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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    209

    Smile Re: R. Russell queens

    I feel obliged to post my consumer experience in this thread. I ordered a couple of Sunkist queens based on the "hype" surrounding their buildup. While I was waiting for them I managed to snag a couple of Sunkist nucs from someone who refused to pick up their order from Russell (let me interject a big THANK-YOU to whoever it was that didn't want their nucs). A few weeks later, I have concluded that the "hype" about the Sunkists is well deserved. (x2) They have done very, very well building up in a reduced nectar flow. Got them as a 5 frame nuc (bursting at the seams), moved them into 10 frame hives, added another deep to each, then another deep to each as they needed room. Having this experience, I ordered more queens (Buckfast and JN Russell's) to add diversity to my stock and to try some bees that I've been wanting to try. I can hardly wait until they get here, but until they do, I will keep focusing on my plan to increase my hives and become a better beekeeper, so that when they do come I will have plenty of places to put them.
    Last edited by Barry; 06-27-2012 at 02:58 PM. Reason: off topic

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    The disparate experiences in this thread confuse me a bit as my experiences have been nothing but good.

    I ordered a Carniolan queen this spring and it was shipped a week late (after 2 of their employees were killed in the accident). I was fine with the delay once I checked their webpage.

    Post office lost the package for a bit and the queen arrived late. I promptly installed her without inspecting her fully as I just wanted her to start laying. A week later I noticed that she had a damaged front leg and still had not started laying. When I notified Russell, Victoria offered to send me 2 more queens right away but I opted to wait another week to see if she'd start laying (as I didn't have another nuc or hive body to keep another queen and I'm not fond of trashing viable queens). Upon week 2 she hadn't laid yet and Russell shipped me a replacement. Took the 'damaged' queen out, put her in a nuc box I built, and installed the new one. 2 weeks later, BOTH queens are laying very nicely and I am moving my nuc to a 10 frame hive body to let the hive build up.

    I did offer to send money for the 'replacement' queen as both have turned out fine and both Robert and Victoria declined. I'd order from them again if it were an option. FWIW, I don't know anyone at Russell and this was my first order with them.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,437

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Any posts that make subjective comments on another member's experience, either good or bad, will be deleted. Tired of both sides trying to convince the other that they're wrong.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Thanks Barry...that's been the dang problem all along. Folks post what they've unfortunately experienced and then they get attacked. Meanwhile, those that have had good experiences get a "glad that worked out for you...if you had experienced what we have, you wouldn't feel the same way."...and that comment gets additional condescention...again, thanks!

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Greg ,,,glad that worked out for you . Really, i am . June27 ,,no contact ..no refund ...no bees . Could one of you guys that have a working phone # to this biz shoot me a pm ? At this point id be happy with a hot stick in the eye .

  6. #86
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Seal62 I commented on your video I'm concerned at the lack of honey or pollen in your hives looked to me like it was starving and if it was then I wouldn't expect your queen to be laying.
    Has your hive improved it's stores since that video was taken?

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    buffalo junction, virginia
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Ok maybe you all can help me who is Victoria and how can i get intouch with her about some business please pm me.


    Thomas Yancey

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Hey Barry u hit the nail on the head.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Victoria is the person that answers the emails at RA. She answers via the same email address that's on their website.

  10. #90

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Any posts that make subjective comments on another member's experience, either good or bad, will be deleted. Tired of both sides trying to convince the other that they're wrong.
    Im kinda tired of not having a signature, kinda subjective too.

    Actually on subject now, I emailed them, they havent emailed me back. if I lost a couple hundred bucks so be it. Im not terribly worried about it. Ask yourselves, can you get on an airplane and find somebody? This isnt Nicaragua. if youre out a few grand go find him. If youre out 20 bucks, youre kinda whiney. Either way, their business is clearly defunct. But I hope they still deliver whats paid for.

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Racine, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    I filled out the form on Russell's website yesterday asking about the status of my order that I placed last year.

    I had an answer in my inbox this morning (sent by Victoria at 2:55AM).

    In it she says they are still running a bit behind but my order will be filled ASAP.

    I'm looking forward to getting them. If they do as well as the queens I bought from Russell's last year I'll be a happy camper!

