A bee farmer is demanding compensation from New Zealand Post after queen bees were "cooked" while being couriered.
Gary Milne runs Southern Sun Queen Bees in Horowhenua and has been breeding the bees for more than two decades.
He said a recent courier trip turned into a nightmare after 27 of the 100 queen bees were dead on arrival.
Mr Milne said the bees were a couple of days late and had obviously been subjected to heat.
"Effectively they had been cooked - they had been overheated somewhere and beekeepers know what cooked bees look like," he said.
Mr Milne said queen bees were important because they helped keep a hive surviving and thriving.
He said they cost around $60 each and he was making a claim for compensation.
Mr Milne said the problem was New Zealand Post's tracking and tracing system.
"The barcode is scanned when they are delivered to the post shop and the package is scanned again when it is taken by the delivery courier at the other end before it is handed over to the recipient - and in between times they have no scanning system to workout where your parcel is," he said.
In a statement, New Zealand Post did not rule out compensation.
"We consider all claims on a case by case basis in accordance with our terms and conditions, and our teams are working through this with the customer," the statement said.
It went on to apologise about the delays.
"Due to the nature of logistics, unfortunately delays can occur can occur from time to time - sometimes for reasons outside of our control such as adverse weather conditions and transport delays, and we sincerely apologise for the impact this has had on this customers' business," the statement read.
Mr Milne said he was not put off from using Courier Post in the future.