Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
Has anyone else had trouble ordering package bees from Ed Costanza/A-Bee Honey? I put in an order, paid and was confirmed for his April 17th delivery, but still haven't received them.
I got an email April 23rd from him saying they were shipping that week, but again, haven't received.
I received one more email from him on April 30th that appeared to be shotgunned to all customers, but haven't heard anything since, despite several phone calls and emails that were unreturned.
So did I get scammed out of my money?
Ed is back in California picking up more packages. His plan for delivering bees was delayed frequently, and I got my bees about a week after they were promised. I rarely get a response to emails I send him, but I was always able to get through to him on his wife's cell phone. I don't have that number handy at the moment, but it might be in some of the emails he sent. He is delivering bees all over the southwest US, and his delivery dates are very optimistic. Based on his April deliveries, I would be very surprised if he gets back to ABQ by Thursday.
I don't think you have been scammed, but I am not sure when he will be back in town to deliver. I would keep trying to get in touch by phone. That eventually worked for me. The bees were delivered to my door, and they are thriving.
I understand that delays happen, but I don't think it's too much to ask for that he be straightforward with what is going on. When he said that he was going to ship April 17th, I expected them to be shipped on that date. The week after that, he said he was shipping that week. An email to customers about a change of shipping dates is not asking too much.
Ted, glad to hear your bees are thriving but if bees are delivered much later than now will there be enough time for them to do all their work and survive the winter?
I am sure there will be. I am planning on making splits in my hives this summer to raise queens. I think that you could start hives well into summer and still have them make it through winter if you had to. You might have to feed a bit more if it was late in the season, but I think it is possible. My bees are building 4-5 combs per week. If we get more rain, that should extend the nectar flow too. I don't think you could get much useful honey from a late summer start, but I am not expecting much of a harvest from my April starts. If you have brood and empty comb to give the new packages that can give them a great start too.
I certainly can't disagree with the other comments above. I would have liked more information too. I think I bugged Ed enough that I got my bees. It was hard to arrange a good time because of my schedule, but Ed made the effort to get them to me. I am not sure he has done this before, but I think he needs to be more realistic about his ability to deliver. I took a day off work on the 17th of April because he said he would be delivering them then. I think I actually got the bees on the 24th. I caught a swarm the same day, so I was pretty busy hiving bees that afternoon.
Ted, thanks for your insights. I'm a brand new, baby beekeeper so I really don't know much. I did call Ed, which he responded to with an email that his phone isn't working. Unfortunately his response didn't include a date of delivery nor has he responded to my follow up email. Frustrating....
Do you by any chance know where I can get a smoker and a beekeepers bonnet? I'm gonna need it for sure.
I just bought a jacket with a hood type veil from Dadant last winter. They have smokers too, of course. As fare as around here, I don't know. I got my smoker and bee suit about 10 years ago and I don't remember where.
UPDATE: I requested a refund a week ago. My email was not returned.
I've never heard from Ed either. Luckily I paid with credit card so I called and contested the charge with them. They credited me back and are investigating. Very unprofessional!!
I sent an email to each of who had ordered bees from us with our contact information when we got back from California after the loss of the bees and asked each of you to contact us so we could arrange getting you bees. My wife has been diligent in speaking with each one of you about your order. We have secured a third shipment of bees that we should be back in Albuquerque with around the last day of May if all goes as planned. We have been splitting our own hives and feeding to fulfill orders with. We have been making refunds as the funds have allowed.
If you did not get through with a telephone call it is because we were on the line. We are trying to make every effort to fulfill these orders or to make refunds as it is practically possible. Many of you are very understanding and we are grateful that you are willing to work with us. I am not able to get to all the emails because of the time I am spending in the fields so it is best to call us and if we are unavailable please leave a voice mail or send us a text message. We will get back to you as soon as possible. We are closed on Saturdays but are available Sunday through Friday with the exception of May 27th. We will be unavailable on this day.
Here is our contact information again: Cell: 505-688-6210, email: email@example.com
I have sent you an email.