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Thread: Russell Queens

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,271

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I hope no one is ever so happy about your misfortune as many seem to be about Russells problems. I would wager that he will clean up this mess given time. I may be wrong, but I believe in the goodnes of the man if not in his managerial heft. I am one of those smucks waiting for moonbeams since having paid in October. It has been a total pain in the butt and forced me to find other sources for queens at additional expense and trouble. It has screwed up a planned Memorial Day Vacation because I don't dare leave. I will not get to fairly test the queens for production because I am not going to screw up production hives now! I will just have more bees I have to feed and wrap for winter starting from the small splits they will be now. But I am still not flippin happy the man is having trouble and I am not calling him a thief. I am not trying to affect his livlihood by getting him banned in Barryland! It is a moot issue I imagine. I can't believe he will keep supplying the hobby market anyway and he probably shouldn't if unwilling to staff for it.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    FYI, I just read on the forums on the Russell Apiaries website that RRussell has decided to end sales to the public after this year. There was mention of a plan to open "local" Russell Apiaries sites in most states, for sales to the public after that, but I don't fully understand how those are going to be organized, so I won't attempt describing it further & end up a liar

    That said, RRussell said that current orders WILL NOT be negatively affected in any way by this decision, just that after this year there will be no purchasing of queens directly from "main" Russell Apiaries in less than commercial quantities.

    And now I'll close with this: "Let the fireworks begin!"

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
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    1,875

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I'd like to say my comments on this thread were meant only to let other potential customers know if they order from this company not to expect their orders at any certain time. Not trying to bad mouth this company, the owners or the employees. It was pointed out they have had trying times. The lack communication was the main concern for most.

    I had not endlessly tried to email the company or call. Enough people here had already done that and I knew by also doing so I would just be adding to the problem. My continued replies here have been spurred on by other posts I felt I really needed to respond to.
    And as typically happens on forum, a few tempers flair, the post gets a bit off topic and turns into personal issues. I admit I was caught up in the concern of others and posted a few somewhat harsh comments.

    It seems Russell is trying to catch up and in some cases bends over backwards to make it up to the customer. Someone here on beesource made a phone call in my behalf and Victoria emailed me immediately. Not sure if it was out of kindness or to get me to shut up..LOL, but that leaves me in a funny predicament. I received service that was better that necessary and I appreciate the effort. There are still some that have been overlooked and until they are taken care of there will be anger on their end.

    Here is my email to Victoria:
    "Thank you Victoria for your reply. Of course we all wish you well and am sorry it has been such a rough year for you.
    Virgins will work for me and a full box would be great. Mostly Sunkist cordovans with a few buckfast to try if they both are available.
    I wish I could help somehow with your run of bad luck. I hope at some point your side of the story will be posted for folks to read and help them understand the difficulty you have suffered. The second hand news on Beesourse should be taken with a grain of salt, but there are those that will make their judgements based on mis-information."


    Just posting this to let those know they are still trying and to those that are angry I hope you are also contacted and your order /money is sent to you soon.
    Lauri

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,490

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    FYI, I just read on the forums on the Russell Apiaries website that RRussell has decided to end sales to the public after this year.
    And from this happy and thankful customer of Russell Apiaries I would like to thank everyone for their contribution to this decision. Job well done.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
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    651

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    "FYI, I just read on the forums on the Russell Apiaries website that RRussell has decided to end sales to the public after this year." robherc

    Hammer a business long and hard enough and sometimes your wishes come true. Sad.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    That is not great news but very unsurprising IMHO. From the accusations that they made up the deaths of 2 of their friends/family, of no storm damage 2 years in a row, and of false postings under different names can you blame them? One of the posters is even throwing out veiled physical threats. I can't see how it would be worth it from a business standpoint.

    Far be it from me to judge those who haven't gotten the products they have paid for. And there is no doubt that some of the communication has been less than acceptable. But the rhetoric, accusations, and threats has gotten a bit out of control here.

    As to my experience, I received my Russell Carniolan queen yesterday. It shipped 1 week later than expected. USPS lost the package for a night so it went 2 day instead of overnight (which had nothing to do with Russell), but the queen and attendants looked to be good when I installed them today. I hope she performs well and that the overnight layover somewhere in the US didn't effect her.

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    YANCEY CO., NC
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Yes congrats to all you folks who did nothing on here but bash Dr Russell you just shut down a resource to get genetics that could not be gotten anywheres else.Yes they had problems but what company doesn't.

  8. #108

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Oh well, Russell misses out. I buy small quantities and select for breeders. Ive heard some guys talking about reselling for him. With our own outfit starting II this fall, I'd expect we can do all kinds of interesting things. Seems like the solution would be hire some girls to staff the office and start weeding through a semi reliable calender. One thing is sure in bees, if you do 3 times whatever you have sold, youll always have it covered. And queens? Everybody ALWAYS wants more queens. Always at the last minute. So... Id take the stress and pass it off on some young purdy things with phones and the internet.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    All I know is my dealings with them have been exemplary. The 2 Italian/carnolian queens I got are laying wall to wall, I mean they are barely leaving room at the top and sides for any honey. I will miss being able to get queens from them directly. I may have to order a few more this year just to get the genetic additions I wanted, unfortunately I won't get to keep either of the it/car, because I had so much trouble getting queens mated myself that they are going into a customer's nucs. Maybe in the future I can get my local club big enough that we can put a group order together that would be big enough.

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    i would agree my dealings with them have been great and have received timely responses to emails.

    Dr Russell personally replaced several queens last year at no cost to me when they did not take even though i suggested it was likely my fault. How many suppliers would do that?

