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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Yoder, CO
    Posts
    81

    Post

    Early this morning the phone rings, a nervous female voice is heard on the other end "Mr. Minton, your bees are here" "No worries, on my way!". Arrived with spray bottle full of sugar water. Entered the post office, rang the bell. The Female Postie ask's me to come around the back to the back entrance as some of the bees are loose. Pulled around, and she gennnntllly pushs out a cart. In the exact middle, cushioned like it was a bomb ready to go off was my package of russians. Yes, some bees were loose, four where hanging on and getting fed thru the screen. No holes in the package, they must have hung on for the entire four day trip. Goggled eyed she watched me reach in and pull the package from the pile of cushioning. I didn't have the heart to joke with her (you know, "let's open'm up, I have to count to make sure they're all there"). A quick spray with sugar water and off on the fifteen mile return trip home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    Regarding your escapees - It's also possible those bees were drawn to your package. I had a bunch of tourist bees clinging to the outside of my package when I installed it.

    Sad note - I went down to the post office to mail a box, and there, on the cart in the back, was a half dead package of bees. The workers said they had called three days before, the person had not picked them up.

    I eventually convinced them to let me spray them with syrup (I had the bottle in the back of my van). They drank the whole bottle. Beautiful white comb in the package. A couple inches of dead bees solid on the board.

    I still wonder if they were ever picked up, or if they just starved to death.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Moore County, NC
    Posts
    208

    Post

    I had notified my postoffice and carrier to expect my package of bees and that the bees should not be exposed to heat. We did receive a call when the bees arrived as I had requested. Luckily my wife went immediately to pick them up because when she arrived she found that the bees had been placed outside the back of the postoffice in the sun. The postal worker causually mentioned that some of the bees appeared dead. Guess I was luckly that they weren't all dead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Post

    Well as much as I GRIPE about the PO here they have always called when I have had packages of queens comeing "we bee haven some bees for you can you come get them" , now if I could get the rest of my mail ect ect ect
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,069

    Post

    Every shipment of queens I get the mail lady brings them right up to the door and knocks. Now my mail box is 1/8 mi down the lane.

    The first time I had queens coming, I forgot to call them and let them know. She just brought them right up to the house because she thought "it might get too hot in the mailbox". Boy was I appreciative.

    She always takes good care of them and brings them right to the door and knocks so she can hand them to us. Now I try to let her know when I am expecting a shipment. As a thank you, we'll put a little bear of honey for her in the mail box every now and then.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Waxahachie, TX
    Posts
    7

    Post

    I received my first package throught the post last Friday. The lady at the post office could not have been nicer, mentioning that they love the song of the bees. Turns out that they had received almost 900 packages that one day. Apparently old hat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Post

    I have had bad experiences some places, but the post office in Licoln and Greenwood have always been great. They will call me the night before from the Lincoln post office to tell me I can pick them up that night if I want, which is what I usually do. If I don't want to drive to Lincoln, they will be in the Greenwood post office the next morning. They treat them well. But in the past, in other locations, I've had the "the bees are getting out!" call (just a couple on the outside) and they had put them in a canvas bag on the dock in the sun. Sometimes they are laying on their side with all the syrup leaking out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    Naturally, my packages this year arrived late and it would be the one saturday that we had to go out of town. We had 7 messages (with an urgent tone) on our recorder. They started at 6 am and continued until they closed at 1pm. Picked them up Monday morning all still in good shape.

    My carrier won't seem to read the queen packages and just dumps them in the mailbox. I am calling the vendor to have my next shipment marked 'signature required'. I figure a 1 day delay at the post office is not as bad as an afternoon in the sun inside a mailbox. (even thought of putting a padlock on my mailbox the week they are expected!).

    To follow up on the packages I had to leave town before we could pick up the packages on monday morning. Murphy's law clearly at work. So my wife picked them up and fed them honey through the screen until Friday. One had built out some nice white comb but all were in suprisingly good shape after what appears to have been 9 or 10 days. There were probably 5% losses much less than I feared.

    So while it is to be avoided it is possible for them to survive.
    "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes"
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    The one and only queen I ever ordered was merely placed in my post office box! No call to let me know she was there even though I had requested a call. And then they just shove her in the box despite FRAGILE--LIVE BEES written all over the outside of the envelope! Fortunately, my queen was okay.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Post

    >merely placed in my post office box!

