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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to hear from anyone who has shipped packages of bees through the Post Office. I went to ship a package yesterday and took about 1:20 to finely get them to except it. Went in last month to find out was I had to do. I was told that I need to call the MSC in Sacramento to get a shipping number for the day that I ship with location from where and to. Called Friday and got the number, was told they would fax the number to Red Bluff. I took the bees in a standard package cage, sprayed the sides with water just before I took them in. Went to the window clerk to send them she had the fax with the shipping number from Sac. She called the postmaster over; the postmaster looked at the cage and told me that they could not take it that it was leaking. I explained that I had just misted the screen with water before I took them out of the truck. Postmaster said that she would have to call about the package. She called Sac. And was told that they had to be in a double screen cardboard box. I said NO that is for queens. I ask her to call Pala Credo which she did and then came back and told me that the only ship queens. I then ask her to call Redding PO to ask them because I knew when Allen’s Bee Ranch was in business that he shipped a lot of packages from there. Redding confirmed that the standard package was what was used. Had to send it parcel post and was gives an estimated delivery date of 5/8 to western Oregon. When I was asked if I wanted to insure it is yes for $150.00
If anyone has any information I would appreciate it.
 

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I was reading an article or news article last year (I don't remember the source I read this in), that said the post office was no longer shipping live package bees any more because of issues of liability of dead bees during shipping. It did state that USPS will ship queens, just not package bees any more.
 

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I got mine and my brother got his last year by mail, and has 2 due to be shipped via US Mail this Saturday.
They just ship in plain bee packages.
 

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USPS ships package bees by Parcel Post. I received three from Ohio by Parcel Post over the last two weeks.

USPS no longer ships package bees by Priority Mail IF the destination requires that the bees be flown (typically more than 4 postal zones away from the point of origin).

The reason: FedEx does all the flying for Priority (and Express) Mail and FedEx will not fly package bees. FedEx continues to fly queens.

I ran into THAT particular problem last year!
 

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Wow! What a run around. That really stinks. I had contemplated doing packages, I may reconsider. I hope your bees made it ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies and information I was told about the zone 4 thing but will check in to the priority mail closer than zone 4. Had heard that Fed X was doing the flying and that they would only fly queens.

PS
I was a letter carrier for 34 years. Still have a lot of pull!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got a 3 lb package of Buckfasts on Tuesday of this week from R Weaver.

Texas to Connecticut via USPS ground service. Minimal dead bees. :applause:

Another package due tomorrow.
Were they shipped parcel post or priority mail and how long did it take to get from Texas to Connecticut?
 

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Anyone know where in California I might have bees shipped from to Tehachapi? Swarms aren't working for me here in the Desert. ;) Or from anywhere?
Thanx
Gb
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Saturday came and no bees received in Oregon. The Postmaster at Cove called this AM and said that they had not came in. Wonder what Monday will bring?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jbees;

With the difficulty shipping to Oregon I am hesitant to try to ship bees any where.
 

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When we used to ship packages a few years ago, it was pretty painless from USPS. There had been a period where shipping lives was being resisted, until the bee, chicken and others lobbied to get it back. We used to ship about 40 at a time.

1.) In advance, we gave a list of delivery zip-codes to our local Postmaster with our ship date (maybe 3 days before). He then emailed these to the regional sorting facility so they could do whatever they need to, to prepare special enclosed shipping carts and warn local Postmasters.

2.) We made sure everything was zone 4 or less, so that insurance would be valid. We had some customers in zone 5, but they were warned we would not cover loss and they could not be insured (they all arrived fine).

3.) We did all of our labels a day or two ahead of time with the online USPS "Click-n-Ship", everything was sent Priority with insurance (I think they technically were treated as Parcel, but you have to choose Priority for Insurance). A 3# package is listed at 8 lbs. weight (bees, cage and syrup). You can select your ship date a few days out when you make the label. We did batches, so all of the selections stayed the same, just the ship to had to be entered. Also, when you do it online, tracking info can be emailed to the customer by USPS. They all arrived w/in 2 days. The Zone 5's took 3 days, but were fine. They move fast, like Priority, because they are hot potatoes to most.

4.) We dropped off on the scheduled day. We usually had to take them to the back room (sometimes they kept outside) in the special enclosed carts and once even loaded on the truck to go to sorting. We always made sure to get the packages to the Post Office immediately, before local pick-ups started.

Although pretty stressful, our experience was pretty easy--with the proper planning. That being said, I would never do it again, unless I was the package producer. I wouldn't do it as a handler.

When we shipped multiples (no more than 3), they were kept together by two wood slats on either side of the top. Some people add another 2 to the bottom. We never did and never had a problem.
 
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