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Discussion Starter #1
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!!!
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

Well, that sounds really vexing, and I am sorry you are having trouble with ML.

But maybe it will make you feel a bit better if I say that I, for one, am glad to see you posting again on BeeSource, Several of us wondered at your absence and were hoping all was well. There even was a thread about it sometime this spring!


Nancy
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

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.
I realize that you've got many years of experience installing packages and that Mann Lake should have dealt with this better, so what I'm about to say can be ignored by you, but newbees should read on. Waiting three weeks to check for eggs is not something I recommend. I check for eggs about day 5, and if none are found, then I repeat frequently until about day 8 to 10. If past day 10 and still no eggs, then open brood is given. Honestly, if I can afford it, a frame of brood is given during the install. Packages can be finicky, so its important not to disturb them too much, but you need to balance that with the need to know if all is well. Packages are already highly unbalanced and going queenless for 3 weeks is pretty much game over. At 4 weeks out you no doubt have a total loss.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

"I ordered several packages from Mann Lake earlier this year...."

Which store/location did you order your bees from? They shipped the first packages but would not ship a replacement, you would have to pick it up, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

No I picked up Numerous packages. All they would have had to ship was a queen. Now let me add, several of the packages went to my customers, and of them 3 others had queen problems. However I was the one who sold them to these people. I could not verify that the queens were handles properly, so I replaced them, they were Italian bees so I used my queens to replace them. The packages I kept were Carni and I have no Carni's to glean from.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

" 16 MPG" - just out of interest...what are you driving?
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

They are forcing you to drive so they can say they "offered a replacement but you refused to take it."

I'd loudly kick'em to the curb, too.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

Max2 A ford F350 diesel. But it is geared to pull our 30 foot trailer when fully loaded. And it is the only vehicle I have insured for employees to drive. the hourly rate would be much higher if I had to go get them.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

In all fairness, your situation sucks bigtime.
BUT...

In general I have had great service from Mann Lake regarding all other realms of equipment. But I have never bought bees from them.

So that's my question. Why would you buy bees from Mann Lake and not directly from a beekeeper?
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

I'm a new keeper myself, also ordered equipment from them online, not bees. Their shipping is slow, but no issues otherwise. I wish they would do faster, but accurate shipping .
On packages, I installed 2, and a swarm on the same day. I left them alone for 7 days. Queens were out of queen shipper, and I looked for eggs, yes they were in there, so I left them alone. All doing well. If they weren't any eggs, I'd have been a little worried, and done something to make sure they had a way to make a queen or something.. Just my thoughts.. good luck
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

...but newbees should read on. Waiting three weeks to check for eggs is not something I recommend. I check for eggs about day 5, and if none are found, then I repeat frequently until about day 8 to 10. If past day 10 and still no eggs, then open brood is given...
X2 :)
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

In six years I have never had a speck of problem with Mann Lakes service or communication. Quick shipping except when I gave directions to hold in case of a back ordered item. In the same time frame I dont think I have read more than three or four posts here on Beesource that were critical of them. Unless something has changed dramatically in their business plan I don't they deserve the general statement that, "Mann Lake Sucks Big Time". My dealings have been through the Hakensack Minnesota branch; perhaps local management in other centers is different.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

In six years I have never had a speck of problem with Mann Lakes service or communication. Quick shipping except when I gave directions to hold in case of a back ordered item. In the same time frame I dont think I have read more than three or four posts here on Beesource that were critical of them. Unless something has changed dramatically in their business plan I don't they deserve the general statement that, "Mann Lake Sucks Big Time". My dealings have been through the Hakensack Minnesota branch; perhaps local management in other centers is different.
I tend to agree and I do a lot of business with them.
Sorry, but I just have to make an observation here. I’m not going to say ML handled this very well but am I the only one here that finds it a bit odd that someone who “maintains a 100 hives and mentors dozens of students” is paying over $140 for a package and isn’t able to diagnose the problem a bit sooner and come up with some brood to remedy the occasional queen issue one gets with packages? I expect that from a newbie not from someone claiming 57 years of beekeeping experience.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

I have bought a fair amount of equipment from them and have had no problems at all, but if I had bought bees from them and the queens were no good they should do everything they can to make it right, and it seem they haven't so tenbears has every right to say they suck. For the people who say he shouldn't label them that way would feel the same as him if they were in his shoes.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

I tend to agree and I do a lot of business with them.
Sorry, but I just have to make an observation here. I’m not going to say ML handled this very well but am I the only one here that finds it a bit odd that someone who “maintains a 100 hives and mentors dozens of students” is paying over $140 for a package and isn’t able to diagnose the problem a bit sooner and come up with some brood to remedy the occasional queen issue one gets with packages? I expect that from a newbie not from someone claiming 57 years of beekeeping experience.
I have always received great service from Mann Lake and would like to hear the other side of the story.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

I’m not trying to be combative here but what good is a replacement queen going to do almost a month later when the package has dwindled to “a cup of bees”? I think ML’s offer of a replacement nuc is a pretty fair offer, as that’s your best chance to end up with any production at that late date but of course a nuc isn’t very shippable and ML would undoubtedly already be losing money on the deal Is it ML’s fault that the customers best option is sending paid help in a vehicle that’s not very fuel efficient?
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

My queen supplier here in Michigan, Dr. Megan Milbrath nolonger ships queens because of a high dead delivery rate and it appears that holds true for ML. I am very pleased with my experiences with ML.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

I have only purchased once from Mann Lake and the order was shipped fast and arrived in good condition. I have never bought bees from them though. I am suprised they did not make a modification to their shipping policy to rectify this situatation. Customer service just isn't what it used to be.
 

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Re: Mann lake SUCKS bigtime

I tend to agree and I do a lot of business with them.
Sorry, but I just have to make an observation here. I’m not going to say ML handled this very well but am I the only one here that finds it a bit odd that someone who “maintains a 100 hives and mentors dozens of students” is paying over $140 for a package and isn’t able to diagnose the problem a bit sooner and come up with some brood to remedy the occasional queen issue one gets with packages? I expect that from a newbie not from someone claiming 57 years of beekeeping experience.
I wonder that too...
 
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