Given the number of comments on this site alone, what did you expect???
Given the number of comments on this site alone, what did you expect???
This is from Russells policy page on their website.
"Marking & Clipping - We will mark queens at no charge upon your request. However, this service is not guaranteed because we cage very many queens each day and when the weather is too hot or to wet, the marking paint can cause damage to the queens.* We do not charge for the service at all and feel that it is far more important to get you healthy queens.*We do NOT clip any production queens. Breeders can be marked with numbered disks and clipped upon request. With breeders these services are also free, but are guaranteed as part of the product."
I mark some queens in hives that I will make nucs from so I can spot them faster. How long did you wait from the time you put her in the nuc or hive to the time that you tried to mark her? If she flew away, she must have not been in the hive long or been real scared. None of mine ever try to fly after the two weeks that you are suppose to leave them to get accepted.
Can't blame Russell and definitely its your fault for the losses. If you don't know how to mark queen, don't mark them...
Sorry for the cross post. Just put this on the bee forum post.
No need to get into the details (drama) of my order to Russell Apiaries because there is always room for debate but PayPal contacted him and he agreed to a refund. Got a notice from PayPal this evening telling me the refund was issued and then another about an hour later telling me it failed because it did not clear their account. Just a heads up, looks like they have bigger problems.
I know a lot of us has had our moments with Russell Apiaries, and that is understandable. I know I have.
Basically, as I understand it, the firm was a commercial only outfit until this year. This year, they opened things up to the general public and basically got overwhelmed.
It is one thing to handle 100 orders for 1000 queens, it is another thing to handle 50,000 orders for 2 queens (not the best example, but you get the point).
I had ordered nucs last fall, I went to Mississippi at the end of April to pick them up, I saw directly what all they were going through.
Basically, they got more than they bargined for.
Here is what I know...
First of all, they do have a very good product, and a wide selection. That is both rare and wonderful.
Second, I saw the breeding yards. They seem to be region specific. That is a good thing. In the end, quality genetics is always the best path.
Third, they recognize their situation and are trying to find ways to improve upon it. The core problem is customer service, or as many have experience, a complete lack thereof.
To improve their customer service, they are trying something bold, something new in many ways.
They are contacting a number of people with a track record to stock their products all across the country. They are looking to divide things into states for simplified access and increased customer support. It seems that the goal is to have this operational in 2012.
Basically, they are in the process of setting up a large number of dealers, in almost every state, to give you someone both reputable and close by to work with. That is both sound logic and reasonable. Being a dealer in bees is one thing. Being an afternoon's drive away is an absolute blessing.
I am in discussions with them to be part of the team here in Virginia. If it all works out, I will be willing to help out anyone in VA who has had issues and needs assistance. I will end up with a web site, email adress, and phone number, all of which shall be responded to promptly if you are in Virginia. I will be starting with queens and nucs, and at some point working into packages. In the near future, there will be many more like me.
I kindly as those who have had problems to be patient. I know that is very difficult since I was one of you for a long time. But in the end, we are all better of with maintaining quality genetics in the USA. As beekeepers, that is our core mission and goal. Anything less will result in breeds that fail quickly and result in poor production and pollination.
I am quite sure all will work out for the best in the end.
For now, if you are in Virginia, please feel free to PM me here and I will do what I can to help.
For final comments, please note...I have been where you are. I have been feeling lost, misplaced, and at times ignored. If Russell Apiaries did not care, they would just fade away back to commercial orders only and within a year, this would be old news. Instead, they have chosen a bold path. One that recognizes the current situation for the good and realizes the bad. One that attempts to place dealers much closer to you. People that you can easily drive to for supplies and ask questions of. In our industry, that is a rare and wonderful thing. Let's pull together and work this thing out. After I watched the genetics do their thing, I for one, became a believer.
We can, as a comminuty do better than sticking to just putting up with the limited choices available. I cannot think how many times I looked on the web for bees, only to find a nuc was a day's drive away and all they were was Italians, or on a rare occasion, NWC's. Or that a dealer carried only one or two types of queens. We can do better. We can have survivor diversity. We can have selection. That is what brought you to Russell in the first place.
In the end, things will be better. Customer support will be not only improved, but much closer to you. And for all of us looking for these products, it is a dream come true.
Thank you, and God bless.
Thanks for post this VB! It is nice to see that people with good comments are taking the time to write and not just leaving the last word to the few with negative comments.
I have queens on order from Russell's for splits later this year, I have no doubt that I will recieve my order and am perfectly willing to wait for the bees to be ready to ship to make sure I get the genetics. It might mean being flexible on my end for when I make the splits but this is agriculture, if you aren't flexible it WILL brake you down.
Virginia, how is this going to work?
Will you be raising queens from breeders supplied by Russell, or will you just take orders and pass it along to somebody else?
