UPS Lost my bees
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    9

    Default UPS Lost my bees

    This is my first year beekeeping, though now I wonder if I'm going to be able to. I live in Portland, OR and ordered 2 packages of bees from Georgia. I was notified that they shipped and were to arrive Friday 3/27 by 10:30 am. I ultimately received a notice that they were going to arrive on 3/27 but later than promised. It is now 3/28 Saturday and I had to file an investigation to find the package.

    My question is how long can a package survive in the package box with just the sugar can, and will I have a number of dead bees that would alter the way that I install the packages in a new hive? Have never posted before so thanks for the help.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,689

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    I would call the supplier to ask how long the bees had been packaged before shipment and how long they could expect to survive, fortunately it is not very hot, yet.
    The bees may be sitting on the dock at your nearest terminal. Have you checked the detailed tracking info at ups.com? That may tell you where they are.

    Good luck, I hope you find them.
    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    5,013

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    I have kept a package for three days before putting it in a hive. I estimate the bees had been in the box at least a week total. Had a hundred plus dead but that is a very small percentage. You may want to mist them with syrup when you get them. Access to the syrup in the can is limited.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Thank you both. The tracking stopped in Seattle. When I got a hold of UPS they told me the same information so I suspect they are either in Seattle or somewhere between there and here. It has been cool so there is definitely no heat. I have left a message at the supplier and emailed them as well to find out about the information you suggested. Unfortunately I am West coast and they are East when I called on Friday and closed to phone calls for the weekend so I will see what happens on Monday. Thanks for the comments and support. I won't worry yet...

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,369

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    With good care, as per JW Palmer, a package can do a week, although the layer of dead bees on the bottom will get deeper over time.

    However sitting somewhere in postage survival time may be a lot less.

    All you can do is see what condition they are in once you finally get them. As to what to do about the dead bees, nothing you can do, you just have to dump them all into the hive, alive and dead, and let the bees sort themselves out. Just ensure that dead bees do not block the hive entrance.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    5,013

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Since package bees are not necessarily of the same hive and job functions have not all been worked out, I can envision two worker bees standing over the body of one of their comrades, arguing about whose job it was to remove the body.

    Like OT says, if most of the bees are still alive when you get them, dump them all into the hive. Living, dead, almost dead, not quite sure, etc. If the majority of the package is dead, take photos, and contact your supplier immediately.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    809

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    I have gotten bees from a local supplier or a local bee club that orders them by the truckload (500+ packages) and then has a Saturday distribution. It may be worth looking into this in the future to avoid shipping if you can.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    5,407

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    mfsheffield were you going to pick them up at the UPS terminal or have them delivered? If the terminal is close, I would see if I can change the pickup location to the terminal(I'm not sure with the isolation if ups is allowing pickup's now), it will save the bees the time riding around in the truck. When we have queens sent in ups, we insist that they be shipped on a MOnday so you have a couple of extra days if they get lost.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    9

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    That is a great suggestion.. I will look at that for the future

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    9

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    They were to be delivered to my house. Today, Sunday, I got on the UPS site again and they still haven’t found them but interestingly it appears that maybe they didn’t even get to Seattle yet and are still in Louisville. I just assumed they were in Seattle because that is were the “Emergency situation” message came from but it appears maybe they didn’t even leave Louisville. Tomorrow is Monday so I will be able to call the supplier as well as, hopefully, get more response from UPS. Thank you all for your suggestions and thoughts.. it is helpful to know there are sympathetic ears out there.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,365

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    It's too late now, but in the future, order your bees from Olivarez or one of the other northern CA bee suppliers. They are just seven hours to the south. I have been very happy with Olivarez queens and their bees are gentle. Mountain Sweet Honey right there in Portland sells packages. Bridgetown Bees in Portland sells nucs. I can't say anything about their bees, but they are local suppliers that you drive over to and pick them up.
    Zone 6B

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    9

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Thanks so much. I am looking at getting some nucs from Bridgetown. I was going to give UPS to the end of the day because I found out that these Bees were packaged on Wednesday the 25th. I doubt I will get them today and even if they come tomorrow they will have been traveling for about a week. Maybe that might not be too long but I am afraid that if I wait too long I won't be able to order in time to get some for the season. It's been kind of a rough start to my beekeeping experience. I am hoping that if I can winter them over I might not have to deal too much with this going forward but am prepared for anything at this point... The bees are doing to me what I had hoped and that is to slow me down and just take things as they come... so I guess I am already learning even though they aren't here yet... LOL.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    2,266

