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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought eight 3 Pound packages from them in April 8 this year. I kept five of those packages, three went to beekeeper friends of mine. Out of the eight packages two had drone laying queens (one of mine and one of my friend's packages). I just heard from my other beekeeping friend that his queen from that package has filled a total of three frames of brood, after being installed on ten deep frames of drawn foundation on April 9th. He is looking to buy a queen and requeen that hive. So that makes a rate of 25% for drone laying queens or 37.5% for drone layers and a weak queen combined.

I will take my business elsewhere next spring.
 

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Wait for nice mite loads out of those bees as well.
 

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If I were you I would go ahead and try to requeen with a more Hygenic breed of queen. Minn Hyg, VSH, Russian, etc. Just my advice. The two I had from there didn't do well. Loaded with mite in September and didn't even make it through their first winter even after treating, which I did not want to do.
 

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Misery loves company.... I bought 6 MnHyg queens, one was DOA, two were dead in their installation cages when I returned to check on them after introduction, and the final 3 "disappeared" during the first week leaving behind no eggs.....:cry: Ordered replacement queens because I had already made up the nucs for those 6. I check on the replacement queens tomorrow...
Regards,
STeven
 

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I got a package from Yulelunder on Mothers Day, which I believe he brought up from Gardner. Except for being a bit fiesty, they have done well and are catching uo to my other hive which is 4 wks ahead of them. :D
 

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Marc, have you contacted them and have you voted on the poll.....you can just cut and paste. I plan on sending every single post there to them, Hardeman and the others
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Marc, have you contacted them...
I did not contact them. I got my packages through a middle man who traveled to Georgia, picked them up and brought them back the next day. I called him and asked him if there is anything he can do about it with Gardner. He told me that their policy is that once you leave their yard those bees are now yours. He felt really bad about the drone layer and so he went ahead and replaced the first drone layer queen on his own dime (and against my wish), he felt it was the right thing to do. I haven't told him about the other queens, I don't want him to replace those as well. Unfortunately his replacement queen, bought from Gardner as well, arrived dead in the mail.
 

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There have been many post here in the forum about the early queens from Ga. this year. I also was a victim of the "Let's Get Them Out The Door Syndrome". The early queens from Ga were just terrible this year, the weather had everything to do with the problem. April usually seems like a good time for queens to arrive, but this year winter lasted about six weeks longer than it usually does and the winter weather sure had a negative affect on the queen quality.
So much for buying queens, never again, I am back to raising my own.
 

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I installed 9 packages from Gardners that I picked up on May 8th. All the queens took and the colonies are doing very well. Well enough for me to split them into some strong nuc's this weekend.
 

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Guys,

Maybe the PA guys are having good luck with Gardner. I bought and installed 6 packages on April 3rd and all are booming. No problems with the queens, and split one of the colonies b/c of over-crowding.

JAK
 

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4 packages last year..arrived in great shape..

1 Queen superseded within 3 weeks.
1 Queen drone layer.
2 Queens laying good brood...one was very aggressive though and requeened.

I'm done with Southern Packages unless I'm in DIAR need of early bees. Otherwise I will stick with quality nucs and my own splits.
:thumbsup:
 

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2 packages. Hived march 25th. Both hives I took a medium of honey off them and used a few frames of brood from each for splits. Very pleased with how they built up on foundation. I remember calling my middle man and asking him if the weather that GA. was getting was going to effect delivery date and he said nope they shake packages in the rain if they have to. I know they will shake bees in the rain if they have to, but do queens get bred good if it's been raining for weeks on end? NO! Already paid for the packages and it was my first year so I took them anyways. Glad i did. I will probably get more packages from the same place again this year. I feel for everyone that got crappy queens from them last spring.

-Dan
 

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I ordered several queens this August to requeen from Gardner. The first batch everything was a dud. I called and they sent out new queens. The second batch was perfect. I really enjoyed their customer service. I think we should all remember that it was a rough year for everyone down south and to maybe give them another chance. Those of us in business know that we all make mistakes. It's how we fix those mistakes that count. Gardner was very quick to fix this and I really appreciated that.
 

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I don't normally buy packages but got 14 last year. 7 each from 2 different sources April 3 and 17th all Gardener's I believe.

Had some brood comb to install them on maybe six or seven deep combs per package. Bee's were gentle.

I lost one queen at intro and combined with another package(not Gardner's fault). I used that combined colony a little later to raise some queen cells.They really got into the spirit of things and swarmed after being put out for production(also not Gardner's fault). :doh:

3 of the 14 packages went to a friend (first year beek). He was in a dearth all summer but built his three packages to four double deep colonies with feeding.

I had some supercedure in august dearth but all went well.One turned drone layer in august was pinched and given frame of eggs.New queen reared.

I ended up with eleven doubles, one single, 16 nucs, 350# honey harvested and approx 16 mediums- 12+ deeps drawn from those original 11 packages.


What was the problem with those packages again!.....:popcorn:
 

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I had similar issues with my packages from them last year. I ordered 3 packages for April delivery. 1 queen was a drone layer, another one killed the queen, so I only had one queen that did decent.
 

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Have had great luck with Gardner's Bees.I hope the load i'am picking up in
march is as good as the one's i got last year,great people to deal with.
john Rhoton
Poor Valley Bee Farm
 

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I have 10 on order for early april. I will let everyone know how they do. I have been told locally that they are a good provider, I guess I will witness myself and leave a feedback here....

...send me good queens please baba....
 

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Any updates? I am considering getting packages from Gardner for 2012 but I want to know if they have ironed everything out yet. I could drive 1.5 hours and pick up a 3 lb package of bees here in Texas for $120, but I find Gardner's price unbeatable. But I don't want to save money in the beginning and end up spending more on new queens or chemicals, etc. Does anyone know of Gardner's practices? Are they chemical free, bred for resistance, etc? I'm sure if I call them they will tell me they are the best bees in the business, so I'd rather ask those that have had the experience. I saw the comment early on that their bees were loaded with mites, but that was from several years ago. How are they now. I look forward to responses. Thanks.
 
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