A batch of bad Queens

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, May 23, 2011.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    The 10 queens that i ordered were Duds, i was supposed to get them the first week of April, but didn't get them till the last week of April. I banked them for two days because of bad weather and one died and the ones i put in hives had all been superseded but three and when i checked them yesterday two of the three left were being superseded. I didn't get much for my $240.00 did i :roll: . This makes twice this has happened to me, both times (different companys) they said my order was delayed because of bad weather and the queens were not getting bred properly. My bee club president said the company that i bought from, got there queens from Hawai so no telling how long they were in tranship before i got them. From now on when they say the queens will be delayed because of weather, i will cancel my order immediattely. Jack
     
  2. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    I would certainly be talking to the company that supplied them, to lose one or two would be fair, but all being bad would have me burning a hole over the telephone line, NOT EMAIL
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Jack, sounds like a good time to start raising your own queens!
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    It wouldn't do any good, the letter i got with my bill stated, we can only garantee live delivery of queens to our customers.There are NO other garantees and NO exceptions, we are in a tough spot since we are the middle man (Draper's Super Bee) and don't have control of what happens from the acual queen producer to the final user. It goes on telling what could happen in shipping that is out of their control (to much heat in shipping,post office recently been fumigated,did producer give us a perfect queen, has the end user done everything right with them, ect,ect,ect, Makes you wonder if you ever want to buy queens through the mail again. I will say Drapers have gave me good service in the past. Jack

    PS. i have been trying to call them but only get a busy signel
     
  5. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Busy signal because every one else has issues too :D

    Tough position.
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Omie, your right. I do raise most of my queens, but do order some to as they say, get new blood. By the time i got these queens (do to the weather and bad beekeeping) i had enough swarm cell queens to make up all the splits and nuc's i needed. That $245.00 would have bought alot of sugar to build them up, like they say, no use crying over spilt milk. Jack
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Finally got through to Drapers Super Bee, they told me the queens came from Olivarez Honey Bees out of Ca., anyone have any dealings with them? Jack
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    there is a very high rate of superceding on both boughten queens and with package bees. This is the big reason I dont buy queens. Im not sure if anyone can say why this is so. But it happens quite frequently
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    RiverRat writes:
    Im not sure if anyone can say why this is so.

    tecumseh:
    an old study with a double blind format from the mid 1980's would SUGGEST exactly what is happening here.

    MY OPINION:
    really the problem is that Jack is receiving queens from a middle man that is happy to take the profit but unwilling to accept the responsibility for the product someone else provides. makes for an easy 'no one is to blame' response. the real issue is that no information or loss is passed back down the distribution line so no one is encouraged (actually the bad habit here is reinforced) to see what is wrong or how to intervene proactively in regards to this problem.

    my best guess based on that study/report from the mid 1980's is that nosema is the prime suspect here. fumidil would have limited the problem but fumidil is extremely expensive. there is NO economic incentative to remedy this problem.
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    tec, i think you hit the nail on the head. Just another lesson i learned the hard way by being to trusting. :roll: Jack
     
  11. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Tec, sounds like you might have a new customer ;)

    Sorry to hear of your loss there Jack.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    drawing up an old record from an old hard drive.... The study was undertaken after folks in the midwest reported unusually high superscedure rates in the previous year. I seem to recall the difference in the 1980'ish study between the queen rearer/ package producers (all names most folks here would easily recognized) who had 100% superscedure rates vs those that had 0% superscedure rates was the feeding of fumidil in the syrup provided with the package of bees + the feeding of fumidil in the queen breeding nucs. it didn't require much... that is you didn't have to feed fumidil to everything.

    if the queens did come from Hawaii then shipping time would be an additional stress.

    I suspect banking queens without attendants pretty quickly reveals the duds in a batch of queens.
     
  13. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    The queens came in the thee hole queen cages with 7 attendants each, all were alive when i recieved them. The sugar cube was ate more than half way through, which let me know they had been in there awhile, i gave them drops of water as soon as i got them home. I have a solid board frame that i can stand the queen cages up on with the screen facing out, i put them in a nuc with two frames of nurse bees and brood and a frame of honey,(i also keep feed on them) i have done this many times with no problems. The hives i made nuc's from were booming hives, so i don't suspect nosema. I'm beginning to think the bees can sense that these queens are fair weather queens and their genetic make up won't let there off spring survive Mo. winters in a hula skirt, :mrgreen: so they make one that will. Jack

    PS. i still haven't got a call back from Olivarez Bee co. :confused:
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    snip...
    i have done this many times with no problems.

    tecumseh:
    by your description it should. sounds like a pretty well though out queen bank to me and really in that state should maintain new queens quite well for some significant time.

    I think the point of the study Jack was that the new queens and or package bees came with a low level infection of nosema. almost by definition they are also under considerable stress. the queen was likely released and may even have laid a little and then failed. the bees did the natural thing and simply replace an ailing queen.
     
  15. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I have made one observation in my own beekeeping/package ordering/queen ordering:

    The later I get packages and queens - the better they seem to do. I used to try to get packages as early as possible (mid-April in North Dakota) because our summers are so short. My thinking was that the earlier a start I get, the more time the bees will have to build up and get ready for the harsh winter.

    The queens in those packages were duds about 50% of the time. I also spent a TON of time and money feeding newly installed packages. My thinking was the same with early splits and ordering queens. Again - the queens I ordered from late April to mid-May were duds about 50% of the time.

    Now I wait until late May/early June to get packages and queens. I have found that in the long run, the queens perform much better overall. I also don't spend as much time or money on feeding because something is usually blooming by then. Perhaps being later in the season permits the queen producing hives to get stronger, have more drones, who knows?

    Anyway - I have found that trading a little bit of time seems to increase quality when I order.

    My two cents.

    Mike
     
  16. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Mike, i agree with most every thing you said. I try to start new hives and requeen in Sept., those hives i don't worry about that make it through the winter. The hives that have good queens (good laying patterns) and are 2 and 3 years old are the ones that takes more maintance. For going on 10 yrs. now i have gone with the carniolan breed of bees, there only draw back (to me) is they tend to be more prone to swarm early. They are good honey producers and are good to work with. This last April 30th we had 82 bee club members at my farm (many new members) for our annual picnic and hands on working bees for new members, only two stings were reported and they said it was there fault, that in it's self was unbelievable,people were standing shoulder to shoulder around my hives (15 hives in each yard) and only two stings :confused: That's why i like carniolan bees,but when you buy 10 and only one survives to make a hive, i think $245.00 is a little high for a queen :roll: Jack
    PS. still no call back from Olivarez Honey Bees