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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Findlay, Ohio
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    518

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    I have been following this thread and I would like to comment.

    1. I do not have any bees ordered through Busy Bee Apiaries.

    2. Busy Bee Apiaries is not a package producer.

    3. Busy Bee Apiaries is a package reseller for package producers.

    4. Busy Bee Apiaries has no control over delivery of packages into their inventory.

    5. The package producers are behind due to weather and other variables.

    6. Until the package producers can fill Busy Bee Apiaries' orders, bees will not be shipped to the end customer.

    7. Places like Busy Bee Apiaries order packaged bees based on the paid orders they receive.

    8. Places like Busy Bee Apiaries uses the money from these paid orders to place orders with the package producers.

    9. Delayed shipment of bees causes Busy Bee Apiaries to take the blunt of the complaints due to delays from the package producers.

    10. Package producer will be the last to refund money to places like Busy Bee Apiaries.

    11. Places like Busy Bee Apiaries will be the ones refunding delayed or canceled packaged bee money to the end customers, even though that money has been paid to the package producer.

    12. Places like Busy Bee Apiaries will still have to take delivery of packaged bees when they become available as they are a paid order.

    13. Those that have been refunded by places like Busy Bee Apiaries end up with extra unpaid packages due customer cancelation from delays that have been out of their control. These would probably be used to fill some orders early, or be left over for the package reseller to deal with (making nucs).

    14. Everyone is mad at places like Busy Bee Apiaries because of delayed shipment of honey bee packages.

    15. People start calling for the business to close down. They call the business very poorly run, and just about any name they can think of.

    16. Places like Busy Bee Apiaries become overrun with complaints on their voicemail, email, and places like this forum. These complaints all stem from a product that is produced by someone else, dependent on good weather, good honey bee populations, on time queen delivery, proper mating, and many other variables.

    17. The company does the best it can to inform customers of delays, refunds, and status of the orders.

    18. The same customers keep calling and emailing to ask for updates, refunds, etc. Please sit back and ask yourself if you could handle 100's of calls and emails a day asking the same questions over and over and having to sort through everything over and over. A notice is posted/emailed on delays, etc., but you still get the same calls and emails daily all the while still trying to run the rest of the business.

    A good business can fail due to supply issues. The delays are a supply issue and until Busy Bee Apiaries gets its inventory from the supplier, they cannot fill customer orders. Customers that cancel will have to hope someone else can deliver packaged bees. Some customers that canceled may find that their order would have been filled late, and now that they have gotten a refund, there are no more companies to fill orders.

    I hope everyone gets their bees this year. Delays make no one happy. This is my take on how things might be going for the business that is the focus of this thread. It is my opinion only.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-24-2011 at 08:19 AM. Reason: language

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  3. #122
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cocke County, Tennessee, USA
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    70

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    What a breath of fresh air. Someone that understands logistics.

  4. #123
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
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    770

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    They don't care.

  5. #124
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    red lion, pa usa
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    busy bee apiares got into the trouble they did for several reasons, not knowing the business, trying to take to big of a piece of the market, and there very poor customer relations, knowing your product and the people who buy it is a very big part of any business.

  6. #125
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    912

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    I'd also like to comment, and in the interest of disclosure I did order a single package form them only because I thought I could have it early. I've received my bees, albeit the package was extremely light.

    This company is a broker. Yes, they're not the producer, but they take full payment for the package, and therefore are ultimately responsible for it. The fact that we know that they're not producing them doesn't make them less responsible. If package brokers want to disavow all responsibility for the packages, then we need a different system, one where we, the customer, make the package payment to the producer, and a shipping payment to the shipper/broker, in this case Busy Bees. When the packages are late, the producer would then have hundreds of people calling him and would be more likely to fulfill this order since it wouldn't just be the one guy who's running Busy Bees complaining to the producer.

    My wife works for a company that brokers plants to greenhouses. This is an agricultural product, albeit grown in a greenhouse, but still susceptible to disease and pests and the like. If a customer orders a product, and the grower promises that product by a certain date but then cannot deliver, the customer has the option of canceling the order, or my wife's company, the broker, will search for other growers that can deliver the product. So giving all the money to the producer up front before any delivery is made is also not a good practice, but one we've all just come to accept.

