I ordered several packages from Mann Lake earlier this year, After releasing the queen I left the bees alone for 3 weeks so as to allow the queen to settle in and get the hive started. On the 3 week inspection there was No brood in the hive, No eggs, no larva, and no capped brood. I located the queen and she was happily wandering the frame doing nothing. I called Man lake and told them the problem. They told to give her another week, Not that I thought it would matter, so I did. After that week the conditions were the same so I called them back. They told me a new queen. but I would have to drive to their store to get it. I told them It was a 450 mile trip and the fuel cost alone was more than the cost of the queen and asked if they would mail her. They refused claiming they had too many problems with queens not arriving or dying. Well I happen to know that Olivarez honey bee gives them extra queens for just such situations because I have spoken to Olivarez in the past. so what difference does it make to man lake weather the queen arrives or not. (BTW I have had queens shipped from Olivarez in California to Pa. and they made it just fine.) One would think a within state shipment would be just as successful.
Anyway by now this package is 3 weeks with no brood new bees and is dwindling fast. So I call and speech to someone in a position of authority, and tell them the situation I get more run around ( now have over an hour in Phone time) Don't get called back the next day as promised, and after three days I call them back. I tell them the package is down to a cup of bees and basically done for. They tell me they will discuss it with their supervisor and get back to me. When they get back to me they tell me they will give me a nuc to replace the by now failed package. But I have to pick it up. Now let me see. 450 miles @ 16 MPG=28.125 gallons gasoline. @ $3.10 per gallon = $87.1875 450 miles @60 mph=7,5 hours. + 2 fuel stops @ 20 minutes each =8hr 10 min. Figure 1/2 hour for pick up. and 40 minutes for my employee to have lunch. We are now up to 9hours and 20 minutes. My employee's wages are $11.50 per hour. $11.50 X 9.333=$107.30 They expect me to invest $194.49 to replace a $141.00 package, THAT I ALREADY PAID FOR! This is not the first time I have had to do battle with Mann lake over their stupidity they once charged me twice for the same order. after hours on the phone they would not make it right. I had to cancel my sky miles credit card and dispute the charge. My bank n longer offers sky miles credit cards. so I list that forever.
I bought Olivarez carnolians because that is what I wanted to try. I could have easily split some of my hives and introduced Olivarez queens.
I mentor dozens of students annually, as well as maintain over 100 hives. As of today. I WILL NO LONGER BUY FROM OR RECOMEND MANN LAKE.
as long as Mann Lake is taking the money they are fine. but when they make a mistake DO NOT EXPECT THEM TO RECTIFY IT!
EVERYONE SHOULD CONSIDER THIS WHEN DEALING WITH MANN LAKE!!!