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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,876

    Default What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    Carrier-cost-speed-reliability-your responsibility's as the shipper?

    If insurance is purchased, how does that cover a perishable agriculturel item?

    Thank you for your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I like UPS the best.

    Mainly because the USPS lost some of our queens the other year. They acknowledge that they accepted them in florida, but they never left florida, never made it to the destination, and yet they still refuse to pay for them.
    I assume one of the USPS workers needed some queens.

    Aaron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,349

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I like UPS Next Day Air if they are coming a great distance, such as CA. I got queens from GA this Spring, while in SC. The ones that came whatever the regular shipping is called got there in the same amount of time as the next day air, at quite a bit less in cost to me.

    Why do you ask, Lauri? Are you sending me some queens?

    I like the JZCsBZs cages because they are easy to slip down between the frames when installing them. Some people think the bees release the queen too quickly. There isn't as much candy to chew through.

    I like the wooden three hole cages for slower release and sticking them up between the frames from the bottom.

    Then there are the narrow wooden cages that I got from Tinoco Bee Supply. They came w/ tubes seperate and no candy in them. Must be a CA thing. I stuffed mini marshmallows in them. I guess they worked alright.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 05-14-2014 at 07:37 PM.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  4. #4

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I ship USPS, but they do loose queens. Insurance is a joke. Be prepared if they loose a package of queens to replace at your expense/time. I use express shipping only unless local. When you print postage online they give you an area where you can enter the purchasers e-mail for tracking information. I don't know why other queen producers don't do this, but you enter their e-mail and solve a whole lot of problems with customers calling asking where their queens are. They get the tracking information automatically to their e-mail. As a queen purchaser I like to know when my queens are going to hit the post office with a few clicks on the computer not going and checking the post office everyday between two kids running around the house, a full time job, and a sideline bee business. There my rant is over about that.

    Last I checked USPS is considerably cheaper then UPS.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    As a buyer, I've had excellent results from USPS overnight and even 2nd day. Cost is reasonable too. Now I've only ordered from breeders fairly close to me and never West Coast to here in Alabama, so I don't have a clue if I'd get equal results over the long distance. But the local PO folks really go out of their way to be helpful.

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,083

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I think shipping is local so ask your local service providers about any
    question you may have including the insurance aspect of it. Call all of
    them to see.
    The beekeeper usually ship in UPS one day shipping depending on how close
    a distance from the buyer. A local queen supplier 2 hours away ship one day UPS cost
    $15 dollars for 2 queens with attendants in a shipping container.
    So far this is how much I know about queen shipping. I have never done it before. Some will not ship USPS because of too much issues dealing with them.
    I luv bee source!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    We like to use Fedex for overnight and USPS for in state or very near. I have had many very bad experiences with UPS, every thing from losing shipments, killed shipments, and selling me bogus insurance. Further if UPS does even acknowledge they screwed up it might take 6 or more weeks for them to refund shipping fees. Fedex will only take the funds out of your account until after successful delivery; that way if there is a mistake you are not waiting weeks or months to refund your account. Here is a thread about my UPS experience from a few years ago:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ping+insurance
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I only do USPS express. If they are late, I always collect the insurance even if they are alive because it's easy to collect when they are late, and hard to collect when they are dead but on time... they are late more often than you might think and many places are not even promised overnight... I never ship if the temps here or at the destination are predicted to be 85 F or above or 45 F or below.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I use Priority mail flat rate boxes and hot glue the cages to the box. I can ship 25 queens for $5.50. Never had a problem with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I never ship if the temps here or at the destination are predicted to be 85 F or above or 45 F or below.
    I would never ship a queen if I do that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,876

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    Thank you for the input everyone. I appreciate your help.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    >I would never ship a queen if I do that.

    The post office here usually refuses to take them if the temps are much above that here or there... but I find it's not worth the risk.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    And hold for pickup at the post office, unless specified otherwise from the purchaser. I don't want queens sitting in a black mail box all day.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I would never ship a queen if I do that.

    The post office here usually refuses to take them if the temps are much above that here or there... but I find it's not worth the risk.
    In my area its pretty much above 85 from March through September

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    >And hold for pickup at the post office, unless specified otherwise from the purchaser. I don't want queens sitting in a black mail box all day.

