Like I said in an above post. They put them in because some of their queens get shipped out as queens and some go into packages. If you have received packages without attendants with the queen it is most likely due to them coming from a tractor trailer size load. If the supplier knows that all of their queens for the week are going into a order of packages then there is no reason for them to spend the time putting attendants in...
In or out it doesn't matter. I bought packages from Gardner and H and R this year and all had attendants. I got packages last season from Rossman's and Wilbanks and all of those had attendants. I don't buy 3000 packages at a time so they don't know which queens will be going into my packages and which they will be shipping as queens to other customers.
You got shorted 5 bees... Demand a refund.
At that point in time, I had seen the packages, I knew that the way the queen cages were setup that it didn't look like how Rossman does things. I did not ask Ken if he knew where the packages came from, as any dispute was between you and me. I thanked him profusely, offered to do something nice in return. The packages looked good with few dead bees.
I should have asked you when you called where the bees came from, but again, I was at an event doing something else. I was going to email you to ask where the bees came from (by that point I had installed them and I was pretty sure they weren't from Rossman), but when I powered up my computer, I saw your post here saying where they came from.
You seem to think that a forum like this is a fine place to advertise your services, a fine place for others to post good reviews, a fine place to say that it makes no difference where a package comes from, a fine place to say the packages were of high quality, a fine place to take credit for doing a good job at delivering the packages.
....but you really dropped the ball with me. You took my money. You did not inform me that the pickup date had changed. You never contacted me to tell me where the pickup was going to happen. You never told me the supplier had changed. This is all fact, and is as important to the topic as a good review. I absolutely don't think you did anything intentionally here...but I am reporting on my experience.
You called me from two hours away asking where I was....and it wasn't until you got home that you were able to confirm that I somehow "dropped off your list".
You asked me if I needed anything...at that point, I had 20 packages in my basement (thanks to Ken for taking care of them), and I did not know I hadn't received what I had paid for (packages from Rossman). You offered nothing....now, after the fact you are giving me a litany of everything you would have done to take care of me....you didn't even know it was your fault until you got home...again, you offered nothing. I appreciate the apology, but I trusted you and did not get what I paid for, and did not get reasonable service.
We've had many packages from Rossman over the years...and they have consistently been better than the 2 times we got package bees from other sources. Fred is a skilled breeder, and I see value in the best of the package queens...those that we don't need as we requeen with our own stock we sell to other local beekeepers...we feel good about the quality of the queens from Rossman...and the two things that made me decide to use you as a source for the packages were the price and the fact they were coming from Rossman. You would not have heard from me if you had offered bees from Gardener/Spell.
I will report back about the final fate of the packages. As I said, some had virgins, and I think we lost some of the bees to the trees.
2 absconded (I was able to recover one of those...I think). Some have 1 frame of bees with a virgin (one box had a frame of honey we had put in on one side...full of bees.....and on the other side was a cluster of about 20 workers and a mated queen).
I used frames of brood when installing the final 5 packages, hoping to keep them in the box (and a nuc is leftover to rebuild itself instead of going into a 10 frame box).
...you are supposed to offer what you think you owe me. In this case, I'm not sure more than an apology is possible or appropriate....I know hauling packages is a thankless task and exhausting. I'm not going to get the bees I paid for in any case.So to make this right I will publicly ask again? Do you need anything? I don't know what would have made you happy which is why I didn't specifically offer anything... I could have sent you extras, or queens, or a discount.... How am I supposed to know what to offer if when I ask your reply is NO?
Bringing in packages is always a risk (travel, disease, etc), and I was willing to take that risk with bees coming from Rossmans. I'll be pretty upset if disease problems develop in bees from a source I would not have brought into my apiary...but hoping for the best.
I have said that you should do something for Ken, he is the on that stuck his neck out to fix your mistake.
any experenced beekeeper knows there are no guarantees in beekeeping. things happen. If things had not changed you probably would not have gotten any bees. a loss of 15% of new queens is not unusual. no one seemed to do anything wrong on purpose so maybe its best to get over it. at least it took the pressure off better bee as no one seems to be bashing them this year.
...I hope we can keep in mind that in a thread titled, "Great Packages From Bluegrass" I posted the following:
I was giving what I see as a fair review (with little pejoritive language) of the facts in my transaction...which I did not feel was so fantastic.Err...the packages looked good...very few dead bees.
