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Thread: Russell Queens

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dallas,GA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    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.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,714

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    OK folks, now we know. Be warned.
    Yes. Now you know. As of May 20th you are warned.

    Do a search for "Russell". Over 500 search results come back. Of the first 100, seventeen are directly about Russell Apiaries (or one of their genetic lines). Several of the threads are in the Consumer Reports section (although not all of them). By my count at least two of those 17 mentioned above are in the consumer reports thread. I know there are more, it's just a waste of my time to keep searching and looking. Several of those go back to 2010. Russell's is the ONLY breeder on this site (with the possible exception of Better Bee, depending if you consider them a breeder or not) that the moderators allow SEVERAL consumer reports threads to discuss them AT THE SAME TIME. If it was about any other breeder, they would have consolidated the threads.

    Caveat emptor - Buyer Beware. The information was already there. Just because you didn't do a search on them before doesn't mean you couldn't have known about the issues.

    Just saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    It will be interesting to hear what he has to say after reading all this bickering.
    He won't. He doesn't visit this site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    It is those here that defend him to the death with no regard for our point of view that are starting to tick me off.
    Likewise it is those that are just interested in throwing mud and making wild accusations that are starting to tick me off. I'm not saying you are in that boat. Just making a comment generally.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    FWIW- I've made 2 small orders. The first was sent in days. The second (this year) came a week after my requested date. The bees from last year are my best hives. That's what I know for sure.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Strange some folks are having so much trouble and some get great service???

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,311

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beeker View Post
    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.
    Well, I'm not sure if I fit as one of the "defenders," but anywise, I will say that I agree about 90% with this part of your post. From what I can tell & have researched, Russell Apiaries used to ONLY cater to large, commercial customers, and now they allow hobbyist beeks to order from them, just don't expect them to "cater" to a hobbyist (which I am a "lowly hobbyist" myself). Unfortunately, I don't expect that their customer service for those of us who can only afford to order 3, 5, 10, or 20 queens at a time will ever really improve, and it would likely help a LOT if that information were prominently displayed on their ordering page(s). That said, I'm still happy that they're willing to ship such small, and to them, totally insignificant orders, as I'd like to try out their genetics...whenever my number comes up in the queue, that is. Until then, I'll order any queens I need to receive in a timely manner from someone else who's cheaper, and runs a smaller operation/has time to answer my phone calls/emails/questions.
    I guess the moral of the story here is: Research the company you're planning to order ANYTHING from before you place your order, just like in any other field of agriculture, or even business in general, then make an informed decision, and place your orders knowing what to expect, and what you need. If you need bees in a timely manner, or quick answers to your correspondence, Russell Apiaries is probably one of the worst suppliers you could order from, and I think they have little/no plans to change that, BUT if you have other sources for "right now" queens, they MIGHT be a viable choice for you to order some "whenever they get here, they get here" queens to improve your colonies' genetics with. It's not very convenient, but if you want to find out if the bees are really "all they're cracked up to be," there are ways to plan so you can work around the inconvenience...that's one of the drawbacks to being a "little guy," if you don't believe me, go on alibaba.com and try to order less than 2000lbs of just about anything , I think that's the class that Russell Apiaries is in, and "little guys" like me would not be wise to expect much service in either location.

