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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Have issues with southern women too huh. Trust me, that doesnt bother me at all. Just remember that you have a lot of members that are women and a lot that are southern that are reading this too.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    While I am not southern (born in CA, now a proud New Englander) and not a woman, this thread seems to have gone wildly off topic. I am a new beek and just recently ordered two (yup only 2) queens from Russell Ap. with my little bitty order of two queens I also sent an email (probably my third or fourth over the past few months) requesting some info. Each and every time I have emailed customer service at Russell I have received prompt and pleasant responses that have helped me on this new journey of learning bee keeping. I thank the good folks at Russell and look forward to trying their queens. If their customer service for a little guy in the far northeastern corner is any indication of their overall customer service then they will continue to build a successful business and thrive!

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Franklin, NC
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I am happy with Russell on all counts. I don't expect to see any queens at the PO til after the shipping dates listed on their website. I also am not expecting to be coddled by customer service. I do come to bee source and search for posts by rrussell6870. Some of the best threads on this sight are contributed to by him. They will let you know when your queens are ready and shipping. Relax. Enjoy your bees. You will get a great product. I you need to talk, get a dog (or get married).

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    THANK YOU Fishman43 and TimnEsther!

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I only ordered two Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan queens, the post office killed those first two, Russell Apiaries immediately sent a double set of replacements, two again by USPS, and the second set by UPS Next Day Air. This time both sets arrived in excellent health. From my experience Russell Apiaries has both very excellent customer service and exceptional product. I greatly appreciate having connected up with them last year. The SKC queens I obtained from them and the daughters I've raised from them have been some of the most resilient bees I've dealt with, yet.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    493

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I found Russell Apiaries last year after being on this site. I ordered queens from them last season. They came here perfectly and they were very helpful to me. I ordered from them because it became apparent to me that they were very pro beekeepers big and small and really cared about the future of honeybees. I joined the Russell website and learned about their incredible family history in Beekeeping. Last year the weather was tough for breeding because of rain and there were tornadoes that hit their area and they still got bees to me. I'm a relatively new beekeeper and feel privileged to have some of The Russell Apiaries Bees in my yard. I ordered some queens this year too a Moonbeam and a German Black Bee and I'm excited to get them. When the queens are ready and things line up I'm sure they will be shipped to me in good health. The Sunkist bees are beautiful. I had a dream in the fall that I was at a Russell Apiaries Barbecue in Mississippi. LOL It was a cool dream. Whenever I see Russell anything on here I read it

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    buffalo junction, virginia
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Well Mr. Happy i am going to raise queens from the one i got from Russell and i do not have a problem with his bees the ones i have seen blows my mind. As for what i am doing is very different and he knows what he is doing. Now twinkiebee thanks for the pm if you can help me with what i need then we can talk some more Russell is busy and the queen i got from him came late from when i ordered her but she made up for being late and is doing darn good now i admit i was a little worried about ordering but i was reassured that thing s are going to be good so i am all in thanks Twinkiebee.

    Thomas Yancey

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I'm a southern woman. And I see Russell queens in my future.
    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,454

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I am having a little trouble understanding the vitriol I am hearing. I have ordered a lot of queens from many suppliers through the years and almost universally I would contact the office and ask about availability. They can almost always tell you how far out they are on bookings and give you an approximate shipping date. What if anything they might require down would usually be determined by your history as a customer. Payment is always due on receipt or if they don't know you then it would be due before shipment. it would not be unusual to hear that your date is getting pushed back because of weather issues or bad catches. I have never purchased from Russells but based on what I have read on here he has many happy customers but I think it's also fair to say that there are at least a few unhappy ones. I don't really think Barry was out of line by suggesting that as a consumer you always have the option of taking your business elsewhere. Perhaps someone could explain how the order process works there. Is there a target ship date at the time the order is placed and any procedures in place to keep anxious customers up to date if it appears those dates are being pushed back? I completely understand the problems of running a business such as this, I also think it is fair to say that there are probably some weaknesses in the system that need addressed. If I might also state that a common theme with breeders is pride in their product, Russells aren't alone in that. I have yet to have someone tell me they believe their bees are the second best available.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    We have three sets of customers. All of which get to pick their PREFERRED ship date and we try to stick to that as closely as we can. When a schedule gets filled, we close off those dates of availability.

    New or Basic customers place their orders online or through the mail.

    VIP customers are given hand chosen queens by Russell himself and select stock.

    Then we have our Long Term customers, some of which have been buying several thousand queens from us every year for the past 40+ years. These have a long established credit with us and so they dont pay until the queens ship or they pick them up.

    We cage queens Sunday through Thursday and ship Monday through Thursday. There are some logistics involved, but that is the simplified version.

    When the order is placed paypal automatically sends two emails, one to the buyer and one to the office. This is the confirmation/receipt email. The email that we receive is printed and put in a separate file for each customer. The data from each order is uploaded into our systems and the caging schedule is broken up by strain and is then uploaded to the portals for each strains mating operation. They use this system as a foresight to begin producing each cycle of queens on a strick schedule. When the queens are caged they are raced to the regional postal hubs that are closest to the mating operation, then they are bundled by order and placed on the trucks after everything else is loaded so they will be the first to get unloaded.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Chittenango, NY, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I am very satisfied with the customer service from Russell Apiaries. It sometimes has taken a few days but they responded to every email that I have sent them. The queens I ordered last year arrived later than expected but it was because of weather problems. It worked out okay for me because we had a cold wet spring here and hives weren't really ready to split when scheduled anyway. Russell's didn't just ship the queens when they became available but emailed first and asked if I was ready for them. I thought that was a nice touch. They shipped them out that same evening and I picked them up at 10:30 the next morning. Their email response was very fast when it counted (the day the queens were ready).

