extremely informative. Like I said I did travel there to purchase the nuc, but it was only about 70 miles for me. You may want to check them out at Jesterbee.com. I have only positive comments about them!
>I'm having a bad week with bee suppliers. The only negative transaction I've ever had in multi-years of Ebay-ing involves one of those thrice cursed foggers that no one around here seems to carry (though Lowes has one of the brands mentioned as being experimented with.)
http://www2.shopping.com/xKW-propane...040480/GS.html http://www.aaronsoutdoors.com/outdoordecor/fg1443.html http://www.gardenartbysandpiper.com/...hp/FG1443.html http://onestopshopcatalog.com/1443.html
A search on "Burgess propane insect fogger" brings up hundreds of suppliers on the web.
Home Depot carries the Burgess fogger here in Ohio
Yeah, Michael, I know there's other sources out there but I'd like to get the one I'd *paid* for. I bought it a month ago and didn't hear anything for three weeks. It turns out they were selling merchandise they didn't actually have in stock. (It was an EBay store with 100% positive rating).
Supposedly it shipped last week from Georgia so unless they were sending it by canoe up the Chattahoochee or strapped to the back of a pack raccoon it should have been here by now.
Around here Home Depot only carries the Black Flag fogger comeplete with complementary can 'o bug death. When I was looking around a month ago it was generally considered too early to be looking for such a seasonal item. If this Ebay sale flakes completely then I'll make the rounds again.
Thanks for the tip about Jesterbee. I think at this point I'm going to give the package expansion a miss this year and put in a *really* early order next year. (Like December).
I also was waiting on packaged bees from Betterbee,What I want to know is if they're taking more order for pick ups why are they not sending them out to there customers who have already paid and are wating?
There seem to be a number of issues here and they all tied together.
#1) Bees and Beekeeping are very weather dependent.
#2) The weater this spring both in the Northeast and Southeast has been far less than ideal.
#3) As for BetterBee, their pick up orders are trucked from their supplier, by BetterBee directly to their facility. They control the shipping and handling of the bees. They also take on the liability for live delivery.
#4) When a package of bees, queens, or for that matter any live stock is shipped via US Mail, UPS, or FedEx, they usually DO NOT take on liablity for live delivery. That is left to you and the supplier to workout.
#5) Many suppliers stipulate that they will no longer ship bees after the daily temperatures reach into the 80's(not sure of the exect temp) due to high losses. They still supply bees for pick up.
#6) Many suppliers also limit where they will ship to, because of expirences with high losses. Kelly wouldn't shipped to most of the Northeast.
#7) When you buy a package of bees from a "BetterBee" or other retail source, they are not shipping the bees to you. They come directly from their supplier to you. If they were to ship you a package from "their" pick up stock, the bees would most likely arrive dead or bady stressed.
A look at the time line:
(1) day or more to get all of the packages made up.
(1) day load the truck
(1) day or more for the truck ride from Ga to NY
(1) day to unload and sort out the orders.
So, these bees have been in their package 4 or more days at this point.
Then to re-ship them by UPS / US Mail adds another 2 - 4 days or more based on shipping meathod.
Now these bees have been in this package a week or more. The little feed cans don't last that long.
#8) The fact is when supply is tight, the large orders / customers will be filled first. What I mean is a truck load vs. a few packages. To make the truck load economical, it must be a full load, not 20 or 30 packages short. So as the supplier do you have the truck load cancelled for 400 packages or cancel 10 orders for 3 packages each.
[This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited May 06, 2004).]