At least 4 of the 15 I installed in one spot had virgins in the package...killing the mated queen that accounts for a.significant percentage of the cost of the package.
The post on beesource I responded to stated.that they were.coming from rossmans...which is a big reason I purchased them......not gardner/spell.
The worst of it is that the delivery was.moved.up a.week, and I was never.called, emailed, or pm. I got a call a.week before they were supposed to arrive that he was in a mall parkinglot 2 hours away.
Ken was fantastic, and took responsibility for transporting and caring for.the packages overnight. Brad owes you big time, you saved his Bacon.
Everything else has been in reply to a defensive stance...I don't really appreciate someone who didn't give me what I paid for and provided terrible service telling me to "get over it"....and implying that I should keep my experience to myself.
I too received packages from Bluegrass last week, I did want bees from Rossman's but I have no problem with Gardner's, had them last year from another dealer, no problems. Bluegrass dropped them at my place within the time window he said he would, the bees looked great and are all doing great, every queen looked fine to me and were released within 3 days, working great now. I have had packages from others as well and some had atendents in the queen cage and some did not. I had never met or talked to Bluegrass before this transaction. This forum is where I found him. I will use him again, no worries here. Lets hope all 10 packages do well this year.
Ken was compensated for bringing the bees to you. If he wasn't standing right there and headed in that direction anyway I would have brought them out my self.
Fred has the highest of opinions of Gardner's operation. They actually do quite a bit of business with each other. All of Gardner's cages and packages are provided by Rossman... Many of Rossman's queens are provided by Gardner.
I don't know if you have ever been to a package producer in GA, but their stock is pretty much all the same. Their yards over lap and they all work together every spring to get each other's orders filled.(with few exceptions) Which is one reason why you never see a business name printed on a package... Sometimes they don't come from who you order them from.
I don't let any package queens head a hive into winter. I requeen all first year packages in July.
If it is Rossman bees you want I can have them ship you 20 queens.
Last edited by bluegrass; 05-11-2012 at 02:55 PM.
I think its about time this thread/feud be ended or taken offline so the masses dont have to read unnecessary banter
seems to me it brings out a persons true charactor. lol
I also expect a phone call or an email if there is a problem (and yes, I know package timing is often changed...sometimes at the last minute). ...but this is exactly what I didn't get. You had a working phone number, a working email address, and a working PM account on beesource for me.
Last we spoke, the pickup date was set, but the location was not...and the bees were supposed to come from Rossmans (as advertised on Beesource).
So when there were problems...the pickup date moved up, the pickup location decided, the source of the bees changing....I would have expected to get a phone call.
When we did speak, you said that you had emailed me with all the updates. [edit: I don't want to be misunderstood....when you called me from the pickup location you said you had sent me updates...when you returned home and looked in your records you told me that I had somehow "dropped off your list"]
...and when this is reported on this thread I'm told to get over it, and that all packages are the same...and that the rest of your customers are happy. I'm really not trying to give you a hard time...I understand that things happen (I have customers as well, and I've made mistakes I had to apologize for). I don't appreciate being treated like I did something wrong....I didn't.
...for those wanting to know how to get attendants out of the cage before introducing (there are those that say it makes no difference, but I don't know of anyone that would introduce a queen they cared about without first removing the attendants), here is a short video of Michael Palmer showing how.
Mike Palmer doesn't use packages. So yes he may not want to introduce strange attendants into a hive he is requeening. Different circumstances.
20 replacement queens shipped from Fred Rossman plus my apology for my mistake(s) is my offer... Do you want me to place the order or not?
Errr, I hope what you shared about Rossman and Gardener is more informed that what you are saying about Michael. ...no, he does not use packages...but those attendants are from his own mating nucs...the same nucs the queen emerged into. The attendants are in the cage in order to care for the queen between being caught in the mating nuc and introduced into the newly made up queenless nuc. He has enough invested in the queens by this point in time that he wants to give the best chance of acceptance....which is rather universally considered to be without attendants. The video was shot in the beeyard just before the queen cages were introduced into queenless nucs.
Rossman queens at this point will do me little good...by the time I dequeen the packages and introduce new queens my first batch of virgins will be ready to be placed.
...but an apology is a darn sight better than telling me to get over it.