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  1. #1
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    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
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    Default Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Not saying that any of this info is true, nor do I know what companies is having the problems.
    Our farm is getting at least one call every other day that they have had Queens die off very early and really weak bees.
    I know there is a large array of different levels of beekeepers and beekeeping and I know this could play a role in their complaints.
    Looking for feed back on bees from those two states.

    Please don't list any names of the companies.

    NOTE: We can all have problems, hoping not to, but this is the second year of these complaints.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  2. #2
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Last year was a really tough year for queens... 2 different cold snaps really put the hurts on them. not typical but if it was you first experience you would get a bad taste....

    Did you read this months ABJ?? there is a very interesting article blameing poor queens on sterile drones.......

  3. #3

    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    I'd be interested to know, of the complaints you received, how many of those were new beekeepers? I've heard of one package producer in GA that has a history of bad package production. I found them searching to packages myself. Their prices seemed too good to be true, so I did some digging, and found some not so good reviews. I never put out a feeler like this, I simply typed their name into beesource and got what I needed.

    It's one thing to have poor reviews on a company or product. Think about it, most times people that are happy don't say much. Those that are upset want to be heard. That being said, don't write off a company with poor reviews per se. But investigate those same companies to try and find GOOD reviews. One in particular stands out, and despite your request for no names, I'll share the name, because it's a good review: BeeWeaver Apiaries in Texas.

    This is where I got my first package, and where the company that I teach beekeeping classes for gets their bees. I have no affiliation with BeeWeaver, but because of my own good experience, I highly recommend them. If you search on here, you'll find countless good reviews on them. You may also find complaints, but I believe if people are taking the time to leave good reviews, that means the product is more towards the excellent rating.

    I did notice you are in MO. I actually grew up in Bowling Green, just an hour or so north. But my home now, and my apiary is in Houston, Texas. Something to consider, that I highly believe in, is the need to buy local, and that includes bees! Texas and Georgian bees may not do all that well in MO. Same goes for hauling MN bees to Texas. Although very adaptable, that transfer and somewhat culture shock, I believe could be detrimental to a colony. If you are going to buy "foreign" packages, I would recommend buying a local queen if possible.

    I encourage a survey of the complaints you get to see how many of those are first time beekeepers. As us veterans know, starting with a package is actually prett risky, and a simple mistake by a new beekeeper could mean disaster.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    I agree, lots of new beekeepers that do not want to break open a book or take a beginners beekeeping class.
    We tried to take this in consideration when we were posting this. As some of you we thought the same thing, new beekeepers, etc. Again we wont mention any names but one that was mentioned in the post out of Texas was one of the most upset beekeepers. There could be more new beekeepers or the area they are going to could have a lot to do with it. I know some that lost 8 packages our of 10 and we work with 17 states and speak to several thousand people that being said I cant believe all would be new beekeepers.
    I also agree, people will march right to a computer or phone and leave bad reviews but when there is something good to say, good luck getting a good review. (been down this road)
    Again jus asking as we found it odd for so many complaints, any info would be great.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  5. #5
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    Solano, California, USA
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Here goes Phil with one of his conspiracy theories again. Wouldn't be a coincidence that the thread originator is in the business of hauling packages he purchases in California and then resells them?

    Anyone in this gig long enough knows the good... bad... and ugly floats around the country depending on weather conditions. Some year its to wet. others to dry... to make perfect queens.

    If HHF was to ask Kameron ( his supplier) if they ever had a "bad" year in the distant past the relayed message would be a resounding YES. A better question to ask is .........On a decade long study have the bees out of one area been better ( or worse) than other areas? When we talk Texas, Deep south east, and California I think the answer is NO!!!!

    HHF also deals a lot with "newbees" who are known to be more adept to "kill them off" from "lack of care."

    A lot of these people blame the package producer when the real problem is their lack of skill.

    Thats why is called KEEPING. They don't care for themselves as winnie the pooh has put in their heads.
    Last edited by Honey-4-All; 11-27-2013 at 10:11 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hiltons,Virginia
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    All package bee producers and sellers have problems from time to time,its how they handle these problems that seperate them.



    www.poorvalleybeefarm.com

  7. #7
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    Nov 2012
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    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    True we all have problems, again just asking. We have our problems too. We have such a large amount of phone calls about the lower states so wanted to know if anyone else was having problems.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Hive Farms View Post
    True we all have problems, again just asking. We have our problems too. We have such a large amount of phone calls about the lower states so wanted to know if anyone else was having problems.
    Well could it be because the "lower states" are teh only ones producing packages??? I admit freely I am deeply involved with most of the package guys. I visit them on a regular basis. in fact headed out to be with several in GA next week.

    There are some things you need to know when considering "issues" first of.. weather in the areas matters a lot. last year GA got crap... several late freezes... made queens tough to produce at all. 2 guys I know were 6 weeks late on everything. Others managed, but as expected queens were more trouble than usual. 2 years ago west side had issues...

    second, east coast deals almost exclusively with small guys and retailers. West coast is exactly opposite. Very few west coast packages make it to hobbyist....

    East cost ships bees over a 2+ month period. West cost are almost all handled in less than 30 days....East is raised for sale, West is surplus from almonds.
    Very small numbers coming out of TX, and MS, and Florida

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Thank you gmcharlie, now that is helpful, not negative just good information that a lot of us may not have not heard.
    Is there a problem this year? Had a call and they ordered around 600 packages from us as Georgia said they couldn't provide him with the bees.
    This was already this year, last week.
    AGAIN just asking, don't care to drag anyone dawn, not posting names. This part of my responsibility as a business man, beekeeper and package handler. I don't want to miss any information that may pertain to us all.

