I've been jealously reading for months, those in warmer climates working their bees and collection swarms, etc.
All the while my over wintered bees are still huddled in the hives, with only an occasional cleansing flight.
I wish I could be as patient as some of you who can be OK with accepting your queens anytime they should show.
If they 'show' here too late in the fall, They will just go right into a hive preparing to over winter, and you know how that goes.
The inactive period my bees have to endure is a little scary already. I have heard the Sunkist queens may not do well here in the North. My plan was to split my hives early, get a few of the strongest queens grafted and mated with local drones for a hardier bee that would stand a better chance for survival.
Like I said in another post, I've pretty much lost interest in Russell queens. It's not worth the hassle and being involved in all the drama. I just wish I had known early enough so I could have ordered queens from somewhere else. I only get one short season, then it is a long wait until next year to try new ideas. The only reason I'm posting here is to give others the info they need to make an informed choice when ordering from this company. I wish I'd done a little more research before I placed my order.
Someone said it is 'Known' that if you need queens for timed splits or in a certain time frame, Don't order from Russell. I had never seen that anywhere. THAT needs to be in plain view on their web site-right on the ordering page. There is a lot of info on their web site, but you have to search all over for it. I wasn't interested in taking the time to read all the forum posts or search for hidden clues.
I am somewhat take aback from Russells defenders. With no input from this company, I can only wonder if what they say is true or not concerning Russell Apiaries business policies.
What I do know is the average consumer expects an industry standard of product and service when ordering from a said company. If Russell has a different customer service procedure that what the customer generally would expect, they certainly need to say so plainly. They don't have a crystal ball and cannot predict tornadoes or accidents. We don't have a crystal ball and with no communication from them, cannot guess what they are thinking or doing.