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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY

    Hello,

    Just wanted to post my experience with White Oak Apiaries in Brewster NY. I know that Mike the owner is just starting out, and I wanted to give him some slack but I cannot as I have spoken to and seen reviews from others that had similar experiences to me.

    First off we were told that they would be ready Mid may--I picked them up on Friday June 15 (one month later than planned) This was annoying but I didnt mind as I would rather have good nucs than rushed nucs. Well I went over to get my 24 nucs for the local club and arrived at 9 am and was told "oh someone who wasnt supposed to pick up today came unplanned and so I had to give him 40 nucs" 24 of which were mine--so then I had to wait an hour for him to wrangle up 24 nucs.

    Then right off the bat while I am checking some of them I see one with hardly any eggs no brood so we had to swap it for another. I had people meeting me enroute home and now I was one hour late so I couldn't go through each nuc. So I get home an before giving each nuc to club members I checked them
    1 had 4 frames no brood eggs nothing
    3 had just eggs no brood capped
    1 had a swarm cell that just emerged and one in process

    I was so mad I cannot give these to new beekeepers in good conscience. So I had to drive all the way back to Brewster to switch them for new ones which the owner did--but I must say he was rather unapologetic. I understand this is a new business and it is one young guy doing everything but I think he got in over his head. The nucs that were good were great but the bad ones....well they were not even sellable.

    Anybody else buy NUCs from White Oak?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,653

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    I'll be interested in knowing how the "great" nucs do...

    A friend of mine was disappointed with the nucs she purchased from White Oak.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Greenwich, NY, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    I tried White Oak Apiary nucs this year also. I picked them up on June 8. On June 15, I photographed them all. I put the pictures on my website at www.beevet.com/WhiteOak/WhiteOakMain.php

    I bought 12, 3 were for other people, and 2 more were sold upon arrival home. I heard that one of the 3 had built up well, another was building, but slow, and no word on the other or the 2 sold last. I tried to sell the best nucs (most bees, heaviest) to the other people, so the 7 I have pictured are probably the worst of all 12.

    I called, emailed and texted Mike Bruen to ask for his comments first. I have not heard back on any of those methods of communication. I do have my limited comments on what I am seeing at the bottom of each page. each page has a picture of both sides of each frame. There are a few missing that I did not get done right. All of the nucs have recently been combined with another or a swarm in order to try to have some strength for winter. I am not sure in the combined form they will be ready for winter. Most were not drawing out, and I had had issues trying to get them queenright. I moved them from the nucs into new wood with new wood and foundation or new pierco with extra wax painted on to entice the bees to draw it out.

    Is this typical of what people are selling for nuc hives? I am looking to buy a lot of nucs and/or packages next year. The talk on the website was good. Not sure the product measured up.

    Chris
    Washington County, NY

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Delhi, New York, USA
    Posts
    351

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    I bought my NUC from George Jersey, Barnveld NY I took a class with him at our local Cornell Cooperative Ext. and I know he has done quite a few; I have heard no complaints. This is my first year, and I would recommend him. If you need a phone number or email I will pass it on to you. I believe he is Wild Mountain Apiaries, NY.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    2013 Heads up on this (yes I am still annoyed....) For anyone thinking about White Oak Nucs look at COW Docs photos pretty conclusive and similar to what I experienced
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,465

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdoc View Post

    Is this typical of what people are selling for nuc hives? I am looking to buy a lot of nucs and/or packages next year. The talk on the website was good. Not sure the product measured up.

    Chris
    Washington County, NY
    I looked at some of the photos you posted Chris. Pitiful examples of nucleus colonies.
    The nucs you ordered for this season will have 2 frames honey and 3 frames of brood.



    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    Update: The article in the April edition of Bee culture regarding "Buying Nucs", tells a similar horrible story from another customer. Though the apiary is not named it is certainly White Oak, which can be figured out by quotes from the apiary website (which are still up by the way if you google the quotes) BEWARE you will not get what you pay for and this article further proves it
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mahopac, NY
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    I also had a bad experience with Mike. Rather than bore you with all the gory details, suffice to say he is not set up in a professional manner, has no record keeping, sells shoddy equipment as new, is EXTREMELY difficult to contact, and told me "I am a wholesaler, I can't provide service to individuals'. There are so many nice helpful beekeepers out there, why deal with a nasty one?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    Cowdoc, 2 out of 7 isnt bad.... right?

    I purchased 6 queens in the two trips I made to Brewster last year. Not one ever started laying and most made an attempt to supersede but it was late in the season. I ended up combining what I could to save the nucs from robbing and yellow jacket attacks. I lost all but one nuc. I made a few attempts to contact him to no avail. Very sad. Live and learn.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Peterborough NH
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: White Oak Apairies NUCS Brewster NY--no Quality control (unless you inspect each

    If you want to get stung in the wallet, order your bees from White Oaks Apiary. We drove from N.H. to Brewster to pick up 2 nucs on June 29 - much later than promised. Communication was poor - but we wanted to support a northeast apiary. I checked the bees by opening the box and the top of the nucs were covered with bees. I thought everything was ok - big mistake. We put the nucs in bee bags and drove home in an air-conditioned car, with no stops on the way. To our surprise the bees did not want to stay in one nuc and it wasn't long before we had a good number of bees flying around the car as we drove. With rain on the way we decided to hive the nucs that afternoon. I pulled the frame on the first nuc and found 85% of the bees were dead. They were cooked - really cooked and gross. It was obvious that this box had been left closed in the sun for a long time. I took photos and went to the second nuc. The second nuc had live bees and I moved the frames into my hive. I found pollen and honey. Very little brood. No recently laid eggs. Little black hive beetles. And a queen cell. This nuc was too weak and it didn't make it. We contacted White Oaks immediately concerning the dead nuc and sent the photos. Eventually we got a response that stated the problem was on our end. I don't think so. Repeated emails have been ignored. Lesson learned - check your nucs more carefully and don't support a poorly managed apiary.

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