    Lucky it wasn't a hot mailbox in the sun...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Post

    When my two russian packages arrived at our PO, they called about 6AM and told us they had arrived. My wife went up there to pick them up, when she rang the buzzer on the door, the first thing out of the postal workers mouth was "We're not open yet!!". My wife says "You guys called us to come pick up our bees!" Then it was and excited "Justa minute!, justa minute!". Within about 5 sec. they were ushering her back to the back because none of them wanted to touch them. We had them back to the house by 7am.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  12. #12

    Post

    When I had 4 queens shipped and went ot pick them up at the PO, everybody in the place was talking about them as if they were a big deal...strange, but what do you expect for a suburbia PO.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Skull Valley, Az
    Posts
    285

    Post

    We have two postmistresses at our small office- they spell each other's days. There's no delivery out to the ranches.
    Each time I've told them what to expect and they call early like clockwork. The bees have always been on the inside counter-like on display.
    No complaints as I have left jars of honey on past holidays.
    BBZZZZZ

  14. #14

    Post

    I got my first package about 2 weeks ago.
    I did'nt even know the people at the Post Office
    worked on Sunday, but they called me at 10am on a Sunday morning. I was glad they did though. The Post Master was very nice, saying he did'nt want to just leave them there unattended for too long(there were a few on the outside of the box). He tried to give me one of those plastic mail carriers so I did'nt have to touch them...lol. And he was a little surprised when I said they'd be just fine in the floorboard "as is". Overall it was a fun experience. I like buying packages just for the fun I have picking up and installing them.

    Tommy

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    I picked up 2 packages on May 10th. They had them on their side in a bin outside the back door. Fortunately they called the minute they arrived and I only live a few miles away (I passed the truck that delivered them on the way there) so all was not lost. In my most patient and forgiving tone I showed them right side up and explained why they must be kept that way (the can on one had popped the lid off and there were escapees). They apologized and said they are expecting more packages for other people so hopefully it won't happen to them.

    Last year I was able to intercept them at the main USPS distribution center but dispite 3 phone calls by me they got processed and sent to my local office.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    30

    Post

    When I finally got my package the mail lady refused to deliver them (and this is out in the country). She was quite frightened even though they were all screened in and everything. And it was like a 40 degree day, so it's not like they were doing much anyways.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    I picked up a queen (bought from SippyQueens) from my post office - you should have seen how they were packed.

    Queens were in queen cages (nice ones with candy)
    Cages were in a ventialted envelope
    Envelope was in a plastic mail tray
    Mail tray was covered (crossed over) in tape.
    Mail tray is inside mail bin covered in mesh, mesh taped down.

    TWO workers carry out this package - one with the box, the other watching over her shoulder.
    As I cut through the tape, unmesh the tray, and slip the envelope out, the lady actuallly flinched away. I opened the envelope. I had to fight so hard to resist the urge to slide my hand in the envelope and scream in mock agony. Oh, that would have been so funny.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Post

    After getting a call to come get the bees because they were getting out, (that seems to be a common thread) I've found them out on the loading dock in a canvas mail bag in the sun with the package on it's side and syrup leaking everywhere and only a few bees left alive. Of course the bees weren't getting out, there were just one or two trying to get in.

    But that was another town and another post office. This one has done quite well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    You gotta love the post office. Got a call this morning from the Post office, the replacement queen from SippyQueens arrived.

    First off, I ordered two queens (was going to re-queen both hives). One arrived in perfect shape. The other was the victim of a freak accident. The cages they ship in are the candy type with three "pockets", the last of which holds the candy. The queen was down in that area. There were two dead workers, literally wedged into the narrow spot that separates each "pocket". It appears the queen starved to death, trapped with the candy, separated from the live workers.

    Today I recieved a replacement queen (how's that for service?). It's how it was packaged that got me laughing. First off, when I walked in the door, the man says "It's the bee guy. Again." Then they bring out the package.
    "Please, don't open it here. Just put the stuff by the mailbox when you are done," said the post office worker. I left. My wife looked at the packaged and started laughing.

    Here's what they pushed across the counter.
    Get Back! It's moving.

    At home, we begin to peel the layers.
    Red Tape

    Finally down to the envelope.
    A sensible package at the core

    It had better contain some amazonian warrior bees, with death rays and radioactive fumes after all that.
    No. Just a healthy live queen
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Post

    so did you requeen the hive that had the dead queen and started a queen cell in??
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

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