At the risk of getting this whole thing fired up again, I noticed that Norton has an ad in this month's (Nov 2008) Bee Culture.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards
Shame on you Dan!
Hopefully he has read your signature line? I wouldn't expect the man to close his business over this. It is his livelihood after all or at least a part of it. And I would think he needs sales to rectify any damages he has allowed to happen if they haven't been resolved already?
I can't help but believe that he has "felt the sting" from this thread and may quite well for some time to come yet. Something no one in business can allow to continue and be successful. But I guess that's for him to decide.
Not on Dan
Bizzy I can't for the life of me see where you're coming from
Why is that Tom? You think I'm picking on Dan? If so that's not the case, Dan's my bud. Good ole GA boy.
Tom, I didn't take it personally.
I only found it interesting that Norton is advertising. Either he's solved his problems or is planning to take advantage of some more unsuspecting beeks. Biz, if Chuck is an honest person, then I hope he can turn his business around too. So far, though, I haven't seen any reason to trust him with my money.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards
Yeah, I would hope so! But I'm afraid for the moment that I would have to agree with you.
Glad you guys are buds we all need friends
Do either of you remember HUCK BABCOCK QUEEN BREEDER? Sometimes people use advertising in a bee mag as a way of presenting legitimacy when there is none. Usually involves some kind of exotic breeding claims and high prices. Beginners get excited then lose their money.
Have the refunds been made prior to paying for the ad? Or is someone looking for fresh meat.
Since I am the thread stater, I just wanted to write in and give you an update on my deal with Chuck.
About three weeks ago he contacted me via email and offered me (3) single story hives with a shallow super of honey for each to settle his debt. I agreed to the offer and last Saturday he made the 2 hour trek from his place to mine. The condition and quality of the boxes and bees were not quite what I had hoped for. In talking he said they were actually splits he had made not long ago.
But enough about that....
As for others who he owes queens he said he will make it up to them next Spring when he has the queens. He said this year was a terrible year for queen production. He also said he had no sour-wood honey crop this year and this is what helps fund his queen business. This is the reason he said he could not refund my money.
Chuck and I probably talked for 2 hours as we set up these 3 hives. He is a very knowledgeable man and I think he knows his stuff when it comes to Queens. On the other hand, I don't think he is a good business man. He is a one man operation and is probably overwhelmed easily.
These are the basic facts from my experience and I will leave it at that.
I hope Chuck the best and hopefully he will get straighted out. I also hope that everyone else who was taken gets their refund.
Remember..... CAVEAT EMPTOR!
Belt, I am glad you got something out of this. His reason for not refunding your money is poor. Some could call it "I did not make any money from my job so I stole from you". I know of a beek that Chuck has talked to a bit on the phone, sounded like he was a good rep for the bee industry.
I too am awaiting Russian queens from Chuck Norton. I ordered 5 last summer which were never delivered with the same reasons given to others in this thread. I was then told that I would get the queens this spring. It is now May 19 and still no queens. The heavy spring flows are coming to a close so any queens I receive now will simply create new hives with no honey potential this year. Very disappointing service. He has not responded to my last few emails and his phones won't take messages.
I am down to one hive to make splits off of and am desperate for queens to build up my apiary. Guess I should have looked on this list before I tried a new queen breeder.
When I spoke with Chuck last fall face to face he told me he still owed some people some queens and he was going to make good on his word. I had an overwhelming feeling he wouldn't and you have proved this to be true. Jess, I had two very nice Russian breeders reach out to me after my ordeal was brought to light here on the forums. They are Velbert Williams and Kenny Reed. Both are members of the Russian Association. I actually spoke with Velbert first and worked out a deal to purchase 20 queens from him this Spring.
Let me tell you, I could not be more happy with Velbert's services. Not only did he send me 20 queens, he spent time to talk with me on the phone discussing some of the finer points of queens and what-not. He is a very down to earth guy and not long after talking with him could sense his compassion of beekeeping and fellow beekeeper. I can't say enough good things about Velbert. I recommend you have your own experience!
Here is the link to his website and contact information:
Oh yea, out of the 20 queens I introduced, all 20 were accepted!
Better yet, withing 48 hours of introduction I had 2 full frames laid solid with eggs!
Thanks for the update Chris. I will check my last remaining hive tomorrow to assess how many potential splits there are and order queens then. I checked out the Velbert Williams web site and it looks professional. I doubt that Chuck Norton had/has any dishonest intentions. My gut feeling was exactly what you thought, he dug himself a hole and has not been able to climb out and has been too embarassed to deal with all of the disappointed clients. Very unfortunate for all concerned. I am just going to write off the money as a loss. My greatest peeve is the loss of time waiting for his queens. Spring around here has a huge honey flow and that is being missed. If Chuck had just been more realistic about his abilities I would have swallowed the loss and ordered queens for a normal April delivery. Although in all honesty I don't think my survivor hive was strong enough to split much in April.
