Thursday, February 9, 2017

Honeybee Shipments from Steve and Donna Victors

Steve Victors

12:40 PM (3 hours ago)
to me
Hi Dawn,

Just sent this out to the group.

Just so that you know.

At this point we have 292 packages for the Interior on the 15th.


Good Afternoon Beekeepers,

We opened up bee orders when we returned from California two weeks ago after setting up the details of this April's shipment with our supplier.  I sent out a note to all of you to let you know that we were accepting orders through our website.  In the last two weeks we sold 80% of our available bees.  If this rate continues I predict that we will have sold out of our supply by this time next week.  As of this writing we have 49 packages left on the Interior/Peninsula day (the 15th) and 194 left on the 22nd.

If you want bees for this year, I would encourage you to order soon.

I am sure that there are some beekeepers who are waiting to see how well their wintering colony is doing before committing to buying a replacement package. Finding a replacement package in April is a bit difficult to do.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

After we sell out of bees we still have two potential supplies of bees.  We classify them into two groups - Insurance Bees and Canceled Orders.

When we sell out of our supply, we take names of customers who are looking for bees and those who missed out on the order because they were too late or they were waiting to see how their colony made it out of winter.  These "Wait Listed" customers always seem to exceed the supply of available packages.

Insurance Bees:

Each time we travel to bring in a load of bees we know that we are taking a risk.  Transporting bees is a difficult thing to do. Things can, and will go wrong.  Our goal is to show up at the appointed place on the appointed hour with all of the bees in great shape.  It is not always possible to do.  All it takes is a package in the middle of the stack that didn't get enough fresh air or cooling and somebody's day is less than what it could be. To avoid this, when we bring a load of bees up, there are several packages in that load that have not been sold that are ready to replace any package that did not travel well.  If all of the packages travel well (and most years they do,) these bees go to beekeepers who are signed up for the following delivery and want their bees a week early.

Using hypothetical numbers...  assuming that we carry eight extra packages per load, in the first shipment we are able to replace up to eight packages.  If all packages travel well, eight packages go to the "Second Shipment" beekeepers who get them a week earlier than they expected.  On the second shipment there are already 8 packages that were delivered early and if the second shipment goes well there are now an additional 8 packages from this load added to the previous 8.    A total 16 packages can go early to beekeepers from the third shipment.  They also get them a week earlier than they planned.  When it comes to the third shipment there are 16 packages already delivered a week early and if this third shipment goes well there are now 24 packages surplus.

Because we distribute these Insurance packages on the same day that the shipment comes in nobody gets old packages.   They get a fresh package a week early.  We also roll all packages forward to the last day because if the first load exceeds eight replacement packages, the replacement package comes in the following week and is taken out of the extras for that day.  Under this plan we can cover a loss of an average of 8 packages per shipment.  So it is only on the last day, on the last load, on the last location, that we are able to determine how many extra packages we truly have. We then call down our "Wait List."

Canceled Orders:

A number of beekeepers who winter their colonies order a package of bees for the colonies that they think might not make it through the winter.  Sometimes assessing these colonies in very early spring is a tough thing to do.

Many times the colony that goes into winter with the beekeeper in doubt about its potential success  wind up failing.  Those questions that you had asked yourself in the fall should be reviewed... Did they store enough food?  How were the mites?  Do I have the right kind of queen?  Is the hive sheltered or insulated enough?  Is there enough airflow through the hive?  If the answers to these questions is unsure the odds are against you...

If you think that the hive is not likely to make it but just might... order a package.

It is relatively easy for us to cancel an order and refund a credit card.  Although we do not store the credit card data, we can log into the credit card processor's website and reverse charges up to 90 days without having to ask for your card details again.  All it requires is to know the client's name.

If you choose this option we ask you to do a couple of things for us:

Please mark the order in the notes section upon checkout as "Potential Cancel".

If you cancel please do so by March 15th.  This allows us enough time to make the package available to our "Wait List" beekeepers.

Steve and Donna

No comments:

Post a Comment