  6. #66

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I knew a fellow many years ago who was a talented and creative engineer. He designed and patented an analog to digital conversion device….remember this was MANY years ago. He figured to make millions. But…he just couldn’t sell them. As he approached bankruptcy he sold rights to his device to a marketing fellow. The marketing fellow hired a manufacturing engineer and began manufacturing and marketing. He hired a customer service manager and a accountant. The marketing fellow became a multimillionaire with that device. You see, the marketing fellow knew he wasn’t skilled in all the areas he needed to succeed. So he hired folks with those skills. I don’t know Robert Russell, have never done business with his company but I’m guessing, from what I’ve read, he could take a lesson from the marketing fellow in my story.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I knew a fellow many years ago who was a talented and creative engineer. He designed and patented an analog to digital conversion device….remember this was MANY years ago. He figured to make millions. But…he just couldn’t sell them. As he approached bankruptcy he sold rights to his device to a marketing fellow. The marketing fellow hired a manufacturing engineer and began manufacturing and marketing. He hired a customer service manager and a accountant. The marketing fellow became a multimillionaire with that device. You see, the marketing fellow knew he wasn’t skilled in all the areas he needed to succeed. So he hired folks with those skills. I don’t know Robert Russell, have never done business with his company but I’m guessing, from what I’ve read, he could take a lesson from the marketing fellow in my story.
    This is exactly the case, an ongoing issue in most all yor ag ventures. Having the ability to produce, market, distribute and be good on all ends. That would be an extreemly rare company. But as a educated consumer. I prefer the company that excels in the production department, even if they are not so good at distributing. I prefer this much over the company that is excellent at marketing and distributing, but lacks in the production. As a 2nd year bee keeper and a veterian of the USAF ( had to say that because I hate when people pull the military card epscially if they use it to attack others) Well these threads disturb me. Because all you see here on beesource is battles against other bee keepers, very little in education, and alot in consperecy theories. Arent we all grown ups here? you are not going to resolve the world issues by bitting off like minded peoples heads. I too have queens coming. I have been contacted, but it was I who asked to hold off on shipping them, because of that odd usurption looking swarm. Which most likely came from my mother hive. Unless queens can change colors. I finally saw sneeky again today and she went from a yellow banded bee to an all black bee. I did notice a month before that swarm a very very poor brood patern from her hive . Sneeky was never a good queen. I got only a finger lick of honey from that hive, and it was so bone dry on stores after feeding a truck load of sugar water 1/1 that I was shocked no stores for the winter. I put on candy boards and gee they survived. My queen came from surivor stock. I bought her from a third party, a hippy group that were anti GMO and treatment.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Mike,

    From what I gather, the nucs that you guys took up there were light on brood. Just wanted to let you know that I would send you some packages in spring to make up for whatever isn't right. Thats not the way our nucs are suppose to be, as I'm sure you have heard from everyone else that has bought them. I would like to try to figure out what went wrong so it doesn't happen in the future though. Can you tell me if there was any capped brood or no brood at all? Also can you tell me if the nucs had plenty of bees in them? Best I can figure so far is that the queens had started shutting down during the dearth and then were caged and then released, and then caged again the next weekend, so they may not have started laying again yet after the first caging... that would set the already dwindling brood back about a week and a half to two weeks from the time that we first caged them to the time that you transferred them... they were caged the first time when we thought you were coming down, then when we heard that you couldn't make it that week, they were released until the next week when we caged them again for you to pick them up... so I can see how there would be a pretty big lapse in brood if the queens didn't start back laying yet by the time that they were caged the second time... like I said, I stand behind my bees, so rest assured, I will make it right. Just trying to get a good idea of what happened, so the situation doesn't happen again. Thanks.
    www.russellapiaries.com

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Well...thank you for making me go there> All it takes is a NOTE ..example ..dog i didn"t forget about you . I'm kinda busy but i'll hook you up . Does anyone here think this is fun ? Here"s fun ...man the bees are awesome ... i cant build box's fast enough . What am i going to do with all this honey ? That said ..let me get on a flack jacket ...i hear a whistling sound ,,,,incomming .

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I agree, the service you, and many others, got sux...no two ways about it. I fully understand why you're feeling quite "put off" (to say the least) by the experience and, as we have discussed in chat, would probably feel about the same myself, and would defo. never order from them again given your expectations & what you experienced instead seal62.
    That said, I still plan to (eventually) order a few queens from them, just to see if the genetics are really "all that", and hope you won't count me less of a friend because of it. I will, however, thanks to your & several others' relating your experiences, be prepared for a very long wait, and know not to count on the service, not to mention knowing to have stocked hives, that are already ready to overwinter WITHOUT the help of the new queens, waiting for them as I'm guessing I'd be quite "put out" myself if I had any higher expectations than to have to support the queen through the winter off of another queen's bees/stores.