    They are not the best at "on time delivery" but their Sunkist bees are something I've found to be unique to work with and unless they're working with an experianced mentor, I wouldn't recommend them for a new beek!
    "Can't never did do nothin'" Grandma Heltsley

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Apple...just curious...why would you not recommend them for a new beek?(btw, I am not a new beek...including my time with my father as a kid, I have 40 years under me, 20 on my own) But I am curious as to why you would say that...thanks.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,724

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Riverhawk - I've heard others make the same suggestion. Sunkists can be very heavy layers. As a result, they can require heavy splits to maintain their populations. Additionally, the heavy numbers can be daunting to some beginners, as reaching into a box that is literally overflowing with bees may not be the best environment for a beginner to learn on. Plus, along with those heavy populations come alot of hungry mouths. They can consume quite a bit of stores if you aren't careful.

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Racine, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Because I think that SK's can be overwhelming for a beginner. Most new beeks that I have mentored or talked with do not have enough equipment available to handle the SK's brood laying. If they have a mentor there is a posibility of borrowing equipment to handle the rapid build up if not their up a creek. SK's were developed for building strong hives to shake packages from (not honey production) and the new beeks I've talked to want to keep bees for the honey they can rob from them.

    Look how many new beeks start with just one hive. A couple of deeps and two or three supers. I just talked to one that thought one deep and two medium eight frame were enough for a hive. No nucs, no extra boxes, no extra frames.

    I recommend to the people I've mentored to start with a mutts at least two hives and get some experiance, equipment, drawn comb and a hive through the winter. Then experiment and learn what works for them.

    Hawk, for the record I'm not knocking Russell's at all. I have five more queens coming from them. If they perform like the queens from them last year, I'll have about thirty hives and ten nucs to go into winter with.
    "Can't never did do nothin'" Grandma Heltsley

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Thanks Apple...a great reply. Would've loved to have worked through that problem!!!! I asked because I had a couple of queens released but then the hive killed them within 10-14 days of being released and before they layed. Jerry on the RA forum tried to say it was my fault because I didn't know how to work with RA queens. I'll refrain from going into how angry that foolish statement made me.
    On a similar note, Shazam has posted there he believes there may be a pattern with bad queens during that earliest of June time. Seems non laying and hives killing the queens has happened often to others only with queens shipped then.

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple Farmer View Post
    I filled out the form on Russell's website yesterday asking about the status of my order that I placed last year.

    I had an answer in my inbox this morning (sent by Victoria at 2:55AM).

    In it she says they are still running a bit behind but my order will be filled ASAP.
    Did your email look anything like this?

    Hey John,
    We are still a bit behind. I apologize for the delay. As soon as they're ready to ship you'll receive an email stating your shipping label has been printed, as well as a note from us to co tact your local post office and the ship date. The email will also contain your tracking number. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    Victoria Ball
    Russell Apiaries
    www.russellapiaries.com

    This is the email I got a month ago.

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Racine, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    K9, Yep that's it. They just typed in a different name.

    Good thing I wasn't holding my breath. I ordered from other suppliers and have the queens in their hives.
    "Can't never did do nothin'" Grandma Heltsley

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple Farmer View Post
    K9, Yep that's it. They just typed in a different name.

    Good thing I wasn't holding my breath. I ordered from other suppliers and have the queens in their hives.
    I canceled my order through PayPal yesterday. I found it odd to read on here that some people ordered in the Spring, received their order and have already received replacements for the dead ones and Ive had mine on order since December 2011 and still havent received them. Im learning to rear my own so I wont have to deal with this again.

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by theriverhawk View Post
    On a similar note, Shazam has posted there he believes there may be a pattern with bad queens during that earliest of June time. Seems non laying and hives killing the queens has happened often to others only with queens shipped then.
    Hawk,

    That was pure supposition on my part, as there seemed to be a similar set of behaviors described and all seemed around that same time period including by me. If the bees were all sent out together, and sat in similar heat at the postal depot, might have caused it. Dunno of course. I know mine ended up sitting at the Jackson shipping facility for an extra unexplained day before being shipped out. It would be a shame if some of the 'bad press' RA got was due to such.

    That said, I have queens now that have been released and are already laying, so cross fingers, and thanks to RA for replacing the queens.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    The RA queens I received about a week ago were under a press in introduction cage for a few days and the hive loved em. When released they promptly set about laying frame after frame. No complaints here.

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