Author Topic: WHOOO HOOO!  (Read 30409 times)

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Offline riverbee

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2014, 01:16:30 pm »
zweefer, very cool to see your children excited and interested in your beekeeping adventures!

some quotes from you, apis and gardenhive, followed by some comments from me:

"As for the nucs themselves, they were a bit different then i had expected.  Several frames had been repaired (metal braces on the frames) and the comb was wonky on several. I had to scrape propolis off the ends of the frames to get them to fit in the super.  The rest made up for it though, as they looked like newer comb, and was straight.   I am not saying I was expecting virgin frames and comb, but was hoping for something that would be a bit easier to install...   Is this normal on a nuc?"

"in photo 6 the bee population on the frame looks to barely cover the brood. this could be caused by drift back of foragers when the nuc was made up. it is hard to tell from 1 frame but haw was the population of bees in the nuc box?"

"I too thought population was a bit sparse..."

"By the looks of things, you got just fair nucs. I didn't see any capped honey around the brood in the photos.  The one dark brood frame was (just that), not wonky comb. I'm not crazy about that because there are no bees on it. Hopefully it had pollen and nectar in it. "

i know the supplier zweefer.  in recent years he figured out rather quickly he could make some extra money adding 'nucs' to his business because of the influx of new beekeepers.  is this a nuc? yes and no, and the metal frames, wonky dark comb is just someone else's junk cycled out and sold to you. empty frames are unacceptable, bees need pollen and honey to be healthy. from his website this is what you should have received, and i see no honey or pollen or a population of bees that ought to be in those nucs:

"5 Frame nucleuses Colony with new queen
Our nucs will be coming out of Texas around the first part of May (depending on weather). They will have at
least 3 frames with brood and 2 frames with honey and pollen. The queens are raised using Italian –Carnelian
cross. Experience shows these to be good producers. "


what you were sold are divided hives made into nucs, with bees and brood and a newly introduced queen, not a proven laying queen, and she was most likely directly released into the nuc. (he teaches direct release). not sure if he purchased hives from texas and had them shipped up here, and divided them himself, (my guess given the lack of bees, pollen and honey), and also where these queens come from.  they are not his queens.

i don't purchase nucs of this sort.  i purchase 5 frame nucs with a proven laying queen, that are typically overflowing with bees and brood and the appropriate frames of pollen and honey.  like garden hive said a 'fair nuc', and as apis said about the population,  i would say you received a nuc that is less than fair.  he asks for beeks to return the cardboard boxes.  if it were me, i would tell him the nucs were less than satisfactory, and i wouldn't return them.  did you have 3 frames of brood with bees covering that brood?  did you have 2 frames of honey/pollen?

sorry i don't mean to rain on your parade, but i have seen too many new beeks with problems from this supplier.  he used to teach  beeks who took his classes, to destroy their bees in the fall,  not to waste money to feed them, or treat them for mites and  let them die off of cold and starvation, and just order packages and nucs for the following spring, that it was cheaper. not sure if he has changed his tune on this. i disagree with this practice, and how will any new beekeeper learn to keep bees, and have a successful honey crop?

with that said, he is a knowledgeable beekeeper, but i think unscrupulous in that he is  willing and does take advantage of unsuspecting new beekeepers like yourself. so sorry this happened to you.  i was hesitant to say anything, because i know how excited you were and are.  so the next step is to help you get these 2 hives booming.  we have a good nectar flow on with the dandelions and with the incoming pollen will encourage the new queens to lay, and also with the feed on. also the feed will help, because there probably isn't enough foragers. it will take them sometime to build up, so just be patient.
i would pay particular close attention to the queen's laying patterns  the next time you go in the hives.

sorry about the 'rain parade' just being honest.......and we are all here to help ya get them squared away!!!

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Online Jen

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2014, 05:11:12 pm »
Scott said  ""Sitting and watching the bees is a requirement. It is necessary to insure that the new bees are going to go back to the right hive. You MUST sit and watch, and if you see a bee going in the wrong box you can gently herd her to the right one.................   Thats what I tell the wife.. OH, a mixed drink is usually part of the requirement, but a beer can be substituted!!!""



Jen said ""What ever lights your candle Brutha!""


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Offline Zweefer

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WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2014, 12:40:40 am »
I certainly did not get what I was promised.  Here was one of the outer frames - I couldn't find any honey or pollen...

And the other side


I did see this on a frame however...



I'll post more once I get to my camera - these are what I took off the phone.  My other son was taking photos as well...
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 12:52:44 am by Zweefer »

Offline Zweefer

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2014, 01:01:29 am »
here is a top look at the nuc frames (I removed my 2 right before) from the end .  notice one of the metal brackets I was talking about? I has two like that...


Here is a better shot of one of the frames i was calling "wonky"


One of my brood frames


This was probably the best frame I had... not seeing much for any honey stores or pollen?



