Bees ripped off?
I am part of a group of beeks for West Virginia. We sent 400 hives to Ca. through a broker in Ohio. Our bees were inspected before they went for diseases, strenth, etc. They were delivered in December. The growers claimed they were in good shape. A month ago we received good reports. Now that the pollination season out there is over the growers claim that all our bees are diseased, most of them dead and they are not going to pay a cent. It will cost us $44 for each hive to get them back.
The main person running this operation has sent bees to the same farm for 7 years the only difference was the bee broker was different this year.
Much of this sounds fishy. I was told that a load of bees only cost 7,000 dollars to haul. That is roughly $16 a hive, not $44.
It seems that we sent bees, they used them, then stole them.
Is there anything we can do? Lawsuit? Should we send someone to inspect them?
Any suggestions would help.
ED, I would first get a third party COUNTY inspection done, ASAP.
I'm assuming you had contracts? I would start there. Might be something in the regulation of interstate commerce which may help as well. I would want somebody there to represent the group at this point. A plane ticket and a hotel is a cheap option in comparrison to the potential loss at this point. A contact with WV Apirary inspection may be a good idea as well. An official inquiry might help.
Quite simply I WOULD BE ON AIRPLANE TOMORROW.... Checking air rates from huntington...$500-700. I would also get in contact with county inspector...but would be there with him! Now some other possabilities.....It was not a good year for bees....alot of rainy cold weather until the last 10 days. My bees were in pretty good shape(20-25 lbs stores and up) However my broker fed mine 2 weeks ago...said they would have starved in a week if she didnt. Alot reports of hungry hives. How much stores were in them?? Where are they in CA? Mine were in Chowchilla(15 miles north of Fresno). Father south was alittle dryer I think. Did anyone check stores?? The cost of $44 seems like a ripoff! Like I said I would be a plant tomorrow...first flight out. Would not tell them until I was there! Cost about $2 to 2.40 mile. So your 7k is a little high ........Let me know I can get you a rate from 2.00 to 2.30 depending on how quick you need them! Probably cost you about 5k to 5500.00. Broker told me yesterday mine looked great...truck on way to get them now. Rick
look for an attorney also.
make some calls to Nodak or Sodak or CA where you have a better of finding someone with some understanding of the bee biz.
show them you mean business.
that does sound fishy. best of luck.
Yep, an attorney would be a good idea. I'm assuming we're talking about $40K+ in unpaid hive rentals + the value of the hives which should double the total value. I'd get an attorney to protect $80K. If each beekeeper pitched in 10-15 bucks a hive you'd have a retainer fee and a place to start from.
if you decide to get an attorney, make sure you organize the paperwork and reports that you have into a concise file, include all reports, if they are verbal make sure the attorney knows who received the report, who gave the report, etc. and do a background check if you can on the broker on your end....all of this will save you time that you would have to pay for the attorney on an hourly basis. It sounds like it would be worth finding someone out there to represent your interests.
Definately have this done asap. With the rainy weather and lack of forage time they could have starved out if your broker didn't watch them good enough. Very fishy when they accept your product then say it is no good when they are done with them. I'm sure there are a few beeks out there that could do that for you. I would in-a-heartbeat if I was out there. I enjoy pulling the stinky fish out of the barrel for all to see. As for the trucking part $7,000 sounds close. I had prices last year from $2.50-$3.00 per loaded mile with the high fuel costs.
Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett
Beeslave, that's a good idea, Ed, if you need my help please PM me.
Originally Posted by Beeslave
Thanks for the good advice. I found out that our bees were/are??? in Delano CA below Bakersfield. I know nothing about CA or this particular area. Perhaps there are many growers there.
I also found out tonight that someone from our area (not in our group) lost about 500 hives. He flew out. He saw fifteen hives with my last name on them with no frames, just empty hive bodies. Somebody stole them. We were told that they were full of disease and also ccd. We have not had much CCD around here, but it beats all, if when the bees leave they take the frames with them.
Does CA have any reembursment program for such cases? I am at a loss, thanks, Ed.
It seems to me that if a "grower" has declared the hives diseased and taken it upon himself to destroy the hives, then he'd better have some pretty good evidence of that disease. It still sounds to me like you need a lot better explanation and accounting for you property than what you're getting. I wish you luck with this.
Now it sounds like you need a good lawyer and your broker is at fault since they were in his care. Unless in the contract there was fine print of them not beeing responsible for the loss/theft of your bees. Good luck solving this issue. Keep us updated.
WV Ripped Off Bee Dispute in CA Almond Pollination 2009
Dear Ed and WV Beekeepers:
Email me the details at: LORGE@LAWFIRM.NET
With my kindest best wishes, I am,
Attorney Robert Gerald Lorge
CAPITAL HILL FARMS: LORGE HONEYBEES
501 West Willow Street, PO BOX 176
BEAR CREEK, WISCONSIN 54922-0176
920-739-8080 Cellular and Weekends
LORGE@LAWFIRM.NET for legal issues
http://www.LORGEFORWISCONSIN.com is Lorge Honeybees website
Originally Posted by Steelton Bee Man
Why does that post not surprize me.
Small town jail
I'm still trying to imagine what the food is like.
Maybe you should just stay out of it and let them work it out...You might be surprised of how things just may work out without a lawyer.
with + $40000 at stake in pollination fees and what appears to be $40000 in dead bees my not so new math says a possible loss approaching $100000 and you think this is going to be worked out without a lawyer.. or two? good luck on that one pilgrim.
I am certain (uh huh) none of the naysayers here would hire a lawyer if someone owned them $100000.