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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
    Posts
    47

    Sad buying Queen??? what would you do?

    I had been struggling with a hive since early may. no queen, laying worker, declining work force. you name it. they built queen cells, queen hatched out, I saw her as a virgin., then she disappeared, I have been robing brood from my other hives and still no progress, I got rid on the laying worker, and figured I would just buy a queen for two reasons. one My two other hives were beginning to suffer from the constant robbing of brood and bees. and My lady and I were going on Vacation and would be gone for nearly two weeks, there would be no one to manipulate the hives. We were scheduled to leave the 15th AM. On the 8th I ordered the bees online from a grower in New York. The grower advertised the next shipping date to be the 10th. and the 12th. When I ordered I specifically stated that if the queen could not be shipped on 6/10/2013 then to cancel the order. I also stated that I needed the package to be marked for the postmaster to call me upon arrival and provided my cell phone number. The post man leaves the P.O. at 7:00 am and does not deliver to me until 5:00 PM or later and I did not want the queen in a hot truck all day. I also stated I would call the seller on 6/10/2012 to confirm the order and shipment.
    I called on 6/10/13 at 7:00 8;00 9;00 10:00 AM. and left a message with my phone number. The seller never returned my call. I emailed the seller on 6/10 and never received a return email.

    so on 6/12 I had a queen sent overnight from Georgia. introduced her and by Friday AM she had been released. so we headed for the airport.

    Today I got an email from my girlfriends mother saying the dogs, horses, and other critters were all doing well. Oh and you have a package, it is on the table.
    To make a long story short. after investigation, it contained the queen I ordered. it was shipped on 6/13 and arrived who knows when after we left. Mom found it today in the mail box. I am sure the queen is dead by now. and my credit card company says I was charged for it.

    Any ideas on how to handle this? beside not ordering anything from this guy again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Unfortunately, I think you'll find that a lot of queen/package sellers are slack on communication. There are exceptions, of course.

    I think you have 2 options:

    1. Call this guy several times a day until he answers. Leave a message on the first call, but then just hang up if he doesn't answer. Send him emails. If you get nothing from that, send him a certified letter.

    2. Chalk it up to experience and leave it at that.
    Try it. What could happen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,154

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    I'd contact the cc co and state to them what you have written above. Can't hurt & you might just get your funds back.
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    When you get home write on the unopened package in magic marker return to sender, and place it in the mail box with the flag up. Wait a few days and if the seller does not call you give him a call, if you cannot reach a resolve then contact your credit card company and contest the charge. most credit cards have buyer protection.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,999

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    The mistake was unrealistic expectations. In an ideal world the vendor would have the right number of packages and queens sitting on a shelf, ready to be dispensed exactly when the purchaser wants them. In the real world this is impossible. Breeders can seem uncommunicative because they have so many people wanting to talk to them there sometimes just is not enough hours in the day to do it. Poor service? Well maybe. But queens and bees sell for what the market will pay, and margins can be tight. A few days ago somebody called me and said she was thinking of buying bees but wanted to know if it was suitable, could she come over and look at a hive to see if she liked it. So I said yes, she came, I opened a hive with her, and then she just kept talking. For me, it was a working day. More than an hour after she arrived I had to be almost rude, walking her to her car and opening the door for her, to get her to leave. She didn't buy anything.

    To expect the vendor to send you one package, on the exact day and not one day later, is expecting too much. When I have customers like this, I sometimes recommend they go elsewhere, can save me a lot of drama later.

    Not that you are at fault, but you pushed your luck, and it didn't work out.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    When did you see the virgin queen? It will be two to three weeks before she is laying...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    When did you see the virgin queen? It will be two to three weeks before she is laying...
    I saw her on 5/12/13 no sign of her and no eggs on 6/8/10 that is why I ordered replacement.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The mistake was unrealistic expectations. In an ideal world the vendor would have the right number of packages and queens sitting on a shelf, ready to be dispensed exactly when the purchaser wants them. In the real world this is impossible. Breeders can seem uncommunicative because they have so many people wanting to talk to them there sometimes just is not enough hours in the day to do it. Poor service? Well maybe. But queens and bees sell for what the market will pay, and margins can be tight. A few days ago somebody called me and said she was thinking of buying bees but wanted to know if it was suitable, could she come over and look at a hive to see if she liked it. So I said yes, she came, I opened a hive with her, and then she just kept talking. For me, it was a working day. More than an hour after she arrived I had to be almost rude, walking her to her car and opening the door for her, to get her to leave. She didn't buy anything.

    To expect the vendor to send you one package, on the exact day and not one day later, is expecting too much. When I have customers like this, I sometimes recommend they go elsewhere, can save me a lot of drama later.

    Not that you are at fault, but you pushed your luck, and it didn't work out.
    I do not feel there were any unrealistic expectations! when I ordered the queen from his website. it said right there in Big red letters. NEXT SHIPPING DATE 6/10/13 and 1/12/13 Contained within the order form was a place for special instructions. in which I wrote "IF FOR SOME REASON YOU ARE UNABLE TO SHIP ON 6/10/13, PLEASE CANCEL THIS ORDER" WHEN SHIPPING PLEASE MARK PACKAGE WITH POST MASTER PLEASE CALL (814) 797-**** UPON ARIVIVAL, AND HOLD FOR PICK UP" I also added. "I WILL CALL MONDAY 6/10/13 TO CONFIRM" I do not see that as unrealistic expectations I see it as plain old stupidity on behalf of the seller. I mean all he had to do was read his order form. or return a phone call, or answer an email. I still have not heard from this buffoon! and I have called 3 times, and emailed 5. it is simply poor business. especially when you take into account I called another supplier and left a message, he called back in less than 1/2 an hour. and my queen was here the next day. I call that service. and attention to ones business.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,999

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    LOL.

