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  1. #41
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Sears didn't become Sears by selling stuff without a margin. Though the year after I bought this hive they closed the catalog division. This was also around the time Canada closed it's border to US packages so the package market took a nose dive and a lot of outfits lost their shirts. For me at the time $65.00 felt like a fortune.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    I would bet good hard money that if you had actually weighed packages 20 years ago you would have seen the same results... we just didn't have beesource to gripe!...
    As for sears. I still have some boxes of foundation from the mid 70s that are from sears.......

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,758

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    I would bet good hard money that if you had actually weighed packages 20 years ago you would have seen the same results... we just didn't have beesource to gripe!...
    Lol, maybe. But 20 years ago they didn't switch the name from "3#" to "#3". If they were selling bees for less than the weight for over 20 years, why switch the name all of a sudden?

  4. #44
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Not sudden been done for over 5 years........ I cant answer all those, I can just tell you whats been conveyed to me. I have been working closely with several major package guys for the lest few years on a new product. I am Dang sure every one of these guys bust there buts to send out quality bees on time with good queens. and its not an easy task to ship bees and be sure they arrive alive. The post office and UPS love to kill bees, weather is a unpredictible at best, and keeping hives stong is not easy. Watching and helping these guys and seeing there dedication, well to be honest it makes me want to just ________ some of the whiners.... Even some of my customers..... I had two this year who wanted "gaurnted bees" I said guaranty what???? they didn't have a clue.........
    so my post are intended to help explain and vouch for the guys ALL of which are way to busy to come to these forums and post.......... Yes I am sure there are a cpl clowns out there.... but dang few.... with about 30 main guys nationwide producing right at 600,000 packages..... these guys are serious about happy customers and bust there buts to do it..... these guys are in the yard working by 7am, and don't quit until well after dark.......and every one will stop to talk to you even if your only picking up 1 package. and so far only 1 has not allowed my full access and pictures.... And that one just didn't want the pictures...... I guess you could say I take it personal when someone runs these fine TOP of the line beekeepers in the ground. without them, most of us would have a lot less to talk about!

  5. #45
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    The post office and UPS love to kill bees,
    Come on, they go out of there way to kill bees? I buy chickens through the mail. They have no desire or would they take the extra effort to kill anything. How would you ship coast to coast without their service?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #46
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    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    I guess you could say I take it personal when someone runs these fine TOP of the line beekeepers in the ground. without them, most of us would have a lot less to talk about!
    They make pretty good decaf these days.
    I haven't read anything in this thread that disparages dedicated, hard working package producers. Only the seemingly deceptive practice of using #3 where your eye reads 3#. Heck, it took the OP 5 years to notice it. If you're selling bees by volume, why not call it a half gallon of bees?
    Go to Heaven for the climate, go to Hell for the company. -Mark Twain

  7. #47
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Last year Koehoens had UPS put allthere bees in plastic bags cause they were "makeing honey" The post office routinly ignores ventalation and inverts packages that say "this side up" (bees starve) as well as leave them out on the loading docks... There was a bit of sarcasm there, but they definatly don't take the care they did 20 years ago........

  8. #48
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    The post office routinly ignores ventalation and inverts packages that say "this side up" .
    I am sure this is ignorance which may or may not be solved by special handling. I don't know what all the policies of the USPS are. The thing is how do you ship them coast to coast if you don't have their service?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #49
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    We went from the weight of a package... to the size of dimensional lumber, to the quality of Toyota vehicles, to the Walmart business model and on to the shipping practices of the Postal Service. Just when I think I have seen it all... this forum never ceases to amaze me.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  10. #50
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    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    We went from the weight of a package... to the size of dimensional lumber, to the quality of Toyota vehicles, to the Walmart business model and on to the shipping practices of the Postal Service. Just when I think I have seen it all... this forum never ceases to amaze me.
    Just a regular thread.
    Go to Heaven for the climate, go to Hell for the company. -Mark Twain

  11. #51
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    At any rate package production isn't a get rich quick scheme. Many have failed over the years and the entire industry is dependent on Reputation.

    I don't believe there is a Package producer out there intentionally trying to scam anybody. It is a pretty competitive industry which keeps all of the producers on a similar standard.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    1,390

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Just got 300 3 pounders shook yesterday with Phil, he was running the scale but I know Phil has a green light on the scale when at the 3 plus pound mark. Maybe Phil will chime in

    To tired to respond before....... Keeping up with Keith and crew even on one of his slow days makes things tough.

    I can and will not reply for others.

    A couple of things to remember.

    1. Depending on the time of year, time of day and location the weight per bee can very greatly. Full stomachs mean package purchasers are paying for a lot of nectar and less "bee".
    A. Its best to shake early in the morning before the foragers have a chance to dump their load into the mouths of the house bees. Especially if the heat and humidity are up. Cool and breezy days it matters less.

    2. Bees.... like all other creatures loose weight when all other inputs are equal....... The longer the time from shake to hiving the larger the disparity in weight.........




    To keep things honest and the process as smooth and quick as possible when pouring we purchased a new "programmable" scale which arrived the day before we shook at Keiths a few days back.