    Busy Bees has a new idea for next year since they plan to be in the south by then. They want you to order next year's packages this summer, as in next month. For every package ordered, they will create a hive when it's ordered, meaning this summer. Your package will then be the first shaken from "your" hive and you'll get the queen from that hive. They'll shake the package even if the hive becomes inviable after shaking. This is a very interesting idea, and I applaud Rory for thinking outside the hive body on this one, but I think he'll have a lot of challenges getting people to order next year's packages so early on. What if all my hives winter over well, I don't want packages, but if I lose a lot, then I will. I can't make that call now though.

    I wish luck to Busy Bees, but I also believe when you take a package order and take full payment, you become the producer, whether we know you shake them or not.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-24-2011 at 08:18 AM. Reason: quote

  7. #126
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Boxford, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    The issues is the lack of communication from Busy Bees. The only information we get comes from complaint on Bee Source. They could send out e-mail updates to everyone with very little effort if their computers are set up properly, or have a place on their website for updates so people are not left to worry. Oh wait! I just received an e-mail saying my bees have been shipped! Have I said how much I love these guys yet? Woohoo! Now if they get here healthy and happy I'll be thrilled. Stumbling upon this blog though really put me in panic mode. They need to improve communication with their customers to avoid threads like this from starting.
    Last edited by Corvair68; 05-20-2011 at 10:05 AM.

  8. #127
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Garfield, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by FindlayBee View Post
    I have been following this thread and I would like to comment.

    1. I do not have any bees ordered through Busy Bee Apiaries.
    ----snip----
    I hope everyone gets their bees this year. Delays make no one happy. This is my take on how things might be going for the business that is the focus of this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by beemaster01 View Post
    What a breath of fresh air. Someone that understands logistics.
    "Can't shake bees in the rain....." What my uncle used to say all the time. Even with all the technology available to "forecast" and track, we still can't control the weather.

  9. #128
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    "For every package ordered, they will create a hive when it's ordered, meaning this summer. Your package will then be the first shaken from "your" hive and you'll get the queen from that hive. They'll shake the package even if the hive becomes inviable after shaking. This is a very interesting idea, and I applaud Rory for thinking outside the hive body on this one, but I think he'll have a lot of challenges getting people to order next year's packages so early on. "


    Um, yeah...So what if I order in November? What if I order right now (middle of summer) and the hive does not build up? What if they die over the winter? Who is going to take up the slack? If experience with these guys is any indication, it looks like the Buyer will. Here it is nearly June and people are still waiting for their bees...

    "The time has come to be patient and grateful for any amount of bees that you will receive. Many people seem to be only interested in catching a spring flow. I view this as a serious mistake as more people are needed to focus on helping to simply keep bees alive and build local stock for stronger bees in the future."

    So I should be happy with getting my bees in the summer? How is getting package bees AFTER the spring flow helpful to anyone? How is starvation going to fortify my stock?

    "Many people who are interested in provident living are part of the reason for the supply issue. There is about 100,000 new beekeepers coming on board this year. I have talked to many of them who understand they have a rocky future ahead and honey bees are a part of their security that they desire for their families. It would be prudent for all to spend some of the time during this shipping delay to look at other areas other than bees for things they need and need to do and allow us to do the same."

    What kind of security can I expect from package bees (a light 3lbs from previous posts) that I hive in June? Having to feed my family means not over-extending myself so that I can meet my obligations. It might be prudent for Rory to take some of his own advice and learn the business and the consequences that follow, before he leaves his customers high and dry. I have been in the bees for 20 years and still learn something new every day. You want to jump in and take a risk after 2 years of puttering around in the yard, go for it, but making your customers take the hit when you fail is not good business.

  10. #129
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    Here is a simple answer to your problem. If you dont like it, become a broker and see how easy it is. I only sold 850 packages this year and was hit with the same backlog. Some people dealt with it better than others, and some new beeks just could not understand why I did not have bees in a warehouse somewhere. It is a symptom of our "add water and stir" society. I appreciate that people pay for a product and expect delivery. However, it is difficult when you are trying to run your hives, send packages, deal with the phones and post on your website that you are shipping on a certain date only to have someone call you and ask you at 7:00 a.m. on the day of shipment if you have a tracking number yet.

    Having said that, I agree that communication is important, and I have taken some knocks upside the head myself. Some times you cannot get to people fast enough. But altough every year has its challenges, this one was really tough and I bet next year will be just as difficult as people try to play catch up from what they missed this year. And of course, we have no idea what the winter will be like. I have people asking about 2012 orders already and although I have placed my standing order, I am just not ready to deal with 2012 when 2011 has not finished for me yet.