    I imagine that there are other queen producers whose product is on a par with Dr. Russell's but I am happy to purchase from him mostly because I have seen how he has gone out of his way to help some of the other forum members. I am grateful that he is supporting those of us who order small quantities.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I am having a little trouble understanding the vitriol I am hearing. I have ordered a lot of queens from many suppliers through the years and almost universally I would contact the office and ask about availability. They can almost always tell you how far out they are on bookings and give you an approximate shipping date. What if anything they might require down would usually be determined by your history as a customer. Payment is always due on receipt or if they don't know you then it would be due before shipment. it would not be unusual to hear that your date is getting pushed back because of weather issues or bad catches.
    There is nothing different here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I don't really think Barry was out of line by suggesting that as a consumer you always have the option of taking your business elsewhere.
    Thats what I have been saying. You buy a product based on whats important to you. By all means, buy what you want. But making 12 or 13 negative posts in one thread when you have no experience at all with a company is out of line.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,979

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by TimnEsther View Post
    I you need to talk, get a dog (or get married).
    I like it, thats why I play with bees, they don't talk.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I don't really think Barry was out of line by suggesting that as a consumer you always have the option of taking your business elsewhere.
    I don't think he was out of line for suggesting that either. I 100% agree. Actually, I fully promote that idea as much as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I have yet to have someone tell me they believe their bees are the second best available.
    Can I be the first? Lol. I don't have enough years of breeding experience behind me to produce the best queens. I'm not even sure if I could say I have the second best available, lol. But they do the trick!

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,021

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Re the customer service side, as a one time commercial breeder myself, I would hazard to say that it's a virtual impossibility to give 100% excellent customer service, every time.

    I think a business selling non perishables probably could. But what happens in queen breeding is you are taking orders pretty much 12 months of the year, and recording peoples preferences as to when they want their order shipped. You have to match this up with what you think you can produce, but when the time comes weather and whatever else can go wrong, somebody is not going to get what they want, when they want it. Now at the same time, when it was main season and I was trying to meet commitments, I can remember starting work 5.30 in the morning, basically running all day, and sometimes working bees by the truck lights at night. Just to try to get it all done. There just was not time to contact all those people however much of a good thing that would have been.

    So bottom line, was the great majority of people were fully satisfied. But the very nature of the business means there's going to be a few situations you wish you could have done better. I think this will be common to all queen breeders, except ones that don't have a waiting list.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Twinkie one of your responses could have been what saved my bees in October. Thanks for your help. I know there were two ladies there giving me good advice when the Doc was out of town.
    BB's Honey
    www.bbshoney.com

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,454

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    OT:True enough. I am not here to impugn the Russell operation which I have no first hand knowledge of. The simple fact remains, though, that bad news travels much faster than good news does. Customer service is a big issue with any business that deals with the general public. Poor customer service or even the image of poor customer service can bring down businesses regardless of the quality of their final product. From my perspective (and this is speaking as a commercial) I don't care how good someones queens may be, if they are a month or more late they are of virtually no use to me. I am not suggesting that this happens much in this case only that timeliness is a very, very important part of the whole customer service scenario.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I run an aquatics service business. We deal with livestock in a very narrow temperature window when a pond can be serviced, fully drained, without killing the large koi. I handle all customer contact, and am on every job site. Since many other pond services folded, and our high temps came on too early, last year there were more ponds than days with the weather that would allow us to service them, until November, when I proceeded to get involved in a wreck with a semi - Sometimes I drop the ball. Here's hoping for a profitable spring with mostly happy customers for all of us. At least the ones I got to last year want us back...

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    415

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinkieBee View Post
    For the record, he buys queens to test from all over every year and never hurries any of the suppliers. I my self tried to get breeder queens from Glen, queens from honeyrun apiaries, and queens from zia and vp to play with and never had any response to several emails and phone calls. .
    We have never received an email from you. We might have missed a phone message becasue we lost a bunch in August, 2011. We'd be more than happy to provide breeder queens for you!

    When we can't produce because of weather conditions, we inform our customers ASAP and give them the option of waiting or a full refund. We have lost some I'm sure becasue we didn't deliver on "time". 99% of our customers are fantastic, however!

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com
    Last edited by adamf; 02-18-2012 at 04:32 AM. Reason: spell spell spelling

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I don't care how good someones queens may be, if they are a month or more late they are of virtually no use to me.
    I would agree with you on a limited basis. If I need a queen to do a split, if it's a month late I lost a swarm, and then the split queen is of no use to me. We are on the same page as far as that goes.

    But Russell does not market his queens mainly for splits and re-queening duds. He will tell you that as well. He markets his queens based on their genetics. You don't order (hopefully) a queen from Russell's for splits or re-queening. You order them to increase your overall genetic makeup. Then, drones in your area are better off, next years supersedures and reared queens are better, and so on.

    I think it goes back to that tire analogy. If you want a certain type of tire, and it's on back order, you can't predict when it will be available. So, you either ride out the tire you have, or buy a replacement and wait for the tire you really want to come back in stock. When it does, either throw the old tire away or sell it to someone else.

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