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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Solano, California, USA
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    1,504

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by sergie View Post
    There is another aspect of packages that I don't quite understand. Some package sellers charge more for one shipped over pick up. Seen as high as double the prices but mostly around a 50% increase and you still have to pay for shipping charges. Why such a drastic increase in price for a shipped package over one thats picked up?

    Disclaimer: No judgement being made just would like to be better informed.
    Once again not speaking for others.....

    Here are some of our reasons:

    1. Most shipped packages (ups) are small orders which means more work per package: Less secretarial work. less labeling, less complaints in general BECAUSE THE BIG ORDER FOLKS TEND TO KNOW A LITTLE MORE WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

    2. Higher risk involved when the packages are not cared for by the producer or the purchaser. (TIME IN TRANSIT ISSUES)

    3. In order to keep our success rate high we custom build the shipping boxes with lots of amenities for both ventilation, damage prevention, and numerous other types of bee loss's
    a. This is neither cheap from either a time or material expense comparison as opposed to the regular old "packages"

    4. Our shipped price includes a nightly trip to visit the UPS planes in either Sacramento or Oakland. We hold on to them till they "have to leave"
    No handing them over to a driver. This eliminates the losses in the truck, distribution center and the second truck going to the plane.

    5. A dozen other reasons to long to list.


    Shipped packages may or may not be more expensive in the big picture. They are certainly can be more convenient for the customer in many situations.

    For those who need to drive 100 miles one way to pick up a small order our service through UPS is right on track when all your true costs are included. On the other hand: If you live in bee country and want 100 it would be insane to pay the expenses that UPS requires to get them there promptly.

    Like everything else in life people must weigh the cost vs benefit vs risk assessment and go from there.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,851

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by SippyBees View Post
    if you REALLY think that getting 2.73 pounds of bees instead of the advertised 3# really matters to you.... don't buy from them anymore.
    There is a difference between having one package arrive at 2.61 lbs, and having the AVERAGE package arrive at 2.61 lbs. On a single package, it isn't a big deal. On volume, it becomes a bigger deal. If you bought 10 packages, it's akin to telling the buyer you'd be happy enough just picking up 9, and donating the extra money on the 10th. Or, buying 100 and only picking up 90 and saying "close enough." Not exactly.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinal, AZ, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post

    Here are some of our reasons:
    <snip>
    I assumed 1&2. #3. (couldn't resist) I did not know. 4 I would have never imagined. Thanks for sharing and I know where i'll get my packages when I order them.

    @OP I do agree the #3/3# thing is a bit confusing and can understand if some one felt tricked by it. However, whats the solution? Label them small, medium, large, or jumbo? Personally I think the buyer has to do their due diligence. In many cases that is as easy as asking a question. Most businesses will gladly answer coustomers questions and concerns simply because an informed coustomer is usually a happy one. As Honey-4-All just demonstrated. Those that are unwilling to comunicate never get my business.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,851

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by sergie View Post
    However, whats the solution?
    Short run ---> don't buy from someone who has short changed you in the past.
    Long run ---> have customers demand that packages be sold in the standard unit of measurement they always have been . . . weight.

    Relabeling packages anything (even small medium or large) is the same exact problem as labeling them package "#2, #3, or #4". It leaves ambiguity in the system that didn't exist before you chose to rename them. And no one chose to rename them because the old system left the customers confused or uncertain on what they were getting. They chose to rename them because (in my opinion) either they could put less bees in a package and call it a day while charging you the same as they used to, or they sell you what you probably think is a 3# package and if you weigh it and find out it's not they can ask you "where did I tell you it was a 3 POUND package? I just said it was a NUMBER 3 package." It's tough for a customer to walk away from that transaction without feeling like they got taken advantage of. Even if it wasn't the intention of the seller (which I'm sure it wasn't).