    I purchased 150 packages from Busy Bees this year who got his from Garders. Quite candidly, Rory kept me informed of what was going on. I got them all. I will not source bees next year that come from Gardners. This is no reflection on BB Apiaries, but, I have been feeling the pain of Garnders packages and superseding queens for the past three years. Some of my customers have also felt the same as I send out emails asking for feedback as part of our quality assurance review process. I also ask for hive photos from various people around the country to check the bees which I source.

    This is a wonderful business and my greatest addiction in life. I have no others. It is tough, and sometimes it frustrates me. As much as people are upset about the delays, I am certain they could not be helped. No one wants to sit on stock. We are not in the "lets aggravate our clients" business. If the bees were available, they would be shipped ASAP.

    Rory is trying some new things. Will they work? I dont know. Maybe due to the location he is in he has a chance. But if the guy has to respond to 250 calls a day and a like number of emails, he wont ever get an opportunity to implement his business model.

  11. #130
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Boxford, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    As I said before, it is all about communication. Keeping folks informed, and explaining the issues is key. With hundreds of folks waiting it can be difficult to respond to all calls and e-mails, but it would only take a few minutes to update a page on the website to keep everyone in the loop. It would have likely avoided this thread, and a lot of canceled orders. If what they say is true there are a lot of other sellers having the same problems, but they don't have a 13+ page blog of complaints on bee source. If my bees come in reasonably close to weight and are healthy and happy I may order again next year, but I'll be sure to get my order in much sooner. Unless of course the bees do well enough to split the hive next year. But then again I might be totally addicted and want several hives. My comments and reaction to this thread were due to the fact that this was the only place I was getting information. Good news travels fast but bad news travels faster.

  12. #131
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
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    293

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvair68 View Post
    but it would only take a few minutes to update a page on the website to keep everyone in the loop.

    You said it all right there.

  13. #132
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    The latest update on their website is from 5/10/2011.

    Ship Dates: Updated - 5/10/2011 9:25 PM

    Current shipping dates from Georgia for package bees will be May 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th. These new shipping dates are not from our previous supplier that has been causing all of the delays. The new 3 pound packages come with a Italian queen. Anyone wishing to wait on their original package orders with Italian / Carniolan crossed queens may do so as we still get packages from this source but much below the demand.


    Additional information I found on the package bee order page and appears to have been either updated or added on 5/10/2011.

    When selecting one of the below shipping dates when placing your order, please understand that this is only to allow us to know the earliest date that you can have your package shipped. Any posted date may be booked at the time of your order placement. We will contact you to allow you to discuss any complications with an actual shipping date that we assign you after receiving your order.
    Last edited by FindlayBee; 05-21-2011 at 10:14 AM.

  14. #133

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by FindlayBee View Post
    The latest update on their website is from 5/10/2011.

    Ship Dates: Updated - 5/10/2011 9:25 PM

    Current shipping dates from Georgia for package bees will be May 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th. These new shipping dates are not from our previous supplier that has been causing all of the delays. The new 3 pound packages come with a Italian queen. Anyone wishing to wait on their original package orders with Italian / Carniolan crossed queens may do so as we still get packages from this source but much below the demand.
    It's nice to post current info from their website Findlay. But there was nothing of the sort weeks ago. It went from a week, to 3 weeks, to we don't know when, to if you get them you're lucky. That's not to mention the unanswered emails, phone calls (if you could leave a message), and double charges (in my case). I'm curious, why even bother if you have no vested/monetary interest in them? Is there a point you're trying to make?

  15. #134
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
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    518

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    It appears, from the posts in this thread, that there has been communication updates: 3/23, 3/24, 3/31, 4/4, 4/22, 4/29, 5/10. These appear to be updates from automated emails and from information on the company website.

    Supply issues happen. From the looks of things, there were updates telling of delays. Everyone can cancel an order and get a refund. It appears that those wanting a refund got theirs. It is unfortunate that you got billed twice, but it appears that the issue was resolved quickly, albeit not as fast as some would have liked it. I would also be very upset getting billed twice for something. I would be even more upset if it caused a cash flow issue on my end and I have been in that situation with non bee related companies before. I have had credits take a few weeks to show up in my bank account as well. My bank now shows credits and debits that are pending when I login to my bank. I use to just have to sit and wait and start calling if I didn't see the credit.

    I posted the information above as there have been 10 days since that 5/10/2011 update. Since that update on their website, there have been several complaints that they don't update their website to let everyone know what the status of packages is.

    Guess what I am trying to say is this...

