perhaps we could all post our experiences with the various beekeeping supply companies on the new feedback thread, so people can get feedback on these links all in the same place? this would help those newbees among us to select which company would be best for them to start off with. just an idea (i will try to move these posts over there.)
I have done business with betterbee.com, and have found them to be fairly priced and fast -- if their items are in stock. this seems to be the only problem i have had so far; sometimes they run out of some of their items and you have to wait for their shipment to come in.
I am very pleased with all these suppliers. When Drapers didn't have the queens I needed, they directed me to 2 other sources.
Betterbee was out of stock on one item and gave me the choice of holding my order until the item came in (save on shipping) or shipping what they had on hand immediately and sending backordered item later (or cancelling BO item).
I have only had bees 1 year, and have bought all of my supplies from Mid-Con. They are located in Kansas City, which is only an hour and a half from me. So I am able to drive there when I need things. They have been great to do business with! They have even given me the name and phone number of a local experienced beekeeper when I was there the 1st time and they found out that I was a newbee. Here is their site address. http://www.mid-conagri.com/
page in polish... once more, with no relevance to bees. if i can find a polish-english translator to translate pionesa's post, so can he/she. oh... but then it would be obvious to us that his/her post had nothing to do with bees. sorry about the trolling... it WILL stop!
I've ordered from Betterbee over the years and found the turn around time fast and great service. They don't sell package bees by mail, but have pick up dates at their store in the spring. I got three packages there this past spring and they were far less stressed than mail order ones. Betterbee also has workshops in the spring and fall at their apiary.
:soap: I am very frustrated with BetterBee. I ordered their hive kit on 5/11. I e-mailed twice and called them twice, on 5/16 and with the last being 5/19 to ask about it's status (with never hearing back from them on my other requests). Uh, it's back ordered, they said. I ordered small bee gloves. Well, she said, if you can use XXLarge gloves, I can ship it NOW! "Ship it! My bees are due anyday!!!!" I said. She said it would ship 5/19 and be at my home 5/23. Yep. They didn't ship until 5/24 and it's at my house NOW (supposedly). Which is great since my bee guy has had the Nuc of bees since 5/23. NOW I have to paint it too... 2 1/2 weeks to wait? :bash: This was ridiculous. I won't use BetterBee again...
I happen to like betterbee very much. Their prices are the best in the area, and their service is OK. (I guess if you pay less, they have to cut costs somewhere!) I am always just sure to order early so I don't have trouble with the back order issue, which does happen occasionally. Then again, I ordered from dadant and they were having trouble with back orders too. So I don't know.
If they had responded to either e-mail or either phone call with the information that there was going to be a back order? I would have made arrangements to have it shipped immediately with the wrong sized gloves. As they didn't respond to my inquiries and then eventually when I contacted them they told me it would ship and didn't for several MORE days, that's why I am disappointed with the company.
Over the sixty plus years I've been a beekeeping hobbyist I have bought from Wards, Sears, Walter Kelley, Brushy Mountain, Dadant, Root, Mann Lake and an outfit in Georgia that specializes in cypress woodenware.
Not one of them has ever given me deliberately bad service, but when I ordered in the busiest season some shipments were slow. Not one of them ever failed to make good on a mistake. Judy, if Brushy Mountain owes you $160 I'll bet if you copy this post and email it to them they will do their best to track down the mistake and make it good. Let us know if they do not.
At the moment I favor Walter Kelley, Brushy Mtn and Mann Lake. Not that the other suppliers are bad, but Kelley is generally least expensive, fairly close (shipping) and sells good woodenware. Mann Lake has a more extensive list of goods than most and sells good wood. Brushy Mtn. also has good equipment, a good supply and fair prices; I have one of their small radial extractors and am really pleased with it. At the moment they also are the only firm I know that will work wax into foundation. Making foundation was once a huge plus for Kelley, but they quit a few years back.
THYMOL: You can buy it from your local pharmacy. Stay away from a site named Every Day Mehndi. I ordered 1-month ago from them, and never heard a word, or recieved shipment, they got my money. I have also ordered Hawaiian Queens, Dadant, Walter Kelly; Mann Lake; Brushy Mountain. They all do what they say, good bussiness practices. I always ask if the items are in stock, saves a lot of grief.
I've had excellent results from Kelley & Dadant; only slight problem was a damaged strainer; called them (Dadant) & they sent me another that day; I'm close enough to Paris, TX branch to get UPS ground next day & here it came. Didn't even ask for the damaged one back (4 bux item so paying shipping to return it would have been rediculous). Also excellent results on parts from Cowen; bought a real old uncapper; they still make parts; sent me an owner's manual free (first one didn't come so they sent the second next day air; still no charge!) and their parts are quite reasonable for that old machine. Also ordered bees from Walker Honey in Rogers, TX; gentle as could bee so well satisfied with them. I picked up the bees as they're so close to save shipping.
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