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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,805

    Default How would you have responded?

    Received a call this evening from someone looking for bulk bees....... And maybe some cells.

    The caller has a bee club thing going where people do not want to wait for swarms to arrive and just don't have the bucks to buy packages.


    Their plan was to;

    1. Buy anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds of bulk bees ( really cheap too may I say)
    2. Divide them into a dozen or so top bar hives.
    3. Put in a queen cell in each top bar hive and call it a day.

    He had read an article by RO in the ABJ and it was going to be as easy as 1,2,3... Or so he thought.


    What do you all think is going to happen?

    What would you have said was the prospect for having a successful outcome?

    I will leave my personal comments for later on this one.... When I can pick myself back up off the floor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Larimer County, CO, USA
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Wow- That's a good one. What I think with only a couple of years. I'm not sure where the folks are from and if bees would be capable of mating at their location. In our area when we get package bees we are usually several weeks to a month away from being able to produce mated queens locally.
    I think if they were able to manage 50 to 100 lbs of bulk bees and actually hive them, they would be unable to produce a mated queen. The bees would abscond and they would blame you. That's if they just didn't abscond knowing the queen cell was not going to do anything. Swarming would an issue.

    Outcome Likely: Epic Failure

    I would have recommended buying packages with mated queens and splitting the costs and maybe doing a split later in the season if the hives developed enough to be successful.

    That being said I know little to nothing about TBH management.

    I initially missed the 12 hives to 50 to 100 pound math problem.
    Last edited by MTN-Bees; 02-25-2015 at 07:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Sidney, Montana
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Aahhhh shucks!!..............the three step plan is out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,473

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    The caller is from which City and State?

    Jean-Marc

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,473

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Where was the caller from?

    Jean-Marc

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    ceredigion (yes, its a county in West Wales UK)
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    It could work well with this type of tbh
    th-1.jpeg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,720

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    I have pretty much stopped selling queen cells to these types of operations, there just seems to be a high failure rate, even 100% failure. Don't know what they do but for one reason or another so often there is a very poor success.

    Then of course they query if it was my fault. But the cells from the same batch that I put in my hives were fine.

    All the same if they want to experiment that's OK. However if they think they can do that with a dozen cells and they will get a dozen laying queens that is unlikely. And the issue with having some fail is that they are paying for the bees, which are also wasted if the queen fails. They may after the fact, find it would have been cheaper to get laying queens.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Even moving queen cells (swarm cells) a few feet into a queen castle there is a danger of damaging the queen. Shipping one for any distance would increase this probability. Birds are going to get some of the queens on their mating flights. Some of the queens will not be mated well.

    Doesn't sound like a good return on the money by the time the losses are absorbed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,736

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Sell people what they want.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,451

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    "What do you all think is going to happen?"

    Mega swarms!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    7,095

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    They would be collecting bees out of the trees for sure LOL!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,670

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    Where was the caller from?

    Jean-Marc
    Ceredigion West Whales

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,416

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    " . . . and just don't have the bucks to buy packages."

    If they don't have the money to buy a package of bees, I would then gently suggest they should first put their efforts into getting better jobs.
    Last edited by shinbone; 02-25-2015 at 07:49 AM.
    --shinbone
    (4th year, Zone 5b, 10/12 hives survived W'14)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    48,239

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    >He had read an article by RO in the ABJ...

    Who is "RO"?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    7,095

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Probably Randy Oliver in regards to his latest submission where he made up a bunch of hives shaking bees infront
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    2,381

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Huge difference between a seasoned commercial guy shaking bees to make up hives and mating NUCS than a bunch of hobbyist newbees doing it. Personally it sounds like failure from the start. I wouldnt sell them the bees or queens, for possibility of being blamed for failure of club members.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Who is "RO"?
    Seriously?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,805

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Quote Originally Posted by MTN-Bees View Post
    Wow- That's a good one. Outcome Likely: Epic Failure
    Agreed!!!!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,805

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    The caller is from which City and State?

    Jean-Marc
    Many reasons to ask this question....... If you ask for mating and drone reasons they are from an area where in a few weeks they might be ok.......... Bay area of northern California across from SF.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,805

    Default Re: How would you have responded?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbc View Post
    It could work well with this type of tbh
    th-1.jpeg
    Besides not selling them any bees this is the best answer posted....

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