    Actually, I'm with you.

    But - you did not FEEL there were any unrealistic expectations, but what you FELT doesn't matter. The reality was there was opportunity for the guy to screw up, and he did. You didn't factor that in.

    I guess I've been a commercial queen breeder, and know the pressure you can be under. Now, if I wanted to order from another breeder, I would not give an order for one package, and with it issue a set of instructions like yours, unless I was prepared for probably about a 75% chance that it would all go well. See, the guy pretty much has to remember all this. Not easy when he has hundreds of other demanding customers, many of whom will also have issued various unique instructions.

    Not saying your vendor wasn't wrong, he probably was. But did you ever get any acknowledgement he was even aware of the instructions? If you didn't, he may never even have had them passed on by whoever takes the orders. Bad, I know. But screw ups are a fact of life & you'll succeed my not giving them opportunity to happen.

    When I order anything, if there are special instructions, I keep them BASIC, sometimes if it's too complex, it won't happen. But I normally don't give special instructions at all.

    Having said all that, I'm not saying you are not "right". After your holiday, when you discuss the matter with him, he may decide to compensate you. But he may not, probably depending on how broke he is.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Well I know one thing I will NEVER order bees from a web site no matter how nice the site appears. If I cannot talk to the seller in person. then I will pass.
    The place I wound up getting the queens from was great. They were friendly helpful and very professional. I have no one to look into the hives for me. so I will have to wait until I gat back to see how she is doing. but I am told the hives are flying well with the week hive running about 45 bees returning a minute, I know that is not a reliable way to judge production, but they were down to about 15 bees a minute. so I at least know the brood I have given them hatched and they are working. we will see. Can not wait to get back.
    Kind of strange, sitting here at the Complete Angler, drinking rum at night, feasting on conk fritters, and scuba diving all day. and all I can think of is my bees. Is there something wrong with me?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    >I saw her on 5/12/13 no sign of her and no eggs on 6/8/10

    If she was just emerged on 5/12 I would expect her to be laying on about the 28th but she might take until the 4th of June. Sometimes there just aren't enough eggs for you to find them easily...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Windham, PA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    I know exactly who you ordered from. I went through kind of the same thing but luckily I was able to have someone go to my house and get the queens out of the mailbox for me. I just had them put a drop of honey and a drop of water on the queen cages and all the queens lived. I kept one caged for 5 days once it arrived because I filled up all my boxes with swarms and I didn't have a home for her.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    He said "The problem is I have no one to feed or water the queens. Mom was picking up mail every few days and making sure stock tanks were full. But she knows nothing of bees, and to tell the truth I figured the order had been canceled as I had requested." guess they will be dead!
    Last edited by Tenbears; 06-26-2013 at 05:30 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,823

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    All you have to do is give the queen and attendants water. For food they will eat the candy. Tell your mom to take a small paint brush and paint a thin film of water over the screen every day, or use a wet finger. The idea is to fill the spaces between the screen and not have water drip through.

    I have a queen that has been sitting on my kitchen counter for the better part of 3 weeks now. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to split one of my good hives (or re-queen one of my weak hives) and and make good use of the queen.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    "I do not see that as unrealistic expectations I see it as plain old stupidity on behalf of the seller. I mean all he had to do was read his order form. or return a phone call, or answer an email. I still have not heard from this buffoon!" Illbeedan

    I am VERY sympathetic for the seller.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Don't give them more than a drop of water a day or they will end up wet and sticky and may die...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,999

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by I'llbeedan View Post
    If I cannot talk to the seller in person. then I will pass.
    Good plan, even with my vehicle repair people that's what I do. The other ones a girl at reception was the best I could talk to and they did work I had not asked for, every time. Plus sometimes not the work I did ask for.

    Quote Originally Posted by I'llbeedan View Post
    I am told the hives are flying well with the week hive running about 45 bees returning a minute, I know that is not a reliable way to judge production, but they were down to about 15 bees a minute. so I at least know the brood I have given them hatched and they are working.
    Not 100% reliable of course, but it's it's a good sign. You may get back and discover everything is pumping.

    Quote Originally Posted by I'llbeedan View Post
    Kind of strange, sitting here at the Complete Angler, drinking rum at night, feasting on conk fritters, and scuba diving all day. and all I can think of is my bees. Is there something wrong with me?
    As there is nothing you can actually do to change anything, best plan in these circumstances is to mentally write them off and decide how you will fix things if you get back & it hasn't worked out. If the worst does happen, you have a plan so no need for further worry. But if you come back to all hives pumping, it's a bonus.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Nice politicly correct answer oldtimer! very well put.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by julysun View Post
    "I do not see that as unrealistic expectations I see it as plain old stupidity on behalf of the seller. I mean all he had to do was read his order form. or return a phone call, or answer an email. I still have not heard from this buffoon!" Illbeedan

    I am VERY sympathetic for the seller.
    Why would you say that? I did My part in a professional manner. I filled out all the paper work he requested in the manner he required. and paid by credit card when I ordered. I even emailed him and explained why I needed to be shipped right away Because I was leaving town. how am I wrong? please explain!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: buying Queen??? what would you do?

    JMHO:

    These small-time queen supplier are easily overwhelmed with orders at certain times of the year. This is the reality of a small, labor intensive business without the manpower or technology to track many small orders each with its own special set of instructions. Regardless of what *should* happen, this is how it is.

    If timing of a queen delivery is critical, you just have to talk to a live person and make sure they understand that you need the queen delivered on a certain day. This is even more true for small orders.

    Again, JMHO.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

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