Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    29

    Default Dixie bee supply order

    Hello Bee Source,
    I am writing today because I have had a very negative experience with a bee supplier who has a sterling reputation, and I believe that, in light of his refusal to refund my money, I should let the community know about this.
    I ordered three queens from Don the fat bee man, after asking some beeks I know and doing some research. They had nothing but stellar things about his queens and bees in general. I ordered them for myself and one was to be a gift to my mentor, as a thank you for helping me so much. I asked when they would be shipped and he responded very promptly that they would not be mailed till the end of April. "Perfect" I thought. I was scheduled to get my packages on the 13th of April, so the timing was perfect. Imagine my surprise when I received them in mid march. I had no hive to put them in, so they were useless to me. I quickly emailed Don asking what happened and why hadn't they called or emailed me to tell me they were coming so early. While waiting for a reply, I examined the queens themselves. Upon closer inspection, I noticed there were three cages but only two of them had queens in them. So not only were they almost a month early, but the order wasn't even complete. I asked my mentor if he would take them, and he said he would, so I drove over.
    When he got a look at them, he said "Tom, these queens are half dead." I looked down, and they were all moving sluggishly and some were barely moving at all. This just kept getting better.
    I got an email back from Don saying I should mail them back, and that he did not contact me because he does not keep emails and he never had my phone number. In response I emailed him a picture of the box he shipped the queens in, on which was a sticker with my phone number. So not only did he have my number, but he was too lazy to check. His excuse was "I am busy in the bee yard all day, and don't check my email." I found this statement odd since he always emailed back so promptly when I was in the ordering process.
    When I complained about the queens numbering only two (which I backed up with close up photos) and them being almost half dead, he completely ignored the fact there were only two, and told me to go to the post office and file am insurance claim. I don't feel like committing fraud, so I mailed them back to him and asked for a refund or new queens at the end of April, saying he dropped the ball and needed to right his error. I felt this was not an unfair thing to ask, due to the situation. He has since stopped responding to my emails.
    One of the last things he stated was that "I don't like shipping to California because this kind of thing (meaning they arrive half dead) can happen." I asked him in an email before I ordered if he had ever shipped to California and he said yes he had, and had done so successfully.
    All in all, a very disappointing experience. I am sure many people have purchased bees from him successfully, but this was my experience. I paid $90 for three queens to be shipped to me, and I currently have nothing to show for it. If any one would like, I am happy to forward the 20+emails we exchanged which includes photos and runs the entire interaction. From initial questions to the last email I sent him after he started ignoring me.
    I hope you all had better luck getting queens and packages this year. I was very excited to start this year, and I am sad to say this has dampened my enthusiasm.
    Best luck to you all this fine spring season. I hope your hives are going strong.
    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    Sorry you had a bad experience so far. I never ordered bees from Fat Bee Man but he doesn't seem like the type of guy that would stiff you. I can understand being surprised when things didn't go as expected. I will hope for some kind of positive outcome down the road for you with all of this. He has plenty of hives so I would think that he could re send you some queens. I think that most queen sellers will try to work it out with a buyer if there is a problem with an order. I never had any show up dead or got shorted but if I did I would be optimistic that the queen seller would make it right..... I would give Don a call and see if you can find a solution even if you may be feeling unhopeful about it. I would try to work something out with him. I hope things work out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    Thank you for the well wishing, Virginia. I have contacted him via email several times, to no avail, so I am not terribly hopeful for a phone call be fruitful, or being answered. I am not posting this missive hot on the heels of mailing his queens back. The tracking number confirmed delivery to him over a week ago. I am just tired of chasing him down. A buyer should not have to jump through so many hoops, I feel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,340

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    Sorry to hear, shipping bees is always a risk. I would have looked within your state before looking accoss the country. Georgia to san fran is a long long way, lots of stops, multiple handing etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    There are plenty of us out here in Santa Cruz that have bees. I read an article recently that SC has the highest concentration of backyard beekeepers. I, myself, currently have more queen cells than I know what to do with and if you're in dyer need of any I'm happy to work something out with you. The first batch should be hatching within the week and bred by the end of the month.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    Thank you, but I don't have any hives right now. Waiting on my initial package and trying to catch a swarm or two.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    I asked him directly about the viability of cross country shipping, and he said it worked out and I took him at his word. I understand now that it was a mistake to order from that far away, no mater what he said.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,332

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    He should have told you up front about the risk involved. He should make it right with you. To refund three queens is nothing to him but means a lot to a beginning beekeeper.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    He should have told you up front about the risk involved. He should make it right with you. To refund three queens is nothing to him but means a lot to a beginning beekeeper.
    Now that is true word's.I'm also sorry that you wronged,But don't give up because of someone
    fault.
    Most queen breeder will bend over backward to help.Mark.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order gone wrong

    Just curious....why did you order packages AND queens? Packages already come with queens. -james

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order

    I ordered them because I wanted to give two of them as a gift to my mentor, who has many hives and requeens many of his hives every spring, and I wanted to take my package and make a split, which I would have been able to do had he shipped me the queens when he said he was going to.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    killen,al
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Dixie bee supply order

    I have always just called Don if I had a question. He has always answered any questions that I have had. I thought it was nice on his part to try to help someone that he didn't even know.

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