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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Russell you are a very brave man going "public" with your queens!

    Just wait for the onslaught of phone calls wanting to ask 1001 questions about beekeeping it seems that as soon as you ship a queen it comes with free beekeeping advice for as long as needed no matter the time of day or night and how busy you may or maynot be!

    Have even been asked if we could help with the first honey harvest!

    as others have said weather plays a very big part in queen raising and nothing can be gauranteed, it comes down to looking after your bread and butter customers first and doing your best with whats left for the rest.

    frazz

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orange, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    On a personal note, I find it hard to believe Mr. R. Russell takes his time to email or answer forum posts. I myself have had almost every question answered. For me, the information is so valuable to learning to become a quality queen breeder. I think Robert goes above and beyond and in most post in the forum or email wishes to see more people breeding queens. That in itself says something.
    Last edited by ChristopherA; 03-29-2011 at 10:39 PM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Maybe you're saying the same thing, but I would phrase it this way:

    How do you control your potential customers? One can't control the weather, but you do have control over how you manage the unpredictable within your business.
    Sounds like the Russells have gone the extra mile to do just that. The buyer said that he got a confirmation on the 23rd saying that they planned to ship on the 28th then he recieved an email warning of weather issues for the 28th and 29th. That sounds like good customer service to me.

    They even said that they would send them overnight on thursday which would have them arriving on Friday. Isnt that when he was suppose to get them to begin with?

    I am still not seeing the issue. Its Tuesday and the buyer has already started a complaint thread about a top notch company that is going above and beyond for the customer.

    I have read Mr. Russell advise against shipping UPS because of rough handling and no way to insure. I am sure he is going against his own better judgement by risking his queens to make sure that the buyer is happy.

    Do you feel that there is more that he could or should have done? Barry or anyone?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Edwards, Ms, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Wow! Quality is the most important product a queen breeder can provide. I've heard alot of complaints about how the bee industry queens aren't up to par for the last few years. Russell Apiaries have always made sure their customers get high quality queens, that is properly mated. I know this for a fact. Just a few weeks ago Mr. R Russell had me and many others smashing over a thousand queens and planting new cells just a few weeks ago. We had a cold snap followed by rain. He knew they had not maited perfectly. Thats over 50,000 dollars in loses just to make sure his queens are perfect. He goes far beyond great quality. I've seen him give breeder queens away at regular queen prices. Just to fill and satisfy his customer. Just as said before he will be getting his queens on time. Why post such a thread.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I have nothing but high remarks for his service.

    For those who do not understand, or can not cope with the unpredictable on this beebusiness; grow up!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,886

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    After reading this thread I believe I'm gonna order some queens from Russell. Those Sunkist Cordovans sound sweet. Late May shipment is fine, maybe the weather will even out by then.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Papar

    It appears to be quite evident that your "'I want it now" attitude is not going to gain you much sympathy on this site. There are many VERY knowledgeable people on here, who earn their living raising and keeping bees. From time to time they loose a LOT of money because of the unforseen variables in trying to run a business like raising queens. I have been in the retail business for over 25 years and always try to bite my tongue when an unreasonabale customer makes unreasonable demands. I have on occasion however made exceptions to that rule and told them if they don't like the way I do business, then they should take their business elsewhere. From time to time things need to be said. Respect is a two way street. It appears that Mr. Russell has bent over backwards to make things right, and I am not surprised.

    "I don't need to be told about the weather and how that plays into beekeeping" (but maybe you do need to be told to lighten up and be a little more sympathetic to the situation) because nobody is "jerking you around" Good luck to you and your bees.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,713

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by papar View Post
    I don't appreciate being told the queens will be shipping out, then 4 days later told they are postponed a full week. I call that being jerked around!!
    I don't understand what's confusing. If he sends out an email on the 23rd saying they will be shipped on the 28th, then tells you four days later they will be postponed a week, that seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    The four days that it took him to push it back a week was because of the weather conditions involved in catching, mating, and shipping, not just shipping alone. If it rains on Monday and Tuesday, it might not affect how the postal carrier operates on Friday, and it might not affect how you can catch the queen on Thursday, but it will affect how well the queen is mated.

    Take the time, and get the good queen. It will save money in the long run.

    Quote Originally Posted by papar View Post
    My issue is that with a company as large as Russell Apiaries advertises its self to be the customer service is just not there.
    Quote Originally Posted by papar View Post
    I have tried to communicate with Russell Apiaries but don't feel satisfied with the service.
    Personally, I find Robert's interest in us little guys nothing short of charity. Sure I'm paying for the queen, but when he is getting blank checks from commercial operators every year saying "send whatever you can," the fact that he is interested in filling my order of 2 queens seems shocking. I wouldn't be doing it.

    That being said, he's a busy man, with a father that passed away recently, and a growing business. I don't expect an answer today. If you didn't receive an answer at all, ever, then I would be concerned.

    Two emails in four days covering the status of your order? What more could you ask for?

    But hey, if you arn't satisfied with the service, I would invite you to find another supplier. I know Robert won't be interested in saying so, but I don't have an issue with it. A dozen people are waiting to take your business. We all win, we all get satisfied.