    Hopefully at some point you DO get your refund/replacement bees...but I fully understand why, either way, you'll very likely never want to have any further dealings with the company...see my earlier posts about researching companies before ordering, I learned that one the hard way too
    Last edited by robherc; 05-20-2012 at 11:09 PM. Reason: punctuation

  11. #71

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I did a order for the club the end of March for 11 queens. I know of only two that became good layers Five died with in a week. and I dont know how the others are doing. I have read the tread and under stand there challenges. But to not answer mail is not a good thing. Still waiting after a week after I e-mailed them.
    David
    My-smokepole
    http://www.davidspaintingandwallpapering.com"

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Naselle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by My-smokepole View Post
    I did a order for the club the end of March for 11 queens. I know of only two that became good layers Five died with in a week. and I dont know how the others are doing. I have read the tread and under stand there challenges. But to not answer mail is not a good thing. Still waiting after a week after I e-mailed them.
    David
    Russells have always responded to my pm's & emails. Queen quality is good. Sucessfully introduced 23 out of 24 queens. What do you suspect for such poor queen survival & introduction?

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Just in case you missed this post:

    swarm_trapper
    View Profile View Forum Posts Private Message Add as Contact Send Email
    Join Date:Jun 2003
    Location:Lakeland FL
    Posts:769 Re: Russell? Beating a dead horse?
    Well i ordered 100 Italians this spring for some splits to try them and see if they lived up the the hype, i waited for them two weeks after they were supposed to be delivered i then finally was told about the storms and that they would not be here till a week or two, so not being able to wait a month from when they were supposed to be split, i told them to cancel and refund my money. So far im still waiting with no response to my emails, if any one from russells reads this please contact me i need my 2000$ back thank you. From what i hear they have had a lot of problems and i understand a few delays but how about a response to an email is that too much?
    Nick Groenhof

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lycoming New York
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I have to the same question as others have. How can one person have such good service. (I did not have good service) Next person like me can't get an e-mail answer or even leave a phone message. I have a job where I have to be there no work no pay, after taking several days off the $30 queens cost a lot more than $30. This was their date for shipment not mine. I was accused of bashing when I asked how to contact Russell.??? on this forum no response on their forum e-mail or phone. All I really wanted to know was were they going to ship, paypal was my only contact. Sorry I did not have a good winter with sunkist. Thanks for your time Tony

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    mudlake: from the comments I've seen here & elsewhere, I'd have to say that the concensus seems to be that e-mail is the best contact for them. I'm sure they're way behind answering emails right now, but it seems there's no better way at the moment

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Has anyone tried sending a letter via certified mail asking what is going on with their order?
    Nick Hubbell
    www.findlaybee.com

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I spent many years buying engineering products of one stripe or the other. At least half of the problem is always with the customer. That said I plan to purchase the AMM little black bee from Russell whether he wants my order or not.

  18. #78
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,273

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    One could always raise their own queens.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Problem is for me, I can't start grafting my own queens until the middle of May, due to my weather. My order of purchased queens is always in early spring before I can make my own to split the strongest overwintered hives nice and early. I had a few I was worried about swarming and when my queens order didn't materialize, I just gave a few frames of bees and brood to hives I wasn't worried about.
    Some of us take advantage of warmer climates in this instance. Or at least try to. My order last year was from BeeWeaver. No problems, great service. Not a lot of choices though. But after reading this thread, I would hesitate to order more than one strain do the apparent difficulty of the additional paperwork and coordinating it causes the breeder.
    Three of these and three of those makes for a questionable delivery date.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Des Moines County, IA, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I'm one of the little guys, hope to get bigger.

    Raise some of my own queens, club secretary supplies alot of us with queens, but I hope my bucks and Russell's availability of summer queens matches up sometime. I really want some of those Moonbeams.

    I will be tickled pink they show up when they show up. I appreciate that he is messing with such small fry as us. I hope you'all don't burn him out before I can get them.

    But then I seem to always be a day late and a dollar short, and things seldom workout as I plan. Maybe next year.
    Push, Pull, or get Out of the Way

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