    In the super long run, I won't ask questions about what I'm getting. I want a supplier that I can trust and that I don't need to second guess. And the supplier wants a customer that is satisfied with what they get and they don't bug the crap out of them over whether one package is 2.5 lbs or 3.1 lbs. I don't know that asking any questions would have avoided this situation either. What would I have asked? "Hi, are your 3 lb packages ACTUALLY 3 pounds in weight of bees?" The answers would have ranged from "yes" to "well, they are '#3' packages, not '3#' packages, and they contain approximately 3 pounds of bees, but not exactly, as some are over and some are under" to "[CLICK]". I would highly doubt that any supplier would respond by saying "actually, our #3 packages average 2.61 lbs of bees".

    But this is all assuming that they left the bee yard under 3 lbs in weight. Which after reading this thread they may, or may not have. Who knows.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    I used one supplier ,my brother another. My packages weighed a little over or a little under 3 LBs. Weighing a flying insect, that is pretty impressive. His packages were visably closer to 4 lbs. I switched. Not because of the weight, it is the bee in the middle that matters. His queens were better.
    I get packages are part of a sound business plan, they were never part of my hobby plan. My solution is simple to plan, harder to do; first, be a better beekeeper and then get a better bee.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    2,740

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    But this is all assuming that they left the bee yard under 3 lbs in weight. Which after reading this thread they may, or may not have. Who knows.
    The single package I weighed (3.1)got to me less than 24 hrs after they were shook.
    Last edited by cg3; 04-01-2013 at 07:26 AM. Reason: checked spelling area
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    May be the whole industry should go to selling packages by the bee. 15000 bee packages for sale.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    [QUOTE=Honey-4-All;915831]Well, well, well Mr. Charlie...........Lets play the blame UPS game. Koehnens run a fabulous ship but I would bet a 1000 bucks that the "honey" was a leaking syrup can. That or they shook the bees on a honey flow and the bees got to hot and threw up all over themselves and it leaked out, UPS happens to have other customers who really don't want their packages arriving all sticky....... Can you blame them for bagging them.


    Agreed Problem was just an example and We both know it was syrup.....And yes I do blame them for bagging them... you would think at least one person would realize that would kill them.....But your stock in UPS will not go down. my point was that A lot of problems arise in shipping. Spent an hour on the phone today with UPS... fixing problems....... They do a fine job, just don't expect it to be trouble free, or the price to be a bargin. I didn't intend this to turn the topic in UPS or USPO reviews, and skew the thread, just to point out its more difficult that mailing a letter, and that the quality has degraded.....

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,851

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    A (probably premature) update on the 5 packages. As everyone mentioned, performance matters so much more than quantity. So I checked today to see if there was a good queen release (and if eggs were present). Out of 5 packages, all 5 successfully released their queens, and 3 appeared just fine overall. One had emergency cells, and few other eggs, suggesting that the queen was poor or not properly mated. Not definitive, of course. One showed no signs of eggs, queen, or anything. I gave that one a frame of eggs from an established hive to see how they do.

    Time will tell, but if 40% had queen problems, not too happy so far.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    May I ask the origin of the packages?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Orland Park, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    I don't care so much about the exact weight, I for one order a 3 lb. package and know that the bees I wanted I got. It is all about the bee you want and be happy with their results.
    It is hard to estimate if you have 3 lbs. or 3.2 lbs. out in the field.
    I the supplier had to weigh each and every single package he would have to charge at least 50% more for the bees because of the time it would take to get 3 or 4 more bees in there for you.
    And no I am not a bee supplier, just a novice BEEK!

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,851

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by tedw200 View Post
    I the supplier had to weigh each and every single package he would have to charge at least 50% more for the bees because of the time it would take to get 3 or 4 more bees in there for you.
    I expect this is a joke.

    The costs would increase to provide exact weights, no doubt. But one supplier on here already admitted that he purchased a scale that will get him within a range that's acceptable (and not .5 lbs short), at a cost of $1,200. How many packages does a producer make a year? If the going rate for packages is roughly $85, do you really think it will take that package producer $42.50 worth of EXTRA time to weight the package? Seriously? If he bought that $1,200 machine, do you think he would only sell 29 packages that year (and then the machine would break, requiring you to buy it again next year)?