    Quote Originally Posted by papar View Post
    I was asked to PAY in ADVANCE for my queens. I feel that I have some cause for concern at this point.
    I think that's the norm now a days. When I buy a queen (or nuc, or even the occasional package) I get concerned when they DON'T ask me to pay up front.

    If they get your payment in, bingo, you have a binding obligation for them to sell you it. If they don't get it in advance, things become a lot more questionable as to whether or not they will be interested in selling you the same queen for the same price (depending on the breeder) especially when supply goes south, demand goes up, and prices skyrocket.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I must ask a some what strange question in all this back & forth!!!
    PAPAR how long have you been in the bee buzz???

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,077

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    For an unbiased opinion.
    I've never done business with Russel, & would strongly consider buying from him after hearing how well he handled you're order.

    Some suppliers don't correspond at all.

    As far as timing, remember its agriculture. The whole business is at the mercy of the weather. & we are asking the suppliers to put out queens at the most difficult time of year, so we can get an early start. Local swarm time would be the ideal time for the producers to make queens.
    Dan

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    So the Consumer report forum has turned into the Member Report forum???

    Russell responded, why all the personal attacks and debate?

    Everyone has a different expectation of customer service.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    A lot of people are very grateful to Russell for his help and great service and i believe that most here felt it premature to complain when the queens would still arrive on time just wouldn't be shipped out on the specified day due to the weather. I felt it was a personal attack on Russell by papar saying he was jerked around simply because Russell sent a confirmation email saying he planned to ship on the 28th and then sent an email 4 days later saying it would be delayed due to rain. It's a consumer report so other consumers and people in the industry felt the need to post their opinion on how the situation was handled as well as their opinion of the company. I also feel that most here are eager to see Russell raise the bar in the industry. Now that they are not just wholesale we will all reap the rewards of them out performing others and making others have to step up their standards as well. Wouldnt it be great if all suppliers took the measures that Russell takes? Again, i ask, what more could Russell have done?
    Last edited by TwinkieBee; 03-31-2011 at 12:58 AM.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by papar View Post
    I also ordered 50 queens from another supplier here on beesource for the same time period, paid in advance, and will be delayed there to.
    It's hard, impossible to predict an exact date when weather is not cooperating. Talked to my supplier and my May queens just became early June queens. Looks like this spring everything is delayed.
    Last edited by MARBIS; 03-31-2011 at 03:17 AM.
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    What was frustraiting again was the advanced notice to ship and then the rescheduling for a week later, perhaps it was unrealistic for me to expect anything short of you get them when we can get them to you. After this thread started Mr. Russell agreed to ship them this week which was not the original response I got back. For those that don't understand my situation then we must agree to disagree. Being out of state on expenses made waiting a week longer a tough pill to swallow but again to some that is no big deal, for me, it makes a huge difference. I have learned from this experience and all your responses.
    Thanks for your direct opinions.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Guess I should give an update here. Papar's queens were shipped UPS overnight air today. They will arrive tomorrow morning. I will add that my shipping them this way had nothing to do with this thread, it was my way of trying to do what I could to get him his queens on the day that he needed them. I do not like shipping queens this way, as UPS is very tough on packages and does not offer any form of insurance. Papars situation was unique in that he was out of state awaiting these queens for splits... that is the only reason that I could justify doing what I feel is not the safest thing for the queens. Thank you all for your support. I know it is hard to reach us, especially to reach me directly... we are doing everything that we can to try to keep a high level of customer service while not sacrificing quality queens and safe delivery. Thanks for your understanding.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,303

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by papar View Post
    For those that don't understand my situation then we must agree to disagree. Being out of state on expenses made waiting a week longer a tough pill to swallow
    I think some prematurely jumped in here giving their opinion. There are two sides to every situation. I'm not taking sides, but in things like this, both parties have real costs on the line and it is paramount that clear and open communication take place between the parties.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    It was a premature complaint which is exactly why i jumped in to defend Russell. From papar and russell's statements there was open communication as well. Both parties have real costs on the line in which the supplier (Russell Apiaries) was trying to protect the customer's needs. The customer (papar) however did not feel the need to protect Russell Apiaries reputation thus leading others to feel the need to do so. 1: confirmation email saying they were preparing to ship. 2: email saying it was delayed due to weather. 3: offering to ship 1 day Ups and spending more on shipping to make sure they arrived on time. That seems very open communication to me. For the 3rd time i ask, What more could Russell have done?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 03-31-2011 at 03:37 PM. Reason: UNNESSARY QUOTE

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,786

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Just ordered some May queens from Russell. I think his customer service is over the top compared to others I've dealt with.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I think russell handled the issue best he could. I ordered a queen from a supplier last year, and called them on the ship date to confirm my queen had been shipped. They said that the carni queen wasn't avilible yet becuase they had trouble getting the breeder to lay and it would be a couple more weeks. They never gave me a call, and said hey,,,,your queen will be delayed.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    As Barry indicates, there are two sides to every story, perhaps my inquiry about certain issues with Russell's turned into something more. I will not get into the details about why I was dissappointed with the PROCESS of getting the queens, which I might add has nothing to do with quality of product.
    I just received the queens and will check them out shortly but I'm certain with all the positive marketing, they will be nothing short of excellent.
    Through this I have re-learned the lesson that, you aint got it, till you got it in your hands.

    Thanks to all and good luck

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