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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I had placed my order with Kelley Bees. Investing in my 3rd hive for next Spring, I noticed that ordering online wasn't as easy as Brushy Mtn. Bee Farms checkout. Kelley's wanted $45.00 for shipping an $89 dollar order ! What !? After pricing out from BMBF, they wanted 20 bucks for roughly the same thing. I ordered two brood boxes, one outer cover, a screened bottom base with sliding plastic protector and some goatskin gloves. Hmmmm.....Something doesn't sound right. I had to call Kelleys to inquire about this. They said their shipping calculator had the hiccups and was charging more than double what it should. Comparing apples to apples, Kelleys always gives more in their products except website picture quality, which I have to refocus a thousand times to see. Better off closing my eyes to imagine them. For instance, the brood boxes come with nails & metal hanger rails to support the frames whereas BMBF came bare bones for about .55 cents less per. I'll have to contact them to help resolve this issue. Finding things on their site is sometimes difficult too. Anyone else have these issues ?
 

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the brood boxes come with nails & metal hanger rails to support the frames whereas BMBF
Loose the metal hanger rails it is a place for SHBs to hide,
 

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Everyone has a "best" idea about how to keep bees, yours may work best for you :), BUT . . .

If you have good stong hives that come through winter, spring and summer are idea times to create new hives (splits) from your EXISTING colonies (no need for package bees). Your "LOCAL" bees can provide many advantages (and are a whole lot cheaper :) ).

Splitting is also a very common and effective (but not often discussed) way of controlling Varroa mites.

Why are you ordering package bees? :)
 

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I ordered a hundred frames from Kelley and the shipping calculator said shipping per 50 box was about $15 and when I added a second box the calculator said $63 for shipping. I ordered the 2 boxes separately. I got a call from them and they said the calculator didn't work and to ship them together was about $26. I will just order by phone when I use Kelley from now on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've notified Kelley Bees about the discrepancies, website issues and the lot. Anymore I just call them. Something about a feminine voice that calms me like smoking the hives does the bees.


I order Russian package bees because I don't have the resources (medications, mite controls, etc.) for the Italian counterparts and their issues with CCD and friendliness. Besides, I feel the need to stick with my Russian blood line. Having been my first year, there isn't adequate supply of full brood frames to make Nucs & order queens. I took NO honey from either one of them this year. My intentions are for pollination purposes and my 3 small orchards. Honey is just a bonus that can wait until next year.
 

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Kelley's new paper catalogue is due out the first or second week in January. I have (graciously and kindly) complained to them about both the paper catalogue and their web site. They know there are problems, and are working to fix them. We'll see. But I prefer to call them to place the order anyway. Usually I call in the am and my order is shipped in the afternoon. Talk about service!

Of course, I really like it when I get all the catalogues in early January... gives me something to drool over during the remaining football games! :applause:
 

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I order Russian package bees
Kelley gets (or used to) their bees from Hardeman's in Mt Vernon, GA. If you get your Russian packages from Kelley, they're actually 'hybrids'. Hardeman grafts from Russian breeder queens but the new queens open mate in yards that have been Italian for years. If you are depending on the Russian genes for mite control. you will probably be well advised to run mite counts each season. You may or may not have the traits you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So far there is no evidence of mites. Probably too early to tell. This strain is claimed to have dealt with heavy loads of Varroa & tracheal mites. We'll see then.


As far as a Catalog, I can't say I've received any yet, however just purchased a few hundred dollars worth in the past year. I'd be upset if they Scrooged out this year and sent nothing.
 

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I was at Kelley's yesterday and they mentioned they would have a new catalog coming soon. I don't think they have mailed anything as yet.
 

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>I order Russian package bees because I don't have the resources (medications, mite controls, etc.) for the Italian counterparts and their issues with CCD and friendliness . . .
Are your Russians mite free? Do Russian bees have CCD? Are Russians more friendly than Italians?

>I feel the need to stick with my Russian blood line . . .
Could you make up splits using your bees and simply purchase Russian Queens locally?


>Having been my first year, there isn't adequate supply of full brood frames to make Nucs & order queens.
Maybe not the first year, but what about next year? Dont Russians build up to splittin' size :)

>I took NO honey from either one of them this year . . .
Thats almost aways best, dont you think?

>My intentions are for pollination purposes and my 3 small orchards . . .
Do Russians build up soon enough for (fruit tree?) "orchards"?

Honey is just a bonus that can wait until next year . . .
Second year hives often produce lots of honey (and LOTS of Varroa too :) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The hammer hits the anvil ! .......And the Anvil strikes Back !

My Russians are mite free this year at least. Much less susceptible to CCD because of RNA & Varroa mite resistance. The book says Yes to "Friendlier" and so do I and other beeks. Great for beginners.

Haven't found any Local Russian Honey Bees, just Italians & hybrids.

Will they build up to "Splitting" size ? I hope so ! Then I can experiment with nucs and spend all kinds of $$ buying Kelley products.

I'm not in it for the "Honey", at least the neighbors aren't call-collecting yet.

I got a feeling my trees know when there are adequate pollinators around. The trees are all dwarf and some are almost full size. Even with a harsh winter last year, things mysteriously started flowering when I got my bees.... The nut trees have quite a ways to go, however, now I got two Hall's Hardy Almond trees that are fruiting size. Just planted over 100 Siberian Squill bulbs before the winter bite came. I can't wait to see that steel blue pollen on their legs.

Why second year produces the most mites ? I've seen some wax moths and some larva on the screened bottom plastic slide, but no mites yet.
 

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>And the Anvil strikes Back . . .
Good Job!

Your friend, Dave :)

PS - You may want to "re-think" :) the following:
>I got a feeling my trees know when there are adequate pollinators around . . .
>things mysteriously started flowering when I got my bees . . .
 

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It is "common knowledge" that mites become more of a problem the second year (second summer after package installation). Usually (there are exceptions), mites are not a problem during first summer. They are present in the hive, but "usually" do not cause a noticable problem. But, be ready the second summer!
 

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:eek:t:Re: Kelley Bee Ordering
This thread has taken a left turn somewhere :cry: now just which way did that rabbit go :s
 
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