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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,720

    Default Russell's Apiaries

    I placed two separate orders with Russell's Apiaries.

    The first order was for a Stainless Grafting Needle: http://russellapiaries.webs.com/apps...s/show/2130403
    Brushy Mountain sells the same grafting needle, as does Mann Lake. However, Russell's is $10 while Brushy and Mann Lake has the lowest price of $12. Oh, and the $10 included shipping. Not only was I able to get it for cheaper, but he included a free chinese grafting needle, and another metal one of a different variety, so that I could "try out" a few different kinds and see what works best for me. He did this after I explained my difficulty using another type of needle.

    The second order was for two Sunkist queens.
    I placed the order in January, and chose a shipping date as close to 4/1 as he could get, but no later than 5/1. Given the weather issues he's been having, I expected closer to 5/1 (or even later). Two queens made it to my door by 4/18. The USPS banged up the package a little, and only one made it alive. I notified Russell, and he sent me a replacement Sunkist, along with more FREE QUEENS to help me with my breeding operation. The second package was in a box, instead of an envelope, and he provided a tracking number (after my request) FREE OF CHARGE. This time he ensured I got my package on time.

    The first queen I installed did not take (I think, not 100% sure just yet). But if it didn't take, it is due to my own issues.

    Russell may be difficult to get ahold of, but once you do he solves your problems. It's so refreshing to deal with someone who actually understands what it means to take care of your customers. Just because of that, I'd be willing to pay TWICE the price for the queens, if I had to.

    World class customer service. Stellar performance. I'm not interested in purchasing from anyone other than Russell from here on out!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Russell also sent me a queen to add to my genetics...I also thought that she was toast but shes a going!!!! Russell does have a superior product that is for sure.
    mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Consider yourself lucky to have received the two queens!!! I ordered a few of the Sunkist Cordovans for April 18 ship date and yet have not received my queens. Sure would like to hear something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Last I heard Sunkist Cordovans (at least for me) were coming in around the 17th of May. Bad weather everywhere. The first two queens I received around the first week in April, great looking and laying like crazy now. I figure they will get here when they get here. The Sunkist's should catch up fast. Great genetics worth waiting for IMO. I'm just happy he's letting the smaller producers have access to his genetics ; ).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,992

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    You probably shouldn't have told all that. Now I'm gonna feel all left out if I don't get extra stuff too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    I ordered Italians and Sunkist which I received at the end of March. I just checked in on them a few days ago. I have a few that are doing exceptionally well, most seem average, and some are just not doing much(about 25). Also seems the Sunkist are starting off slowly. Over all, the queens arrived in excellent shape and really need more time to be accurately be graded, but I am satisfied. I will say that I installed queen cells from Kutik's Empire Queens about the same time and they seem impressive to me at this stage, it could have more to do with the fact that they went into NUC's vs splits?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Mine were ordered and paid for in January, don't know when you put your order in, but you must have done something right.
    I did recently get queens from Bob Harvey and I visited his place in Port St. Lucie. His queens look good, although one swarmed and another was killed by the mob. They actually took five days to eat through the candy and then I would assume that they killed her. This is a good guy, and I would not hesitate from buying his queens again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    I heard from russell today. Storms/tornados swept through and shook things up. He said he woould ship them tomaroww, and send them with faster shipping so they dont have to be in the post office over the weekend. I'll have them by friday.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,720

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Something was certainly up with the queen candy, because the last four queens I got in benton cages wern't able to be introduced through the candy. One spent five days, the other three spent four days in the cages. I finally pulled the cork on the other end, as they appeared to already have been accepted.

    In case you were wondering, I ordered last December (I think, it might have been November).

    Can't wait to see how they are doing!

    I was hoping to have two Sunkist queens, mainly to compare them. I hate to judge a breeder based on a single queen (to be honest, two really isn't enough either, but budgets are what they are). I might end up placing an order for a mid summer/early fall queen. We'll see how financially I am at that point in time though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Im getting sunkists and cant wait!
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    me too! really want to see how they turn out

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Update- I got my tracking number, and russell is overnighting my queens at his expence so they're not in the post oice over the weekend. Talk about a class act.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Hey GPP, when did you place your order for those queens???

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    december. You have to understand russell is a VERY VERY busy person. Don't get your undies in a bunch becuase you cant get ahold of him. He and his crew raise 80k queens in a year. You ordered 2, and there is plenty like you. Keep trying.

    Another thing to consider is he has tornados and storms pass through, and has had to move some yards near the mississippi. So everytime a round of tornados rolls through he has to stop production for part of day go check out all his yards to make sure they are where they are supposed to be, and more importantly his friends and family are ok.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Thank you young man, my order was for more than two and I don't think it is too much to expect a little communication, do you??

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    I apoligize, I miss read an earileir post. To my understanding the sukist card. are running behind. Keep trying to communitcate. Youll get him soon. He is a good buisness man and a better beekeper.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,720

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by broodhead View Post
    I don't think it is too much to expect a little communication, do you??
    I've been in touch with Russell, and he wanted me to inform the "forums" that he is still alive. lol. He hasn't been able to get online and post, mainly due to the weather. Tornados, storms, you name it has been disrupting his operations.

    Dr. Russell certainly has a few communication issues that need to be dealt with. Part of it is the growing pains. When you move from a commercial supplier to a general supplier, you have an increase in the number of contacts without necessarily an increase in the amount of business you do. In a sense you work twice as hard to produce the same amount of queens.

    But be persistent, and be patient. Russell will often take several days if not weeks to get back to me, but when he does he makes up for it and then some. His customer service is like none I've ever seen. It's well worth the wait.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    The PO has struck again. My overnighted queens didnt get here overnight. Oh well. stupid post office.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,720

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    It should have been GUARANTEED overnight. If they didn't make it in time, file a claim.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Russell's Apiaries

    Sound like you folks are at least a patient lot. Robert and his crew have had to move several of their queen yards in the delta region due to the threat of flooding. The Mississippi will crest for the second highest crest in recorded history. When you talk moving queen yards, you are talking several thousand nucs. This totally disrupts the mating process. And will even include the loss of drone congregation areas that the queens would have normally mated at. I had requested 20 queens towards some credit I have but when I heard about the Flood, I backed off. I can wait......Robert and his crew ,which are a highly trained lot that I have had the pleasure to work with ,will fill the orders as soon as possible. Floods are nothing to be triffled with. The last flood I was in--Tallapoosa River--my bees did not swim well. I wonder if Robert has bred a bee that can do the back stroke??TK

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