Hello all, another quick season update to let all of our valued customers know that we are still trading as usual and we do not foresee any government advice affecting us though this is all subject to change and much like everyone else we are taking each day as it comes.
Changes to the Way We Work
As we have a duty of care to our bees, we will continue to manage them as usual with slight changes. Many of our customers know that we are a very small team of four which has kind of worked in our benefit as we are able to enforce strict measures in order to keep every member of the team safe and completely minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus between households. Our protocol, which we set in place immediately, is working in separate areas, with me based in the office, Gabriel at the yard, then Sian and Rob are shouldering most of the bee work.
Where it is necessary for beekeeping to be done together, we enforce at least the 2m social distancing advice, though more often than not we don’t have to be anywhere near each other at an apiary. We also travel with our own vehicles, or one member has to sit on the back of the truck.
Ordinarily, Sian will do a few hours of work in the office in the morning to help deal with the inevitable increased frequency of orders as the days get warmer. However, due to our measures, this is not possible so my workload has increased tenfold! Therefore, it may take a while longer for me to get back to you regarding questions about orders or advice about your bees, please keep this in mind before following up with another email or calling the office as there is just me handling the office work, just over the weekend I had 77 emails to reply to.
Collections with Social Distancing in Mind
We are working with a closed door collection service for those who wish to carry on collecting from us. Your invoice will be with your order so that you can identify the order as yours. As usual we all notify when the order is ready so you can tell us when to expect you. You will not have to interact with me or any one else on the collection.
Deliveries As it Stands (General Stock)
For our general stock orders (frames, wax – not live bees) we mainly use the couriers FedEx and DHL. For smaller and lighter packages, we send via Royal Mail. We’re acutely aware of the pressure all delivery services are under. Right now the courier services remain at the standards we are used to, and we haven’t heard from their end about any possible restrictions in the near future. The Royal Mail has been hit greatly, and currently a 1st class letter can sometimes take 4 days.
This is an ever-changing situation and we have to tackle anything head on as it arises. But we cannot predict what may happen. There is a caveat on many courier sites that services may be affected due to the demand and we must always keep that in the back of our minds. So please be patient with our couriers, they are all doing an amazing job.
As a provider of beekeeping equipment many are worried about our ability to continue to supply particular items. Although supply will not be an issue, there may be a delay receiving high demand items, such as gloves as there is such a huge amount of orders backed up with the wholesale suppliers.
All manufacturers of equipment will be behind on production and therefore fulfilling orders because of the nature of their workers being in close proximity. We ask for patience and understanding if you are waiting for a particular item.
Queens, Packages & Live Bee Imports
We are crossing everything that live bee imports will not be affected. Imports themselves are not affected, however we’ve not had much guidance or advice from the government in relation to movement across certain borders in Europe. This is the same case with our breeders abroad. This makes things very vague, and we can understand how this is very frustrating for our customers who are relying on these packages and queens. We can only ask you to be patient. Queen bee imports are relied on for all bee farmers so whilst imports are allowed it is courier services we use that may be the problem. So, whislt we are hope it will be business as usual we’re stuck with a slight feeling of uncertainty. Again, we will keep you updated when things become clearer.
A few months ago we changed our website host and have encountered quite a few issues along the way, in stock items showing as out of stock, delivery instructions not being saved on packing notes being some of the issues. So if you have not been on the website in a while, please try emptying your ‘cache’ before contacting us about a problem with our website as it may be fixed this way. Otherwise, we do welcome emails about any recurring problems you may have, and it would be great if you could take screenshots to demonstrate the problem so we can forward that on to our developer. The shop only allows you to order items that are in stock so there is no need to call us in advance to ask if we do have something in stock.
We would like to send a massive thank you for your continued support and understanding in what is a tough time for everyone around the world. We want you to know that we are doing everything we can to continue to look after our wondrous bees and supply our customers with what they need to do the same. I would also like to thank all my lovely customers who have sent well wishes to me and my family and my fantasic team here.
All of us want you to feel safe, and we want you to know that we are going beyond all necessary precautions to minimize handling of anything that will end up in your home. Thank you for your patience and again, please, first and foremost keep yourself safe.