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I have ordered hives and beek stuff from several big name beekeeping suppliers. In each case it seems as though they take their sweet time processing orders. Is this the norm or is it just bee season? In my business we process every order every day and provide real time feedback to the customer. :s
Curious wants to know.
 

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Some are slower than others. It is a busy time of year for them, and most do not appear to staff heavily during the "rush" of spring.

If you order in October you get faster packing than May I've noticed.
 

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I order everything online. I can't get over the S/h charges. How about a flat weight charge. I order parts online for my tractors and don't pay as much as I do for a few frames. Yes they are slow too.
 

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Yes, this is their busy season, and everyone is slower than other times of the year. Some are normally slower than others, but I've always had quick service with Kelley's. I'm in the habit of getting my order worked up, either from the catalogue or online. I'll usually be at their online catalogue, but will call in the order in case they're out of stock or there's a problem.
 

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Kelley and Maxant seem to be able to ship next day! Ordered from both this week and got orders in time for the weekend
 

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First you are correct it is bee season so they are busy, more so than other times of the year. Second, comparatively this is still a small industry and as such the computer age has not quite caught up with some, others on a very limited basis, and auto-replenishment of stock items is probably light years away. In general yes the shipping times and out of stocks do tend to be behind the "norm" for other similar sized industries. Bear with them smile and if you ever get the chance to visit you closest bee supply house in person, go for it. Introduce yourself.. make small talk... pick one person working there and "make their day" (get their name). I went out of my way to praise (to the boss)an employee, who deserved the applaud and every time I call I ask for her and she is more than happy to tend to my needs and my stuff gets shipped same day.
 

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Its all Keiths fault with his NUTRA-BEE feed supplements plus the high price of honey, tremendous growth in the hobby, sideliner buisness and all the commerical guys are running full tilt boggy to cash in on a once in a lifetime price for bulk honey
 

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I think it's the seasonal demand plus a tremendous influx of new beekeepers and beginners which has placed quite a burden on the suppliers.

I've tried to order on-line, but it was too challenging for my patience. The "search" feature on many of the sites is limited and I can't find what I am looking for. I much prefer to pick up a catalog and talk to a live person on the phone who can give you instant feedback.

After a couple of hard lessons in my early years, I got in the habit of looking at my needs about six months in advance, then ordering during the off-season and keeping plenty of extra supplies on hand for expansion and newly caught swarms. Winter gives me the ideal time to assemble and paint equipment. Spring and summer are just way to busy with the bees.

Also, I like to place my orders with the vendors who show up to the national and state meetings. Almost all will bring an order with them for me to pick up without incurring shipping charges.

At every meeting of our local bee club, guys are asking, "Hey, I'm headed over to [supplier], does anyone need anything I can pick up for you?"

Shipping charges are a killer.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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Since our shopping cart was down last week, we have no backorders. :doh:

Anyhow, orders placed today, will ship on Monday. Cart is back up again! :applause:

I don't understand why the other guys are shipping 2 weeks out . . . even before our cart went down, we were shipping within 24-48 hours.

Our problem is getting to the phones every time. We have had folks call us, leave a message and when we return the call in a couple of hours--they placed the order with the other guy. We feel bad, because we could have shipped to them same day--now they have to wait 2 weeks or more . . . So, our lesson: we need to get more people on our phones.

We had some backorders on a few sizes of suits for about 2 weeks. Other than that, the only item we don't have in(coming to) stock are plastic extractors. We are low on 8 Frame Ross Round supers and a few of the stainless steel extractors for a couple weeks. Other than that, we are ready to ship all other items immediately!
 

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i wouldn't say it's slow. i would say it's because it deals with real things that have to be manufactured, delivered, stocked,sometimes repackaged, delivered by trucks with drivers who have to sleep some and usually the bee supply houses are family run which means they all work reasonable hours, and have reasonable expectations of each other. i find the pace refreshing. real things in real time. yes it's the busy season. justin
 

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I placed an order with Dadant in Chico about a week and a half ago and the guy I was talking to said they didn't have much of a backlog and my order should ship the next day (I ordered at 3:30pm).

I got the order via UPS Ground in 3 days. I order from there by phone because that is the closest Dadant to my place and shipping is usually about 1/2 of the internet quoted price.
 

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Just a remark on s/h.
Bee supplier wanted $15 to mail 1Lb of wax.
Miller Nurseries charged $21.04 for 5 trees and a number of other fruit plants and vines. I imagen that will weigh a good deal over 1lb.
 

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I ordered a childs bee suit on the internet from Dadant on 4/24 which said it was in stock. They have it on back order and still havent got it, of course they took the money from the card. His birthday was 4/29, kinda disapointing. From now on I'll order over the phone too.
 

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I would assume the beekeeping supply houses are making a great deal of profit on shipping. Their shipping charges are 3X higher than anybody else. I tried to order a set of leg straps and entrance reducer from Danant($4.54) and they wanted $11.01 freight :doh:. They have each item listed as weighing 1lb. Really???? Total weight of both items isn't even a pound.
 

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It would seem that a company that could really offer good prices and good service would do really well. I for one, will never order again from the dadant website, if I can help it.
 

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One place i order from charges $14.12 shipping for two rolls of labels. If they would just throw it into a priority mail box it would be like $6.95. Yes, they know we have few choices.

One way to save shipping is to pick up your order at the state beekeepers convention. Kelley (and maybe others) will haul it in for you. That will more than pay your yearly dues.
 

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Easiest way to avoid most of this crazyness is to order in December when some offer free shipping or January with some offer a 5% discount. I try not to order between April and July. If I really need something, I'll just drive.
 

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I order everything online. I can't get over the S/h charges. How about a flat weight charge. I order parts online for my tractors and don't pay as much as I do for a few frames. Yes they are slow too.
A lot of the frieght could be shipped USPS at a flat rate. But most elect UPS and over charge you on shipping cost as a way to turn a buck.
 
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