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Author Topic: Dadant vs Mann Lake customer service/ product quality?  (Read 2475 times)
jpryce
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Location: Corralitos, Ca( near Santa Cruz)


« on: November 08, 2009, 01:38:07 PM »

Hey there,
  I'm just getting started in bking.  I want to make a trip to either Mann Lake or the Fresno Dadant because I'm really a hands on type of person and like to see and feel what I'm buying, especially if I haven't bought it before.  Both of the stores are about equidistant apart for me, about  2 1/2 hours.  I need a bit of everything and was wondering about product quality and any good or bad experiences people have had visiting either of these store sites.  I'm sure it'll be extremely helpful to have some good customer service to help guide me through my purchases.  I've done a TON of research but there seems to be so much out there.

Some of the things I'll need are:
 Complete Hive bodies and frames(2)
 Honey supers and frames(2)
 Foundations for both
 Hive tool/ Bee brush
 Queen excluder
 Hat/Veil jacket combo
 Screened bottom board
  Are there any medications you all would recommend getting?  I plan on using the least amount of chemi's as possible to keep the girls healthy.

   I read a while back that someone got there hive bodies from Mann Lake and were very unhappy with the quality.
Thanks,
Julie
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BeeHopper
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Location: Hopelessly Lost


« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 04:55:57 PM »

Hey there,
  I'm just getting started in bking.  I want to make a trip to either Mann Lake or the Fresno Dadant because I'm really a hands on type of person and like to see and feel what I'm buying, especially if I haven't bought it before.  Both of the stores are about equidistant apart for me, about  2 1/2 hours.  I need a bit of everything and was wondering about product quality and any good or bad experiences people have had visiting either of these store sites.  I'm sure it'll be extremely helpful to have some good customer service to help guide me through my purchases.  I've done a TON of research but there seems to be so much out there.

Some of the things I'll need are:
 Complete Hive bodies and frames(2)
 Honey supers and frames(2)
 Foundations for both
 Hive tool/ Bee brush
 Queen excluder
 Hat/Veil jacket combo
 Screened bottom board
  Are there any medications you all would recommend getting?  I plan on using the least amount of chemi's as possible to keep the girls healthy.

   I read a while back that someone got there hive bodies from Mann Lake and were very unhappy with the quality.
Thanks,
Julie

Well for starters, I do not deal with either one of them because I have suppliers much closer, so I cannot comment on them, but I suggest you do not let them convince you to buy "Beginners Kits" there are just some things you don't need, also hook up with an experienced beek to help you with your equipment needs. Your list looks good, stay away from hard chemicals, soft chems like Apiguard work well. Be prepared to get many, many different answers from this board.

Godspeed,

BeeHopper
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jpryce
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Location: Corralitos, Ca( near Santa Cruz)


« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 05:10:08 PM »

Thanks for the response.  I definitely don't want a kit. Like I've heard so many people say "ask 10 beek a question and get 10 different answers".  That sure makes it a bit hard when buying equipment.  I'm not sure if I want deep supers or if I should go with all mediums across the board for my brood and honey.  I'm planning on having 2 hives right now.  I'm pretty handy and want to buy them unassembled and put them together myself.

Thanks,
Julie
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 05:19:09 PM »

Thanks for the response.  I definitely don't want a kit. Like I've heard so many people say "ask 10 beek a question and get 10 different answers".  That sure makes it a bit hard when buying equipment.  I'm not sure if I want deep supers or if I should go with all mediums across the board for my brood and honey.  I'm planning on having 2 hives right now.  I'm pretty handy and want to buy them unassembled and put them together myself.

Thanks,
Julie

Julie,

Going with all mediums is a good move, as you go through this Forum, you will learn why. I am converting to mediums from deeps for next season, but it will be a gradual one at best, wish that I've started out that way.

Bob
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cow pollinater
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2009, 05:20:24 PM »

I haven't dealt with Mann Lake in person but I've had problems with them shipping me items. They like to shop for cheap shipping(which is great) but then they forget to call and tell me that they are ready to ship and so my order sits there until I get fed up and call them to remind them that I told them to ship it ASAP.  They seem willing to please and may very well be great to deal with in person but after the last three orders being botched I'm not driving up to find out.

Dadant's Fresno is top notch.  Things get shipped RIGHT NOW and they are a sharp bunch... No mistakes. The two things that you will find with them is that they are geared towards commercial beekeeping and the store is geared more towards shipping than retail sales.  While they are very helpful, this time of year they are going ninety miles an hour serving the needs of the almond pollinaters who are coming in for next spring and there isn't alot of hobby beekeeper stuff around to see. Call first and be specific about what you would like to see and tell them when you'll be there.
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If it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger... Or maims you for life.
jpryce
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Location: Corralitos, Ca( near Santa Cruz)


« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2009, 06:50:31 PM »

Thanks so much for the input.  You gave great advice and I'll definately call before I make the long drive. 
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Sparky
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2009, 08:17:39 PM »

I have had the complete opposite experiences as cow pollinater. My Mann Lake purchases came much quicker than the Dandant items. I was happy with both companies as far as quality. If anything I like the frames from Mann Lake just a bit better. The wedge top and grooved bottom style makes for a nice job to use the wedge board as a starter strip for foundationless frames.
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greenismycolor
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2009, 08:38:50 PM »

since you are not sure try  www.orrbeesupply.com
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2009, 06:36:06 AM »

I've dealt with both for years.  Both have been good.  Sometimes either may be slow if it's the peak season or they have to back order something.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Tucker1
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2009, 09:55:57 AM »

I've made several purchases lately from Dadant in Chino.  The service has been outstanding.  I couldn't be more pleased.  Moreover, the person handling my account, followed up to make sure that I was satisfied. I elected to e-mail the "home office" and complimenting the staff at Chino.  This is not something that I normally do.

Regards,
Tucker1
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He who would gather honey must bear the sting of the bees.
jpryce
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Location: Corralitos, Ca( near Santa Cruz)


« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2009, 11:43:35 AM »

Thanks for all the input.  Sounds like I can't go too wrong dealing with either  Good to know.
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wd
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2009, 12:27:30 PM »

I have purchased what I have from dandant mainly because they have warehouse and office close by. The only complaint I have had is a few of my hive body's warped on the boards with the lip where the frame rests right after they were painted for the first time. I carved some pieces of pine to fit and nailed them in place for to give the frames more to sit on.

My first hive was the kit, the hive body that came with the kit warped the most. Looking back, it wasn't needed. I think all boxes have the possibility to warp no matter where they come from.

I included the propolis trap with what i have. I figured that no matter what, They'll be a build of it some where so why not give them a place to put it, plus it can be harvested. I'll continue to use them until I see something different.

I'd rather use the metal in a wood frame but I have the plastic queen excluder only because they're cheaper, I was just in yesterday and picked some more, they don't last for ever.

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