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    I am afraid that if I wait too long I won't be able to order in time to get some for the season
    doesn't seem to be as big an issue this year... last year the suppliers we telling the large importers in my area (1k packages a year) their orders were being cut in 1/2, this year its "hey you sure you don't want to add some extra order you made last month?"
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    1,167

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Quote Originally Posted by mfsheffield View Post
    Thanks so much. I am looking at getting some nucs from Bridgetown. I was going to give UPS to the end of the day because I found out that these Bees were packaged on Wednesday the 25th. I doubt I will get them today and even if they come tomorrow they will have been traveling for about a week. Maybe that might not be too long but I am afraid that if I wait too long I won't be able to order in time to get some for the season. It's been kind of a rough start to my beekeeping experience. I am hoping that if I can winter them over I might not have to deal too much with this going forward but am prepared for anything at this point... The bees are doing to me what I had hoped and that is to slow me down and just take things as they come... so I guess I am already learning even though they aren't here yet... LOL.
    Have you called the USPS that services your area? Often I order Queens or bees and they do not come to my door. my mail carrier is Allergic, and "can" just say no. your bees then are at the USPS that services your area, to be picked up. many time the phone number has been copied by someone who is not able to keep 7 numbers straight for 20 seconds. When I get the notice they shipped I call the USPS every day until they state they are there then go get them it is like 6 miles from my house. I would resolve this prior to you next order.
    GG

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    9

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Final update... UPS killed the bees. I ordered them from Mountain Sweet Honey in Georgia and apparently the bees never made it past Louisville. It took UPS almost a week and multiple calls from me including launching an investigation and early on Tuesday AM I got a notice via tracking that the package was "damaged and discarded". It never made it to Seattle. I called Mountain Sweet Honey and they informed me that UPS had done that to 50% of all their orders going to the West Coast. They mentioned that there were over 200 issues they were going to have to deal with. Can you believe that? All the time and effort to get these bees raised and shipped and UPS kills them all! I felt bad for them. Anyway, I was able to find a local beekeeper that I can get 2 nucs from and they are local which might be better anyway so I will pick them up locally on Apr 18th. Thanks for all your support and helpful suggestions.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Sticky problem for the package producer. Because they can demand UPS (or whatever other carrier) reimburse them, so they can reimburse the customer. But, if it costs the carrier, the carrier may just throw up their hands and say this is all too hard, and refuse to ship bees any more.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    the two times we had queens go through Louisville we had problems, I suspect someone down there has been afraid of bees for many years.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    2,266

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Sticky problem for the package producer. Because they can demand UPS (or whatever other carrier) reimburse them
    maybe yes maby no..
    the word here (form freaked out local newbies on FB) was people were driving to UPS terminals to get their bees as when they called MSH on Friday the message said the bees had to be instaled on Friday as they were shipped without a feed can as it wasn't needed when shipped UPS ..
    so there is a chance they didn't get lost, but died in transit and the shipping processes was then stoped.
    we can believe UPS messed up Colorado to Oregon, or we can take a 2nd look at the producer I don't know where the truth is, but this raized some eyebrows
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Quote Originally Posted by mfsheffield View Post
    Final update... UPS killed the bees.
    Well that just sucks.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    10,925

    Default Re: UPS Lost my bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Sticky problem for the package producer. Because they can demand UPS (or whatever other carrier) reimburse them, so they can reimburse the customer.
    UPS Terms of Service for shipping "live animals" (including bees) say that they will NOT be liable for those animals arriving in good condition.

    Packages containing live animals must be prepared in accordance with the requirements as specifically stated herein. Packages containing live animals must provide for the basic humane care and safety of the animal during transportation. Any package containing a live animal shall be considered a perishable commodity and will be accepted for transportation solely at the shipper´s risk for any damage or loss arising from the perishable nature of the item. UPS shall not be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages.

    More here: https://www.ups.com/us/en/help-cente...s/animals.page
    Also, UPS does not permit liquids in feed cans in bee packages. Feed, if included, must be solid like fondant or candy.
    https://www.ups.com/us/en/help-cente...ontentBlock-14
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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