All good points Lauri. The excuses just don't fly when you consider there are other large operations out there that aren't having the same problems even though they also serve the hobbyist beekeeper. I also don't have anything against Dr Russell. From what I've seen he makes a great contribution to this field and goes out of his way to share his knowledge with others and I appreciate that. I'm not here to trash him personally and I don't think anyone else is. But being a great beekeeper doesn't make one a great business person. Those who don't like to hear others complain (and why are they even bothering to read these threads if they are so bothered by it?) will not hear me complaining in the future because I will be taking my business elsewhere until I have confidence that this one has taken seriously and resolved the customer service issues.
If what this companies defenders are saying is correct it doesn't speak well for the company they are defending. Buyer beware, if you are a small time beekeeper your business is not important enough or valued enough for you to be provided customer service. You'll get your bees when you get them and should be thankful you got to order from this company at all. If these are acceptable terms for you then maybe this is who you should do business with. It's not acceptable for me and I'll be taking my business to a producer that actually values me as a customer.