Once again, notice the repair on the frame (my right hand)





I think the rose is off the bloom.  I got hosed on these nucs didn't I?  :sad:

Is this worth trying to save, or should I demand my money back?

My problem at this point in time is finding new bees to replace - all packages are gone, and I don't think anyone is taking orders for nucs in the area.  :'(



Offline Zweefer

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2014, 01:05:57 am »
and because I don't want to end on a depressing note... here is a shot or two my son got of my daughter that made me smile.







Online Jen

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2014, 01:15:32 am »
On the frame you call 'wonky', is that larvae and eggs there in the middle?
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2014, 01:19:37 am »
I don't think there are any there... I didn't see any when i looked - I think it may be the reflection of the sun off the plastic (the inner portion was not drawn out hardly at all- this the change in color and the ability to see the plastic foundation beneath it.

Online Jen

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2014, 01:36:55 am »
River- ""so the next step is to help you get these 2 hives booming.  we have a good nectar flow on with the dandelions and with the incoming pollen will encourage the new queens to lay, and also with the feed on. also the feed will help, because there probably isn't enough foragers. it will take them sometime to build up, so just be patient.
i would pay particular close attention to the queen's laying patterns the next time you go in the hives.""

Zweefer- Bummer Dude! But don't give up on these bees this early in the year. I believe they can make it. Feed, feed, feed, water, water, water. They just need some TLC!

Hey you guys out there?!? What would happen if he gave these neglected bees some pollen subsitute?

You're in the right place Zweefer! So many educated beekeepers here! Raw Raw Shish Boom Bah!  :D
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Offline riverbee

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2014, 11:12:34 am »
the next step?  after seeing these photos, these bees are doomed.  i hope others chime in here, but i told zweefer to get his money back.  did you find the queens zweefer? i can tell by looking at these frames that they are very old, the comb is very dark. having metal brackets on frames, ears break off, but these frames should have been thrown out. the frame with the wonky comb is all drone cells, not sure if the wax was stripped off or if the comb was damaged at some point or it was cut. the other pic of the frame your boy is holding, the foundation has not been drawn out.  you shouldn't get this in any nuc.  the population of bees is poor, there is no pollen or honey to feed what little brood there is, and they will dwindle down to nothing. 

i am trying to find bees for you zweefer. 
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Online Jen

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2014, 12:29:06 pm »
River! You Are Such A Prize For All Of Us. I would like to help in any way that I can as well...
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2014, 02:04:42 pm »
Been sitting here looking at the pictures...  looking for a queen, but don't have all the sides.  I would not write them off as of yet. There is some worker brood. My concern would be seeing eggs and other stages of larvae, as well as seeing the queen. Both to insure she is there, and to insure she IS laying.
    My opinion is not "quite" as bad as Mrs Rivers, but I do agree that this is not an optimal nuc.   IF, the queens can get the ball rolling from where they are, I would begin rotating out that bad comb at the least.  I have started with much worse, but also have the resources to add bees and brood.
  From what Mrs River said I have my doubts about any refund or replacement. When the next inspection rolls around, take a magnifying glass with you and let us know if you find eggs or young Larvae. Also look for the queen, or take pics of each frame/side and post so we can zoom in a bit and aid in the "inspection"
   It does appear that old frames were given specifically to get them out of the Apiary. I would be embarrassed to give anyone something that looked like that, much less make them pay for it, but all is not lost if there is a laying queen, it will just take them a bit to get squared away. It is early, they have the time to do it.
   Zweef, did he say the queens were new this year? Did he give an age?
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Online Jen

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2014, 03:02:08 pm »
Scott- ""When the next inspection rolls around, take a magnifying glass with you and let us know if you find eggs or young Larvae. Also look for the queen, or take pics of each frame/side and post so we can zoom in a bit and aid in the "inspection""

and- ""It does appear that old frames were given specifically to get them out of the Apiary. I would be embarrassed to give anyone something that looked like that, much less make them pay for it, but all is not lost if there is a laying queen, it will just take them a bit to get squared away. It is early, they have the time to do it.

and- ""Zweef, did he say the queens were new this year? Did he give an age?""

     Nice bit of hopeful advice here Scott. I think they can make it! But in the mean time, I sure would like for Zweef to find a couple more healthy nucs just to keep his spirits high. And frankly, I seriously doubt that the seller of these nucs are going to give an honest answer on the age of the queens.

    Really sorry this happened Zweefer, but hope is not lost! We got your back buddy!  ;) 8)
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Offline CpnObvious

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2014, 03:41:12 pm »
The only sting received was the dog (which was why I had put her in the kennel to begin with).  She's a quick learner though, so shouldn't be much of a problem in the future  :)

I worry about one of my dogs, the dalmatian.  He's not the brightest thing out there.  He's a great dog, very faithful and friendly, but about as dumb as a box of rocks.  He likes to eat, or at least try to catch and chew, flying things.  Yes, that includes wasps and hornets.