    That is always a question I try to coordinate with the buyer because every situation is different. If they are likely to end up in a black mail box, then obviously that is not going to work. Sometimes, though, you can ship it to their work to avoid it getting stuck at the post office an extra day or two. Or if it's going to be on a shady porch or they are always home, it changes things. I know when I've ordered queens, someone was always home, but the postal carrier would just leave a note and not even knock on the door. Then I get the note after work (when they are closed) and have to be at work the next day before they open...

    Also it helps if the customer understands that it's best to call the Post Office a head of time and make arrangements.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    Heres what I believe I'm going to do about the shipped queens:

    I can sell all I can raise locally so at this point, shipping is just a courtesy for those across the country.
    Most folks don't want to pay for overnight shipping, but they want me to be responsible for issues if they ship USPS priority and things go bad.

    I will ship, which ever way the buyer wants..but at the buyers risk.

    It will be up to them to choose the carrier, insurance coverage and speed of there delivery.

    Folks may go elsewhere for queens I realize that. I'm too small a producer to absorb shipping failures. Simple as that.

    I'll be calling everyone on my list for shipped queens to see if they are still interested.

    I have locals chomping at the bit...

    It may or may nor be the right way to go, but it's what I'm comfortable with at this stage of the game.

    Here are some envelope stickers I'm getting made at Vista print. 3" x 4". Hopefully will help with carrier care.

    My list is full for shipped queens this year..Not advertising here. Let me get the hang of it first please.

    Last edited by Lauri; 05-16-2014 at 10:05 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I used to carefully descriptively label the outside of every package, hoping to inform package handlers of the contents, so they might handle them more appropriately. I also sent many with only generic info, such as "perishable, keep from hot and cold".

    It seemed as though my careful labeling was like painting a target on those packages. Almost every one labeled descriptively had some shipping calamity befall them. Only once, after I switched to more generic labeling, did instances of successful shipping increase dramatically.

    For instance, I used to prepare the packages, then take them to the carrier's offices, either UPS or USPS, to pay the postage and turn over the packages. I can hardly describe the problems that created, I would drive the twenty miles to my nearest USPS office, only to have them refuse to accept the package of queens, for various and unfathomable reasons. The UPS office, has sometimes responded similarly -- but has usually been an easier choice. I have learned to pay the shipping charges on my PC at home, print the shipping label, then simply drop the prepaid packages, with generic descriptive labeling, at the appropriate shipper's office - I've had only one shipping failure, since adopting this method.

    Insurance: I can make more money with the time saved, not jumping through the required insurance hoops, than I could ever recoup, if the claims were actually paid.
    >< >< >< >< >< ><
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-19-2014 at 11:36 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    Great story Joseph. Reminds me of a brief time on the dock, the only way halibut made it through the Fulton Fish Market was labeled as monkfish.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    Lauri, you should recommend to your customers that they get the queen delivered to their place of work. It never occurred to me to have that done, but I tracked 3 separate shipments of queen bees from a CA company to my VA home address arrive in Norfolk at 7:00 am and not be delivered to my house until 4pm. Queens were dead each time. If the company suggested that I get them shipped to my work, they could have sat on my desk from 10am until I left for the day, and the first shipment would have been the only shipment. As it was, the breeder ate the shipping costs on the 2nd and 3rd shipment.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,083

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    I would imagine the weather is hot in June and July. Unless you can fill them faster distance and weather is the factor here.
    What is the risk of shipping bees in the hot weather? My concern is how fast can your queen arrive at the destination still alive?
    If your customers agree for faster shipping although it costs more to do then this might
    ensure faster arrival and survival. To ensure my queens are alive I am willing to pay $20 dollars to ship
    them overnight on a short 2 hour drive one way.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: What's the best method for shipping queens ?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    I would imagine the weather is hot in June and July. Unless you can fill them faster distance and weather is the factor here.
    What is the risk of shipping bees in the hot weather? My concern is how fast can your queen arrive at the destination still alive?
    If your customers agree for faster shipping although it costs more to do then this might
    ensure faster arrival and survival. To ensure my queens are alive I am willing to pay $20 dollars to ship
    them overnight on a short 2 hour drive one way.
    We ship UPS overnight. If we're shipping to an area where the temperatures are extreme, we ship to the customer's nearest UPS Center "Will Call" or "Hold For Pickup". The queens arrive at the center in the early morning and are kept where they are cool.

    UPS overnight is expensive, but they have a 97% success rate for us over two and a third seasons.
    Adam Finkelstein
    vpqueenbees.com

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