If I get them in Fairbanks, it's only a 60 mile round trip, and I can hive them the same day and not be exhausted. Plus they come in a couple weeks later than the ones in Anchorage, which makes a huge difference in the weather.
wff, look into the hiving thing. It sounds like you have alot of concern about hiving the same day, or shortly thereafter. Ask a question on the forum. I think that you can leave bees for several days before hiving in a cool dark place. They do just fine.
I know that because when my course instructor gets bees from Australia, sometimes he has them in his dark garage for quite some time until everyone can get over to pick up their packages. He recommends you come and get them as soon as possible. But I remember last year they came a week earlier than anticipated and I could absolutely not go over to his place to pick them up. they stayed there for about 3 days, I brought them home and hived them the same day. So...put out the question if you want, let's see what people say about the length of time from pickup to hiving. Great day. Cindi
Good idea, Cindi. I've read that three days is the max. Last year I drove to Anchorage to pick up and got them in hives on the fourth day after they were packaged. Didn't seem like I had an excessive number of dead bees, and the queens were all fine.
A few years ago, I tried to order some bees out of Texas from a very well known apiary. They never asked how
I wanted them shipped, and I assumed they knew what they were doing, so it never occurred to me that they would ship to Alaska by anything other than air freight. Four days later, I got a phone call from the express mail dock in Seattle. My bees had just arrived there by truck and they wanted to know when I was going to pick them up. After three days of begging and reciting credit card numbers, I convinced one of the postal workers there to take them over to UPS, put them on a plane, and send them up to me. They arrived here 9 days after packaging, and there was less than a tea cup full of live bees out of 10 3# packages. I'm sure they would have fared better if they had been in the shade and sprayed with syrup occasionally, but that convinced me that I don't want them in the packages any longer than necessary.
So, what do others think? How long can you keep packaged bees before getting them in the hive, assuming they're taken care of in the interim?