I don’t get super irritated with people who are new to bees...until they reveal themselves as inconsiderate jerks on top of being ignorant. So sorry, if this offends anyone...actually no. If this offends you, try to smile and reread it. If it still offends you...just go away. :-)
Did you know that MOST beekeepers, even well known beekeepers, like MOST farmers these days, have another job too? A "real job" maybe to some. :D
In my case at least, my beekeeping business works in some ways like a club. And I try to treat all of my customers and supporters with care and respect and give them as much attention as I can. And that, of course, is affected by many things, but most often simply based on seasonal availability. In the spring, it tends to get REALLY BUSY for beekeepers. And conversations become necessarily brief, or they have to wait sometimes. They may even get missed entirely, with no intention of being rude. We have to become more and more efficient, the busier and busier we get. Which brings me to the point of this little post. :-)
If you believe, when your bees are ready for pickup from your selected package or nuc vendor, that they can somehow be put in stasis, that they won’t continue to grow, or that they won’t require additional maintenance and labor (and cost more), then you might be better suited to raising sea monkeys (see advertisement at the end of this post for more information on sea monkeys).
Why? Let me start by listing some of the things YOUR BEES don’t care about. Because when they are ready and you are given a pickup date, or you are called for delivery, they are indeed YOUR BEES!
YOUR BEES DON’T CARE:
- that it’s not convenient
- that you made other plans
- that you didn’t get enough notice
- that it’s early
- that it’s late
- that your equipment hasn’t arrived or been assembled
- that YOUR (insert family member or pet here) is sick
- that YOUR HOA or city or neighbors said no
- that your spouse or significant other objects
- that it's too hot
- that it's too cold
- that it's too rainy, muddy, and gross
- that you moved
- that you're moving
- that you haven't had time to read a book, watch a video, or attend a class
- that you didn't show up last year to get them and you now want them this year instead
- that you (insert excuse here)... you get the idea.
I almost feel like I could make some kind of a beekeeper version of "redneck" jokes out of this post, lol. :-)
So how about deliveries? Yes, they can be a little more flexible, sometimes. However, if you can’t receive the bees on the designated delivery date, you just increased costs. Your friendly beekeeper is now losing (more) money.
IF you have a beekeeper nice enough to give you the opportunity to pickup at a later date, you’ll likely get bumped to the bottom of the list instead of to the next available time.
Why? Please see the previous list of things YOUR bees DO NOT CARE ABOUT! When you chose not to pickup or accept delivery you lost your spot in line. You go to the end.
And it’s a good thing you did. Otherwise a swarmed out or dead box of bees might be all you have left!
I know, I know... You might feel slighted and think...“but then I will have to...wait...”
You are right. As horrifying as it is to think that YOU might have to wait instead of someone or something waiting on you, that's just the way it works.
Exercise some patience, get some desperately needed education, and realize the bees don’t care about you, or your timing.
Harsh? Sometimes that is what is needed in these situations.
Don't think the world (or the bees) revolve around you/your schedule
Don't be an a-hole
Be patient and wait for another nuc/package to be ready...and SHOW UP or ACCEPT DELIVERY a available
If you get a bad nuc/package...see #2 above...and work with your beekeeper / vendor to resolve it
Look, I do more for my customers and supporters than many other beekeepers. I have some of the best customers and supporters in the world in my humble opinion. And I go out of my way to make sure their needs are addressed as soon as possible. In many cases, that means sacrificing my own hives and splits to fill orders ahead of delivery dates just to satisfy some impatience.
Further, I make the choice to replace nucs if they are bad and go as far as PERSONALLY pulling the old nuc as I PERSONALLY replace/install the replacement, in their equipment (when possible) to make extra sure it is handled correctly.
Not every beekeeper does this, and it's questionable if I should! But hey, I'm an extra nice guy, and like 5 star reviews, lol!
None of that changes the fact that, if you manage your bees with the same disregard you have for your beekeeper/vendor when you no-show or delay delivery...they will swarm or die anyway.
You would be better off renting a beehive and/or paying someone to manage it for you. (I provide services like that by the way.)
My advice? Learn some patience, learn some manners, and be reasonable. If you can't do that, save some hard feelings and stress for yourself and your beekeeping vendor. If you are "THAT PERSON" then save the bees (and yourself some money in the process) by NOT getting bees.
After all, there’s always sea monkeys... -Mike @ www.BeeResQ.com