    It not only displays the weight it also has a red ( low) ,yellow ( high), green ( within range) set of lights that display when the bees weigh in a certain range.

    A nice comparator scale that keeps things honest for Keith, myself, and our package purchasers. $1200 well spent.



    If you were to walk in my house right now and turn the scale on you would see that we set the range from 3.00 to 3.25 lbs with the goal 3.15.

    This give a little slack for shrinkage and any bees that fly back when pouring. Simple enough.


    All I can say is that if your not happy with your packages shop elsewhere. Until this fine land gets to the point where your government " supervisor" dictates who and where you must get both your health insurance and package bees from your still in luck...... and free. Well.......partially!

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newberg, Oregon, USA
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    12

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    This has been a fascinating thread from the OP to the stream of consciousness to this last post. I love to see the data but I really love to see the results. In the end, I'll vote with my pocketbook. The good product and service will get my repeat business and kudos on a forum and the poor ones will get a dishonorable mention and not a penny more. Thanks to the OP for collecting the data and for starting this cool thread.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Solano, California, USA
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    1,390

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Last year Koehoens had UPS put allthere bees in plastic bags cause they were "makeing honey" The post office routinly ignores ventalation and inverts packages that say "this side up" (bees starve) as well as leave them out on the loading docks... There was a bit of sarcasm there, but they definatly don't take the care they did 20 years ago........
    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.

    As someone whose customers fork out over 30k a year for shipping bees overnight each year (all over the US) I know what the issue is. Our success rate went up 5- 7 points when we "cannned" the syrup cans. Especially the kind Koehnens use. Since every package gets shook in the morning and are in the customers hands by 6 pm the next evening the necessity of the extra mess and weight of a syrup can is just a disaster waiting to happen. Our success rate in getting live bees to people has hovered at 98.5- 98.7 % the last three years since the cans went bye-bye. Swarms live in trees longer than 48 hours all the time.

    Pickup packages is another story... They get the feed and I let the customers determine what appropriate handling is to keep the syrup in the cans.

    BTW not sure if UPS shipped bees 20 years back.......

  15. #55
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Our success rate in getting live bees to people has hovered at 98.5- 98.7 % the last three years since the cans went bye-bye. Swarms live in trees longer than 48 hours all the time.
    This is the kind of thing I was wondering about, overnight shipping and one other thing. Why isn't a brick of sugar or candy used as feed for shipments? Wouldn't that make more sense to control the sticky mess?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #56
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,758

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    All I can say is that if your not happy with your packages shop elsewhere.
    Agreed. I'm not one for complaining. I'm one for purchasing elsewhere if I didn't like the quality (or the quantity, in this case).

    But I was mainly just interested if anyone else measured their packages recently. If mine were average, in that you shake at 3.15 lbs and they arrive at 2.9 lbs 48-72 hours later, well then it isn't anything wrong with this supplier and it all comes down to genetics. Without comparison, who knows. Of course I could purchase from someone else next year and compare. Always an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by alchemybees View Post
    Thanks to the OP for collecting the data and for starting this cool thread.
    You're welcome. Glad it could be a thoughtful conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    BTW not sure if UPS shipped bees 20 years back.......
    I imagine it was only the USPS 20 years ago.

    I didn't even think UPS shipped them today. Live and learn.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinal, AZ, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    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.

  18. #58

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    A recent thread started by DC Honeybees. Evidently he went down and made a video of the supplier filling some of his packages.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-Georgia-VIDEO
    If you watch the video....I didn't see anything that resembled a scale. It was pretty clear to me that they were filling those packaged by volume. But....if anyone is really curious, you could probably ask him.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    My mentor JN Russell sold packages and queens... I know how he did it, but have no idea if every package producer does it the same way. I do know though that if you did not like his packages you would never have to worry about buying another one... and still he had more orders than he could fill!
    I don't know how many producers weigh their bees before packaging... but JN didn't. He used a small stainless wire box that slides into the bottom of a funnel. You shake the bees into the funnel until the small cage at the bottom was full.. as you slide in a new empty cage the full one comes out. The full cage is poured directly into the package box and queen/syrup inserted. The cage he used is the same cage he has always used. I never measured it, but assumed it was roughly 3 #'s of bees. It was a standard... didn't change... didn't need to change. Will every package weigh exactly the same? I doubt it. Will it matter? I doubt it.
    But the thing about spending your hard earned money and getting ripped off.... 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.
    I know if I sold bees, I want happy customers ... I WANT them to be happy doing business with me. I will sell bees anyway the customers want them.... and I HOPE I am never accused of shortchanging anyone. I doubt however that I will weigh every package.... I will measure by a known volume that SHOULD be 3#'s.
    Honestly... if you never sold packages or queens.... it is easy to criticize anything about what you buy... but if you don't like them, just buy from them anymore... simple.
    Maybe there are unscrupulous packagers occasionally... but I dont think they represent a large number. People that sell inferior products end up out of business before too long. But from a sellers perspective.... a single customer cannot expect to get a whole lot of special treatment ... like many of them DO expect.
    FWIW

  20. #60
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by SippyBees View Post
    a single customer cannot expect to get a whole lot of special treatment ... like many of them DO expect.
    I think you mean a single package not a single customer.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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