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Buying packaged bees this spring

posted Oct 25, 2010, 7:34 PM by Michael Smith   [ updated Oct 26, 2010, 1:36 AM ]
    Summer is mostly over and winter is rapidly approaching, the holiday season and celebrating Christmas is right around the corner.  After Christmas we'll all buckle down and try to get through the cold months of winter. Some will be thumbing the Bee Supply Catalogs, some surfing the internet looking for deals on equipment and bees. This is the time for prepping used equipment, painting needed boxes, building frames,  everybody prepping for the coming of spring and getting back in their bee yards.
    While shopping the catalogs and surfing the internet I want to ask you to beware and do your home work before placing orders for bees, nucs and packages. The very best scenario is to buy locally and hopefully from someone you know and trust, or  a good reference from friends. When we order package's from afar we take the chance of importing pests for our bees, diseases to spread through our apiaries  and bad strains of bees that could get sick and die or infect other apiaries.  There is also another culprit out there that we all need to be aware of and think about.
    Last spring I was heading into the spring bee season full steam ahead and having a great time doing it. I was buying nucs, splitting hives, buying packages and expanding my apiaries as fast as possible. I had several strains of bees, really trying them out to decide which ones I liked the best and wanted to stick with and expand further in the years to come. I had been reading up on the internet about all the different kinds and decided I wanted to try some Russians to see how they would work out. Thats where the trouble begins.
    I found several suppliers on the internet and was somewhat wary of which to pick and order a couple packages from. Also I had another thing going against me it was getting late in the spring to begin starting packages but I thought I would give it a try and baby them their first summer to get a good build up for winter. As I studied each supplier I kept running into trouble that they were all out for the 2010 season. Then I ran across a supplier and was very tickled they were still offering packages and would ship UPS to the front door, wow I was getting excited.
    I was leery of ordering over the internet so I picked up the phone and talked direct with the owner Mr. David Winters the Manager / Owner of Long Creek Apiary. Long Creek was located fairly close in TN and I felt that was a good thing he also promised me delivery the first week of June. I hang up the phone and wrote out my personal check and hurried it to the mail so I could make sure to get the Bees first week of June.  I needed them early as possible to make sure I could get them through the winter now approaching.
    Well in the mean time I prepared the two new hives and got them all setup for their new delivery of girls in June. First week of June came and with the new hives all setup I watched daily for the running of the UPS truck. Well first week came and went and then 2nd week came and went and back to the phone for me. I had a terrible time connecting with anyone at the business but after e-mailing and lots of calls I was able to connect . I was told they were behind because of weather and was assured my bees would be here by end of the third week.
    To shorten the story this went on the rest of the summer, I still have no Russian bees, I have no refund either. I have written several agencies in TN and nothing has been accomplished and I don't ever look to get my money back. After further investigation during this whole thing I have learned a lot. This business has had several more business's and continues to operate on the internet today taking 2011 orders right now, with many , many more customers still not getting refunds or bees.
    The only thing I'm getting for my money is a hard lesson in life and a chance to warn any of you. Please read through the following links before ordering any bees this winter. Take a little friendly advice and do your home work, better yet buy local when possible. There are many more beekeepers that has taken a much larger hit then I have.  There are fellow beekeepers out there that we shouldn't be sending our hard earned money to; I don't want to see anymore people getting stung.
Take a few minutes to go to the following links:
    I'm not a writer and don't intend to be, just wanted you guys to have a better warning than I got before ordering bees. Thanks Mike Smith
Hope to see you at the next meeting Nov. 8th.

Companies Owned by DAVID WINTERS


Links Long Creek Apiaries/David Winters



October 14, 2010
There are many beekeepers across the U.S.A. who have placed orders and sent their money to David Winters of Long Creek Apiaries, to have their money stolen and no honey bees delivered to them, from $100 to $1,000.  David Winters gives FALSE excuses and stops answering his phone and emails.  There are many of us who are trying to get the attention of the Tennessee Attorney General's Office for investigation and prosecution of David Winters fraudulent business practices.  Here is what you can do to help:

MOST IMPORTANT, place a phone call to E. Ross White, Asst. Director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, phone number #615-741-4737.  He is a great guy and will listen to you.  Mr. White is asking for phone calls from anyone David Winters has stolen money from, or has not delivered bees to.

*Office of the Attorney General Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs
*U. S. Postal Inspection Service Mail Fraud Division
*Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection
*Internet Crime Complaint Center (this is an FBI partnered organization).
*Better Business Bureau of Tennessee

*Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Mike Studer, Tennessee State Apiarist 
*Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association
*American Bee Journal
*Bee Culture Magazine
 These journals will not run David Winters ads until he has paid refunds in full.

*File a Full Faith And Credit Judgment in your state against David Winters.  This requires hiring an attorney, however the judgment is enforceable in the state of Tennessee.

*Place a phone call to Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes, to report a theft of your money; phone # (423) 623-6004.
*Place a phone call or write a letter to David Winters' private attorney Clyde Dunn, phone # (423) 623-5756.
*Place a phone call or write a letter to Brenda Winters' attorney Aisha Rahman, Southeast Tennessee Legal Aid, phone # (865) 637-0484.  These attorneys are good folks who need to be aware of what David Winters has stolen from you.

*Send David Winters emails on a frequent basis about what he owes you, he may not answer you, but he does read his emails.  David Winters email addresses:,,,

*In addition, I send David Winters a bill (invoice) for the money he owes me and stole from me, with the  interest I am paying to the bank for the money I loaned and paid to him and he cashed.  I also send a copy of the invoice to the attorneys.

*Contact your local bee association or bee supplier, or any favorite websites you visit and encourage them not to link to David Winters websites or promote him as  a bee supplier.

Whether you were swindled out of $100 or a $1000 dollars doesn't matter.  Do something to help yourself and other beekeepers who may order from David Winters in the future.