Monday, August 13, 2012

Test Driving Mailing Nucs

 We have a client in TN who was anxious to get one of our nucs!

Hooray for us as we had some that were in great shape, but we had never shipped nucs, only provided them for pickup or drop-off.

We first tried overnight shipping through UPS.  They specifically do take bees, but don't take them to the UPS're not going to get the best understanding of their policies or their legendary customer service.  I would argue that the UPS Store was a bad move for UPS as it debases their otherwise excellent reputation.

The cost to overnight the nucs was over $110 each.  WOW.  And then a few bees escaped and they aborted the whole thing and returned the nucs to me in a sealed box and with our queens dead.

Charges returned (thankfully) we took the nucs a week later to the US Post Office.  I know, right?
Who uses USPS anymore unless you have a catalog to send.

Full disclosure, we are using Brushy Mountain nucs for shipping.  They are waxed cardboard with lots of ventilation.  But we needed to use the inner cover (which we have been neglecting) to fully enclose the bees. For some reason the shippers are not fond of bees escaping their colony.  UPS shipping did not get our best effort at full containment.

Lesson learned.

We have now modified our program to guarantee the containment of the girls.  We used a plastic wrap product to wrap the entire box in cellophane.  From Uline, it is this stuff.

After speaking with the Don, I think we are in good shape as long as the bees do not get overheated.

Please stay tuned as we hear about the health of the arriving bees.  There may be an opportunity to share our genetics with folks outside out market if it is successful!

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