Online Jen

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2014, 03:52:35 pm »
All of my dogs have chased and eaten flying 'things'. It's my understanding that dalmatians have a strong hearing impairment, and often are completely deaf. Most often owners of dalmatians don't know this trait and think their dog is 'dumb', when in fact they are very smart when taught 'signals' rather than thru words  ;) 8)
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Offline Lburou

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2014, 04:41:28 pm »
I have to say that I admire the restraint you have shown by not naming the supplier.............Unless I missed it. 

That one frame looks like it was scraped down to the foundation (shb or wax moth damage?) and the bees built it back up (at least partially).  Those bees could have been sold in California after almonds, split, fed, and then divided again to make NUCs as was suggested above.  When sold to you, it was not a growing colony of bees. Bummer!

If you are lucky, you might get them through the year if you feed, feed, feed!  Good luck  :)
Lee_Burough

Offline riverbee

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2014, 05:00:08 pm »
lee, agreed, a great deal of restraint. it is up to zweefer if he chooses to name the supplier, i have refrained from doing so, but have no problem identifying him so that others don't fall victim. and very good points on where their origination actually was, and would tend to think the same as you.

scott, you and i and others here, as experienced beeks could salvage the nucs IF there are queens present. if not, combine the bees and requeen.  but by then?  we have the knowledge and experience and also resources to do so, extra honey/pollen frames and drawn foundation.  what a way for a bran new beek to start out with and be 'strapped' with and flying by the seat of his pants to fix it.  good learning experience but not what he was promised and paid for. 

"I would be embarrassed to give anyone something that looked like that, much less make them pay for it"

yep the supplier ought to be, and ashamed, especially that he has been a commercial beekeeper for 40 some years and i believe is still the vice president of the local bee club..........
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2014, 05:58:02 pm »
Have not said name yet... Calling now to see what comes of this. I'll let you all know.



Offline Zweefer

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2014, 07:37:25 pm »
Here is where things stand. 
I called the supplier, and received a very defensive and rude reply that they had contacted everyone (they hadn't contacted me at either number checking through call log history) and that they knew they were "duds". But if I wanted to get them replaced I had to have them there by tonight.  Keep in mind it is over an hours drive for me, it is 5 PM and raining extremely heavily.  I said there was no way this could be done.  I got a very rude "well we told everybody".  So I then replied (albeit a bit less civilly than stated here) that if they knew they were duds they should not have given them out.  She then told me to speak to her husband (primary supplier).  After being on hold for 7 and a half minutes (I did time it) I was told much the same - that everyone was called, and he was packing up to exchange the bad ones.  I told him I never received a message on either line, and we need to make this right.  He told me if I couldn't get them to him tonight, perhaps we could meet at the interstate exit ( he was passing my way to make the exchange) at 4:45 AM.

I told him I would call him back.


After determining there was no way to try and load bees into nucs in this weather without doing serious damage to my vehicle, myself or the bees, I called back to say there was no way to make it.  I told him I was more than happy to meet up with him on the way back, and exchange them then.  After going back and forth for a while, I just stated that I would be speaking with my credit card company and be getting my money back as this clearly wasn't what I had paid for. 

He them decided he could check to see of they had "some extras to bring back" and that he would call me tomorrow. 

After we hung up it occurred to me that if he was going to exchange the bad ones I had, they most certainly should have those two wouldn't one think.    I decided not to call a third time, and will wait to see what is said tomorrow... I have however called my credit card company and put them on standby .

Sorry for the long post, but wanted to get the facts out there as plainly as possible without interjecting my emotion into this...   

If I can not reach a satisfactory conclusion to this whole fiasco you can bet I'll be telling who this supplier is.  I'll shout it from the rooftops, as well as tell another story regarding this supplier that was mentioned during our keepers meeting yesterday. 

Help me stay sane guys!!!



Offline Perry

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2014, 08:35:37 pm »
This is really unfortunate, especially for someone starting out. I feel badly that this has happened to you Z.
On the frames, I agree with what has been said. A barely drawn out frame is a no-go for me. The one with wonky comb, I think Lee has hit it on the head, it looks like a comb that maybe had some drone cells scraped off and the bees are rebuilding the center part again (I have frames that look like that at times as well, scraping off wonky comb and letting bees repair it). I really didn't see a ton of bees on any of those frames, and the best brood frame wasn't exactly stellar. The frame repair (ear) is not too unusual, but I would not be inclined to put it in a nuc myself.
In Nova Scotia, there are not that many suppliers, so it doesn't take long for word to get out, so it is especially important to me to keep customers happy. That supplier is probably not too worried about repeat customers, cause he won't get any.
Hang in there and the good folks on the forum will help guide you, as many already seem to be.  ;)
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: WHOOO HOOO!
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2014, 08:48:34 pm »
It has taken me many years to reach the point that I can LOOK and speak calmly when I am boiling mad. I have found it gets me further than dealing with blues brothers when I didnt remain calm.    ;D
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