The idea of a consumer report forum is for folks to relate their buying experiences both good and bad for the benefit of all. Such information is a good thing. When reading other consumer threads on here it strikes me that this is hardly a forum where negativity has dominated. I would encourage everyone who has had any experiences with the Russell's to contribute and do so without bias and leave it for the perspective buyer to judge. Just pass relate your experiences, nothing more, nothing less.
Bad news and reviews travel faster and farther.
If you don't like something, tell the supplier. If you do like something, tell your friends.
Mark: I would agree to the extent that your first recourse is to make an honest attempt at fixing the problem by contacting and trying to work things out with your vendor, I think that is what separates some of the Russell experiences with other situations and it is what people writing such reviews should clearly point out. Not trying to bash anyone here at all just trying to be realistic.
Thank you for the information. I'm torn between asking for my status and slowing the line down for all, and wondering if I am lost in the shuffle.
No business can survive if there major repeat customers are not served. When I ordered I expected to be on the bottom of the list and knew my order was only a maybe. I would rather be a maybe than a not at all.
At the DMV they at least give you a number. A web format posting something like below would be helpful to customers and give them a few less calls.
For < under 5 Italians now serving May 30 ship dates.
For < 5 moonbeams now serving April 30 ship dates.
In the end I try to worry more about the bees I have than the ones I don't.
WOW... Unacceptable customer service for sure. I just had a similar experience with R.Weaver (Texas):no:.. I was really bummed b/c I'd had a fantastic experience w/their family (B.Weaver - BeeWeaver):thumbsup:....
Thank you for sharing your experience. They need to respond immediately, irregardless of your level of irritation. If you aren't able to deal with unhappy customers, then you shouldn't be in business.
How about you pay me for something and then wish to communicate with me about your purchase and instead of communicating with you, I'll just ignore you, take your money and send you whatever I choose? Right....
That seems to be par for the course with them. Lots of complaints on here recently.It seams to be a trend the sites with all the hipe are just that. Everyone says that either one of the Weavers sells hot bees and Russel has a million excuses and no customer service.
I complained last year and It was said I was bashing them. Also I should not be upset for taking several days of from work when the queens were suppost to be here. One made it through the winter. I asked for cold weather bees, the one that made it through the winter will not fly until it is over 65 and sunny. All I can say is thanks for nothing except getting upset for nothing.I have swarms that fly early and fly late. Stay with your local bees. Tony
Phone calls and e-mail are waste of time, no answer of any kind
It's a shame you never got a call or a response but can't be mad at them for dead queens at this point.... Personally, I would've just accepted them being unmarked, taken a good macro shot of each one and introduced them. In the grand scheme of things having a queen marked or not is not that important. Bottom line though, the customer service you have received thus far ranks low on the satisfactory scale.
Jumping in here a little late I know but feel I have to weigh in on this topic. I have bought queens from Russell in the past. Last year as a matter of fact. The service was terrible to say the least. I had ordered queens to be shipped on 7-12-11. Paid for them on may 7th. They were not shipped that week at all. I sent an e-mail on sat.the 16th.and received an e-mail on Sunday the 17th stating Mr Russell had been sick and my bees would ship this same week. Didn't get any queens that week either. I finally received my queens on the 27th. Bottom line is when I order a product for shipment on a specific date I expect it to be shipped on that date or an explanation as to why it can't. That is just common courtesy if nothing else. I know I will be bashed on here by the loyal following of Mr Russell as most others have been that dared speak out, but when you get on a public forum and brag your product up as Mr Russell has done on here and then don't deliver said product you must surely expect some backlash! I could go into the quality of the bees but don't believe that to be the topic. And yes I have ordered queens from other suppliers as I like to test other genetics in my apiaries. I have ordered queens from Weavers in Texas,Avoyles in Louisiana,Gardners in Georgia."one of the largest suppliers to Kelly",honey run Apiaries in Ohio,Koehnen in California, Buzzes bees in California and several others over the years. Out of all of those I NEVER had one supplier fail to ship on the date I had requested. I NEVER had any communication issues with any of these other suppliers. And to the best of my memory none of them took my money until a few days before shipping date. One thing that I have seen on here that really disturbs me Is how most of Mr Russell's supporters are so quick to jump all over a negative comment against him but say nothing when He "from another thread" and his employe "Twinkie " from this thread call Mr Russells brother a thief without any evidence!! When You call another out on a public forum and say they are a thief without proof that to me speaks volumns about your own integrity. Bottom line people is do some research about the various strains and genetics of queens being sold today instead of just buying into a bunch of hype be it good or bad. I truely do wish Mr Russell the best and hope that he can straighten out the problems with his business. As for me the old saying goes burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me, there won't be a third time.
He didn't say Russell said it, he said "He "from another thread"". Someone did make the thief comment.