Iam very sorry you had a bad experence with Mr. Norton. I have tried for weeks to get in touch with him. I have left e-mails and the phone # listed just rings, I wanted to purchse some teir 2 queens as well. The site lists aug 14 as a new date for these queens. THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE. Iam sure you saved me alot of time and trouble. I hope he will straighten everything out. (we have had unusually wet yr in NC)
As the reply title states you should go back and reread this thread from beginning to end. There have been multiple people ripped off by Chuck and all have the same story. STAY AWAY!
You mention his website lists August 14th for the new date for queens. If you scroll on down to the bottom of the page you will see his site has not been updated since June 28th, 2008.
Chuck has no intention of fulfilling paid orders from last year. He has pulled his ad's from both ABJ and BC. If you paid for queens last year and received none, sorry but you have taken like me. If you paid for queens this year, well..... stupid is as stupid does!
One thing I want to bring up is Chuck has been removed from the Russian Bee Breeders website: http://www.russianbreeder.org/members.htm
but on his website he still claims to be an active CERTIFIED CHARTER member: http://www.mybeebusiness.com/
I for one am asking members of the Russian Bee Breeders move to remove his false claims from his website. This is how people are fooled by him. He states his queens come from fellow parter Charlie Harper who is president of the RBB association. If anything, I would assume Charlie, along with other RBB's, would not want their name associated with the hack.
Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-05-2009 at 06:42 PM. Reason: remove quote
On May 20 I emailed Chuck again asking about the possibility of a shipment of my 5 queens this spring. I did not hear back so on May 21 I emailed Chuck to cancel my order as I had ordered 5 queens from Velbert Williams. On May 22 Chuck finally responded to my email and said that he would ship my 5 queens on May 26. Velbert Williams was extremely gracious and promptly refunded my money. You can probably guess where this is heading. Today is June 5 and I still have not received my queens from Mr. Norton. It is really too late to do splits here so I am totally out of luck (screwed actually) and Mr. Williams is out of stock anyway. Once again Mr. Norton is AWOL since he emailed me with a shipping date.
I am extremely frustrated and angry about this whole situation. Never in over 20 years of hobby beekeeping has anything even close to this happened. In frustration I contacted the North Carolina Attorney General and filed a complaint against Mr. Norton. Don't know that it will accomplish anything but I feel it needed to be done.
Sorry about your luck. Rereading the thread I think it was on May 20 I told you he had no plans of fulfilling orders...... YADA,YADA...
I'm surprised this thief is still taking people's money and offering queens for sale in 2009 when he didn't fill his 2008 orders. This guy is a crook who takes peoples money and then promises them queens. Then when questioned gives excuses like it's too rainy or it's too hot or it's too windy for mating flights.
Not to rub salt in your wound but you should have stuck with Velbert. He is a first class guy and his queens are the best I have ever used. Hands down!
I hope your contact with the NC Attorney General pans out but at my estimate your out $175 plus S&H. Myself, I was cheated out of $350 plus S&H. These amounts are probably small stuff to the NC AG. I would also report him to the BBB since you are located in the same state as he.
To continue this thread, I would like to know what the RBB Association is doing about Chuck Norton. His website is fraudulent in saying he is an active Charter Member of the RBB. This in my opinion could reflect bad on the RBB having such a member advertising his product using the RBB name. This could also have legal action deflected from Chuck to the RBB if they don't distance themselves from him and call for the RBB to be removed immediately from his website.
Any thoughts? How about it RBB members?
Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-05-2009 at 07:01 PM. Reason: remove quote
You need to contact the RBB directly yourself Belt. They don't need to be called into this thread to defend themselves against someone else's actions.
Furthermore, this is a consumer report forum. It's not intended to be a perpetual rant forum. We understand the real anger and frustration caused by these things but the "consumers" are better served by having the pertinent information posted by those that have been affected.
The people reading the complaints can and will make their decisions based on that information.
I'm not calling the RBB into this thread to defend themselves. My intent is to possibly motivate them to get Chuck to remove his false claims from his website which continues to take advantage of unsuspecting people.
I have spoke with members of the RBB and they seem very nice and trustworthy. I even spoke with Carlie Harper last summer about this situation with Chuck. He told me I was not the first person having reported the same problem with Chuck. He went on to say the there was nothing written in the RBB bylaws to address this type of situation. He said that Chuck's info would be removed from the RBB website this way the RBB wouldn't be directing people to Chuck. I thanked Charlie and told him I was sorry he had a bad apple in the organization.
Also, I don't how one could call this thread a PERPETUAL RANT. Especially when another person comes out yesterday (Jess) and states he has not received his queens either. There is no anger on my end but It does frustrate me the unsuspecting people are still ripped off.