    PS> I am trying to help some this year down in Florida area, hope to learn something more.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Santa Rosa County, Florida
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Hive Farms View Post
    AGAIN just asking, don't care to drag anyone dawn, not posting names.
    Why bother with names when you can drag down a whole area.Nothing quite like generalities.
    54+ years 30 colonies Treat using Hopguard and essential oils
    http://99-40.com

  11. #11
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post

    There are some things you need to know when considering "issues" first of.. weather in the areas matters a lot.

    Weather is usually the biggest issue. Hands down.

    As per the statement that West bees are "Surplus" out of Almonds I would have to give you a head scratch. There are those who toss on the sub by the semi load to build bees for packages. The sub is not just to put smiles the Almond growers faces.

    True there is no almond pollination in Georgia at the same time of year but I bet that if there was you would not dare call the bees shook afterwards "excesses."
    Last edited by Honey-4-All; 11-28-2013 at 08:46 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Hive Farms View Post
    Had a call and they ordered around 600 packages from us as Georgia said they couldn't provide him with the bees.
    Not bad mouthing your northern California supplier as they are among the finest people in the world...... But the fact is.... happens. Maybe you can call Kameron to ask and then let the folks here know how many package orders they cancelled a few years back when they had the big crash. My guess is it was in the mid thousands. Why did their bees crash?

    There is not a soul around here who bad mouths them cause it happened. They lost the roll of the dice that year. Does not reflect on them at all.

    A few years back when norcal had rain during mating time the same complaints were said about "my" area.

    If your going to be negative lets be truthful and put the blame where it lies. Bees and queens don't last like they used to. I don't care if they are produced in Greenland or tierra del fuego or in the show me state. They are all a poor reflection of the way things were in the past........
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 11-28-2013 at 10:22 AM. Reason: read beesource rules

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Who are the complaints coming from mostly? Hobbyist or fulltime beeks? Hobbyist are the worst complainers at times...

  14. #14
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    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    I agree we all have problems. I know we had problems with queens as the wind blew them away when out getting mated, not a great year.
    Not sure why some people think we cant talk about something without getting all upset. I stated I NEVER HAVE had bees from those areas I JUST GET CALLS from people that have. Was looking for an answer (gone2seed) sorry we can have a question without such judgment, I HAVE PEOPLE ASKING ME WHY so I came to some of you hoping you would have the answers but all you want to do is fight, grow up. Forget I asked, if you cant bring something to the table then don't respond.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Hive Farms View Post
    Was looking for an answer (gone2seed) sorry we can have a question without such judgment, I HAVE PEOPLE ASKING ME WHY so I came to some of you hoping you would have the answers but all you want to do is fight, grow up. Forget I asked, if you cant bring something to the table then don't respond.
    Sorry,but I don't see it that way.An outfit selling California packages knocking southern US bees makes me say hmmmmm.
    54+ years 30 colonies Treat using Hopguard and essential oils
    http://99-40.com

  16. #16
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    gone2seed whatever you think, don't have time for you and you waste of time comments, Hope you find happiness somewhere, deal with guys like you all the time.
    Have a great Thanksgiving.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post

    As per the statement that West bees are "Surplus" out of Almonds I would have to give you a head scratch. There are those who toss on the sub by the semi load to build bees for packages. The sub is not just to put smiles the Almond growers faces.

    True there is no almond pollination in Georgia at the same time of year but I bet that if there was you would not dare call the bees shook afterwards "excesses."
    Ttrue, there are some for which the packages are now a staple, but it didn't start that may, and the majority choose to shake because they have to shake or split... or watch a lot of money fly away. the build hives to get better scores on almonds. and strong hives for honey as they move north. The guys in the south do NONE of that... their hives are but for one purpose. 2 of the big 4 don't even like to process honey!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    Thanks gmcharlie. Has anyone heard that if there are some other places having problems shaking out this year or not going to carry packages at all.?
    I know of one over by Kansas, that the truck driver last year turned on the heat and killed 900 packages, I am pretty sure they are not doing it any more and I cant say I blame them.
    Sad story.
    Thanks for the post
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  19. #19
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    You sure can tell by this thread that it's the "off season" for us beekeepers.

    From my experience and mine alone, I had two packages from the same Georgia supplier. One did amazingly well and kept the original queen all season. The second package lost it's queen within a month and it had to requeen itself.
    Both are doing well at this point and had good brood patterns.

    I am rearing my own queens though this spring from stock "survivor" "overwintered" bees that are amazing both in honey production and brood production. This season is going to be phenominal from what I can tell.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Package Bees from Georiga and Texas, have you had lots of problems.

    I hate to enter this debate because I know I'll be attacked. I have no skin in this game, but, the package bees sent to the Northeast suck. I'm not a package bee beekeeper, but many, many beekeepers come to me with their tales of woe about the rubbish bees they get from the Southeast.

    But it's not just talk. It's not just beginner beekeepers who don't know how to keep bees. If you want surveys, look at the survey from Maine by Mainebeekeeper on this list. 60% dead before winter. Look at the survey by Jim Haskell in Virginia. 80% failed to make it for one year. These are good beekeepers with years of experience. Ask Winevines on this list what happens with package bees from Georgia.

    Ask my honey customer from Massachusetts who has kept bees longer than you have. 12 of 25 packages had drone layers on installation...and no refund from the MA reseller...RR.

    The package bee industry in GA has real issues, and it's not just poor mating weather in the spring.

    Let the fur fly boys!

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