This is more of a Rant than anything else, but we may all be subject to it sooner or later.
My bees came yesterday; the post office called my house and left 3 different msgs. I commute a long distance to work, so I was planning on getting them when I got home, which is roughly 10 minutes before the post office closes.
I was picking up 3 packages; I don't know if it's standard, but Rossman in Georgia sends them 3 in a row, in a very impressive frame. The post-person brought them out, at arms length. The first thing I noticed when he brought them out was the fact that 2 very large, very red, BOLD print labels that said "THIS END UP" were facing... me.
He had a bunch of questions, I was in a hurry and simply did a cursory inspection; I order 3 pound packages, so there is a lot going on, I saw activity in each cage, signed off on them, and ran out the door.
My daughter noticed as we were on our way home there seemed to be a lot of dead bees in the center box. When I finally got home and inspected the box more carefully, I noticed about 75% of the bees in that box were in fact dead, in a gooey sticky mass in the corner of the box. I am assuming the syrup leaked out fast enough to congeal the bees and smother/drown them, as there was syrup all inside this box.
Why is it so hard to do your job? You would think "This End UP" would be some kind of postal edict or something. I admit, I'm guilty of ignoring the same message on the side of something like a refrigerator box when transporting it, but these are live creatures.
I care nothing about the cost, or even my lost honey production but I do care the simple loss of "life". They went in a box in Georgia and were murdered before they even had a chance for Mother Nature to test their ability. If I lose them to swarms, disease, or simple absconding FINE, that's nature. This is simple human ignorance.
Now for input, on the issue, chime in if you care to share. I don't know if the queen is affected, I plan to try to load them either this evening or tomorrow. I have 2 hives that seem to be swarming daily. Could I "Steal" a couple of frames of bees from an existing hive and drop them in with this hobbled package?
Had I had a little more experience, I could have split these two hives several times and come up with what I wanted. It's been fun and not just a little adventurous trapping swarms, dropping them into new hives, only to go back and find them gone.
Whew, now I feel better. Been waiting all night to unload thatÂ… thanks for reading.