    We all expect our packaged bees to get here on time. I am darn lucky that I got mine from a local package reseller on time and within a day or two of the original date of availability. My biggest advantage is that I only have to drive 50 miles round trip to pick them up. However, when I place my order of bees, I have to give 3 dates that I would be willing to accept my bees. This means that I may have to wait for a month to get my bees, even though my first 2 dates have come and gone.

    This is direct from the fellow I get my bees from:

    March 30 April 13, 2011 April 27th, May 11 and May 25th is sold out for 2011.

    I can choose from any of those dates and depending on who is in front of me I may get them on the first available date. I gave the dates of March 30, April 27, and May 11. I got lucky and got mine on March 30th. However, I may have had to wait until May 11, and in an extreme case, May 25th if a delay or shortage happened. I only order 1 or 2 packages so I can see getting myself bumped to another date. If a date comes and goes without a phone call, I know I have been bumped to the next date.

    Perhaps Busy Bee should do something similar, this way people know right up front the earliest date may just not be available to them.

    Once again, I hope everyone is able to get some bees this year and that there is time to have them build up well to overwinter. Perhaps I am not getting my point across correctly.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-24-2011 at 07:41 AM. Reason: quoting

  16. #135
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SNOHOMISH, WA, USA
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    267

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    A supplier or reseller will never make everybody happy. Communication is in the eye of the beholder.
    I ran the website for a reseller this year, they drive down pickup the bees and have in store only pickup (clearly posted on the website in big bold letters)over the next few days. When orders are placed we have a best guess date posted on the site, if you call your order in or go into the store you are told the same thing, this is the date we are aiming for, about a week prior we will send out an email confirming the pickup date, we do not call, making 700 plus calls is just too time consuming, check your email.
    With that clear instruction given. This year our date slid one week, emails went out and yet we still had people show up on the estimated date, folks asked why they did not get a call, we constantly feilded phone calls about the date due to people not checking the email. We had folks ask when we were going to ship their bees (instore pickup only) we actually got no out of state orders this year, last year we were getting orders from all over the country, folks just cannot be bothered to read what is printed before them.
    When all was said and done we handed out 750 packages, not one complaint, but it sure aint easy

  17. #136
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    gordo, al
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries

    Busy bees allowed the delivery dates to pass with absolutly no communication whatsoever. Phone calls and emails were the result of bad business practices.

  18. #137
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries Package Delay

    Apparently March 23, 2011 people started getting emails about delays. Guess I would have thought that was an update on the status of packages. See the 1st 3 posts of this thread. My point being there was communications from BBA, but people chose to complain about the delays and then started complaining that updates as to the status of the orders did not come fast enough.

    Not sure how many updates people need when a shipment is delayed a week. Day to day updates for the week? When another delay was encountered, BBA emailed again about the delay. Yup, there have been many delays. One delay was for at least 10 days, how many updates does one need within that 10 days? Need a countdown from 10 to 1?

  19. #138

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries Package Delay

    Findlay... You're kinda beating a dead horse. Playing internet detective using a single thread on a message forum and what's CURRENTLY on BBA's website isn't helping anything or Rory. You stated you didn't order anything from him so I'm curious why you're seeming to make it sound like those of us who did were over-reacting when we didn't receive email updates regularly enough to our liking. You're missing so many pieces of the puzzle. You can't condemn people for having average (actually mine are lots higher) customer service expectations.

    Fact of the matter is this. I run my business with a EXTREMELY high level of customer service. Maybe I'm a bit of a brat for expecting other business to follow suit. But who's to judge how myself or anyone else reacts when someone we've paid for something doesn't deliver in our expected time frame?

    And... Since Rory and I are done business wise I'm going to do the same with this thread. Don't want Barry to break his delete/edit button.

  20. #139
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    gordo, al
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries Package Delay

    I have yet to recieve any of these so called email updates you speak of. And they didnt update their website until this thread was at least 3 weeks old and im sure their inbox was full!

  21. #140
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Riverhead,NY,USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Busy Bees Apiaries Package Delay

    Well i finally received my bees on Thursday. I was glad to finally get my packages that were two months late from there original delivery date. But I ordered marked Carniolan queens and what I received was unmarked Italian queens. This isn't a big deal but i spoke to rory last week and he didn't say that the orders were going to be changed. And the other problem I had was that i paid over $54 for shipping and the price on the label was $24. And two of the packages were the most aggressive bees i have ever handled. I've never gotten stung while installing a package before, well I ended that streak with 6 stings from one package install, not to fun lol. But I have a call into Rory so hopefully I can finally have this whole transaction behind me.

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