    If some are already weighing the packages, and are charging prices in the same range as those that are not, it proves that its possible to actually account for what you are selling, and not "eye balling" it.

    We are also not talking about "3 or 4 more bees". There are 3,500 bees to a lb (on average). My packages were under weight by 6.1 oz (on average). Meaning each package was under by 1,300 bees (on average). That many bees is noticeable, especially to the trained eye, whether you are in the field or not.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,851

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by cg3 View Post
    May I ask the origin of the packages?
    In short, I don't know. They came from GA, and were provided through a middle man. When I asked the middle man where they came from (before I ordered), he told me "a producer in Georgia". He became uncomfortable, and somewhat defensive, when I asked what apiary. I think he suspected I was trying to steal his source or something. I don't know.

    I was in a bind as my nuc provider backed out, and I had few options that late in the season.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,142

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Well then who is the middle man? Someone on the forum might know who his supplier is.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,143

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post

    I was in a bind as my nuc provider backed out, and I had few options that late in the season.
    When I am in that position the guy who came through for me gets a lot of leeway. Vote with your wallet. (At least if it is not a field of one.)
    I am a spec kind of guy so I do get your point, up to a point. Many customers only see one suppliers product, if they do ask around, they only know people who know only have used one supplier. Glad I had a choice in suppliers, this is his last year.
    It is the queen that really matters and only time proves her. Got to like a guy who gives good measure, if only as a sign of his queen..
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    In short, I don't know. They came from GA, and were provided through a middle man. When I asked the middle man where they came from (before I ordered), he told me "a producer in Georgia". He became uncomfortable, and somewhat defensive, when I asked what apiary. I think he suspected I was trying to steal his source or something. I don't know.
    Call him back and tell him you need a Health Cert. If he is transporting bees interstate he is legally required to provide the Health Cert if you request it. The health cert has the producer listed on it.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,851

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Status update:

    In the end, one queen ended up being a drone layer. Two others were superceded (one of which wouldn't lay at all, the other only put out a half a frame of eggs so the workers could overthrow her). After 3 months, these three hives are about 7-8 deep frames a piece.

    Another package expanded into 20 deep frames, and appears fairly healthy.

    The last package expanded into 20 deep frames and 10 medium frames, and tried to throw off a swarm yesterday (although I caught it and made a split instead).

    So, one appears to be doing fantastic, one average, and three substantially sub-par. That, plus all the weights were low, won't be going back.

  18. #78
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Your certianly entitled to go where you like!,, Looks to me like your math is off though, 3-29 to 6-1 is 2 months...... All suppliers had problems with queens this year..... I used bees from 3 different sources and queen issues were normal this year.... about 25% queen problems this year. The ones I installed on 3-28 75% or done with double deeps and into supers. a few are into the 2nd supers...

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,740

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    25% queen problems is about what we experienced in 50 pkgs from the same GA supplier that gave us nearly 100% success last year.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    I installed my first bees this year, and they were packages from Olivarez. They were both nominally 3 lb each, but I did not weigh them. One was significantly heavier than the other and both were in excellent shape (5-10 dead bees in each, live bees in apparent good health). So, was one 'short' and the other on weight or above? Were both short or both above? In the end, since I am a hobbyist, it really doesn't matter to me. I received good bees that have built up well. The queens are laying very well.

    Still, the OP brings up an interesting question, one that I was glad to read and which I had not considered. In any measurement, there is error. 3 lb on one scale may read as 3.1 lb on another and 2.9, 2.6, or even 3.4 on others. Add to that uncertainty the loss of weight through water loss (respiration, depends on temperature and humidity during transit) and there's yet another variable thrown in.

    Why not perform an experiment? Fill a package, weigh it. Fill a milk jug with enough water to weigh the same as the package. Put the package in the garage or shed for 2 days, weigh it and the milk jug again on the same scale. I'll bet that there will be a loss of weight for the package.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

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