In my part of the country, you can not mate queens properly in time to ship in April. We do not start shipping until May 1st, if it is a normal year. It is all posted on my website.You know i understand. Might help if you explain it. Its a risk for the customer to send in money in the hopes of bees being ready. I'd have to say if I had ordered bees in january and didn't get them until may or june, i would be asking for my money back too. Reason is by time june rolls around, your hives are basically screwed in winter because they will barely have time enough to draw comb, build up and store honey for next winter.
All that is well and good, but all these things are types of business have inventory on the shelf or services that can provided when needed. It does not qualify you to coment on the queen breeder and package producer business where so many things are beyond your control.
You know something, The customer is always right. Doesn't matter if he's wrong, he's always right. As far as my being position to lecture, you do not know my position or anything about me, and that kind of attitude is what the customers have a problem with. Arrogance does not work in beekeeping or in any other venture. I have run multiple businesses, dealt with million dollar budgets and dealt with vendors, customers, and business owners. The first thing that happened when i got an attitude from a vendor, in any form, is to eliminate them from my vending list, and then call every friend i had in the business, and had them cut the vendor off. It doesn't take long to blackball a business into bankruptcy.
Secondly running my own business's, Yes plural not singular, i have run into every possible customer on the planet and then some. Yet every single one of them, i went the extra 10 miles to make them happy even to the point of giving their orders to them free. Once you do that, they have no complaint. Now did i take their future orders? sometimes. I can tell you one thing, it is far better to give a product away, than to recieve the negative comments from said customer. The damage is far worse by not making that customer happy. This is true in bee keeping as well as IT industry, farming, and every other business on the planet.
As far as weather, this year the major problem was not in Aptril and May, it was the two months before that. The Russian stock WILL NOT build up unless NATURAL pollen is available, It was so cold in February and March that nothing was blooming. The colonies just sit there maintaining their strength until the pollen came in. That put the colony strength at least 30 days late. However, for those of you that are in the north, a cold region is ideal place to obtain bees. It is a trade off from getting bees early and not be winter hardy, or later and get bees that will survive the winter.And those that believe every thing they read on these boards as gospel. Just like the character that took claim for expediting his order. It doesn't happen that way. I will not move orders just because someone complains. Won't happen.
You can't come away from a dispute especially on a board, or internet, smelling like a rose. The buisness will always be the loser.