Wednesday, July 30, 2014
A New Queen and Our Post Office
That new hive I been having trouble with that some how managed to almost completely die out has refused to raise a new queen no matter how many frames of eggs I give them.
They seem relatively happy about the entire thing but they will quickly decline and die out if I don't get them a new queen soon. And by soon I mean like right now. The last frame of eggs and brood I put in there have all hatched and I checked this yesterday morning and there is not one new egg in the entire hive.
Well it's do or die time so I ordered a new queen from a guy up in Iowa. I have ordered queens from him before and he was really good. I also prefer to order queens from areas further North than Central Missouri in the hopes they maybe a bit more Winter hardy. That and I know there is no possibility for any Africanized genes to get accidentally mixed in.
So Yesterday we ordered the queen and had her shipped next day priority mail. $22.00 shipping mind you. I told the wife that as soon as that package arrived at the post office all hell would break loose.
Then sure enough I got a call this morning to make a run out into Eastern Kansas, and of course while I am three hours and a couple hundred miles away the phone starts ringing as the post office employees begin freaking out.
This is a picture of how the queens are shipped. A small plastic cage, taped inside a sturdy envelope with holes in it and all the relative info outside. You can usually hear the queen(s) and their attendant bees angrily buzzing as you hold the envelope.
Since I was a few hours out the wife left work early to go pick up the queen. The post office in the next town insists they cannot deliver the queen, even though we paid for it mind you, because they have no one to send out. WTF? Of course they have pretty much closed our local post office they just open it up a few hours a day now to try and fool everyone.
I get home and get the envelope out of the little tray it's in and I thought it was buzzing really loud for one little queen and a couple friends. When I open the envelope inside are four queens.
I got an envelope for some poor guy with almost the same name as me from another town about an hour South of us.
Then I get to looking and taped to the back of this envelope is another one. This one is mine and contains one queen.
I now have five new queens buzzing away angrily inside my kitchen. It's 4:20 PM and the post office closes at 4:30.
To make a long story short the wife panics. She does manage to get ahold of the PO people who try and tell her they are not going to wait for her to drive in with the envelope containing the four queens.
I am wondering if I could possibly find the guy and drive em down to him or if I waited to take them back in the morning if they stood a chance of living long enough to get delivered now. Finally the PO people agree to wait a few minutes (it's a 15 minute drive minimum) and we got the queens turned into them but I am going to call the supplier tonight and let him know I have my doubts about their survival at this point.
The wife took the four queens in while I placed the one queen into the queen-less hive. I will leave her in her cage and check to be sure she is alright tomorrow. If the girls in there think they have a queen already they may attempt to kill her but when I set the cage on top of the frames the bees did not immediately move into attack mode so I am pretty sure she will be alright.
All I can say is it's pretty obvious why the Post Office is going broke with mistakes and service such as I witnessed this afternoon.
More fun with those hard working government employees....
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!