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Des Moines County, IA, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    I'd like to say my comments on this thread were meant only to let other potential customers know if they order from this company not to expect their orders at any certain time. Not trying to bad mouth this company, the owners or the employees. Lauri
    Poppycock

    What makes you think your numerous negative posts would help any new potential customers when you yourself didn't take the time to read the various posts about variable delivery?

    I don't think you recieved special service because you were the loudest squeak, I think it was because they didn't meet their own expectations(despite all the tribulations) and tried to make it up to you.

    I had hoped their genetics would help me get to commercial status, now I'll need to get to commercial status before I can get their genetics.

    I'll think of you and seal when I get there.
    Push, Pull, or get Out of the Way

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,625

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by WPG View Post

    I had hoped their genetics would help me get to commercial status, now I'll need to get to commercial status before I can get their genetics.

    I'll think of you and seal when I get there.
    I would like to hear from even one of said commercials who have relied on Russell queens to grow their business. All the ones I know personally are relying on $3 queen cells and they better not be a day late. Speaking from personal experience, any queen that is more than about a week late is virtually worthless in an operation where timing and seasonal moves dictate virtually everything that you do.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
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    616

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I would like to hear from even one of said commercials who have relied on Russell queens to grow their business. All the ones I know personally are relying on $3 queen cells and they better not be a day late. Speaking from personal experience, any queen that is more than about a week late is virtually worthless in an operation where timing and seasonal moves dictate virtually everything that you do.
    Agreed - I know plenty of commercial beekeepers. I don't know any who pay more than about $14-18/queen or they use queen cells.

    Further, Russell doesn't monitor, post or read this site anymore (according to previous posts of those who know). If so, then how could people's dissatisfaction with his service (posted here) have contributed to his decision? If he doesn't read or visit the site anymore, than he isn't aware of any of this firsthand. I suspect that there are plenty of other factors (most that we aren't aware of) that have contributed to this apparent decision by the company.

    I don't have an interest in whether he continues to sell to hobbyists or not. I haven't used his queens and I haven't spent money with him only to be left without queens. Just by reading all of the threads and posts on his operation though, it seems like he wasn't ready for the demands of the hobby market (in terms of staff and customer expectations). Right or wrong, there seem to be a lot of dissatisfied, unhappy customers out there.

    There are only two responses to this from a business standpoint, 1. fix the problem (hire more staff, increase production, etc.) or 2. get out of that particular market. The Russell operation seems to recognize this (which is a credit to the operation - there are other threads on this site about suppliers with similar problems who have steadfastly refused to recognize the situation until it has forced them completely out of business). They have chosen to address the problem by scaling back. This doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Perhaps in the future, Russell will attempt a second foray into the hobby market and, at that time, be better prepared from this most recent experience and be more successful.

    In the meantime, there seems to be a lot of anguish over not being able to buy his particular queens anymore. This I don't entirely understand. His queens may be very good - but he isn't the only competent queen breeder out there. I am about as far away from production queens as anyone can get (save Alaska and parts of Canada). I have very little trouble finding excellent queens and good people willing to ship them, on time (presently, I use queens from three sources shipped from CA, OK and OH).

    No one persons queens are the 'silver bullet' or key to your beekeeping success. There are plenty of breeders producing queens just as good or better than Russells out there. To react to this information as though now your entire beekeeping future is in jeopardy is a bit over the top.

    Mike

  14. #114
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vicksburg Mississippi
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Here is one. He's never been late for me but he has asked if I could take them early. I get a few boxes a year for splits in March and nucs in fall. Couldn't be happier. Commercials don't order from his website. My son works for him. They cater to California big time. People going in and out of almonds is where their money is. Breeders too. I'm not gettin in it but I don't see any commercials that I know on here. The few that were didn't hang around long. The idea of a place to chat is good but when your livelihood becomes a public debate its gone too far I think. I may get special treatment but I know a bunch of good guys that get Russell queens and cells too. They are cheaper than some and more than others but they do a good job for me.

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Reading, Michigan
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Enough he said she said crap. THE BOTTOM LINE!!!! If you take a customers $$$ you must provide the product or refund the money. I know some of these customers have waited over a year. That's long enough, give them their money back and be done with it.
    There's not enough sheep dogs and the wolves are coming!!!!!!

  16. #116
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Yellowstone, Montana, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    I want to post on this thread that i did receive my refund from Russell Apiaries. 3 months late, but to his credit I did receive it.

  17. #117
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,859

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by TIMER View Post
    I know some of these customers have waited over a year.
    Who has waited over a year?

    If you ordered a queen in October for next spring, I wouldn't exactly say you were waiting for that whole time, as it's expected delivery was in 2012, not in October when you bought it.

    But if you did order for a Spring 2011 delivery and you didn't receive anything (queen or refund by now), yes, that is a problem. I don't know if I heard of anyone who that has happened to though . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by losloboid View Post
    i did receive my refund from Russell Apiaries. 3 months late,
    So you asked for a refund at the end of February?

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Lathrop, CA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by NDnewbeek View Post
    Agreed - I know plenty of commercial beekeepers. I don't know any who pay more than about $14-18/queen or they use queen cells.
    Just like many other producers his price goes down the more you buy. $1900 for 100 queens isn't that far off.

    There are alot of over the top people that both like and dislike Russell. If your queen was to be delivered in April or May and you haven't got it or a refund yet then it is less than 2 months late, not a year. Everyone understands that timing is very important in beekeeping and that by not getting your queens on time it could ruin your season. But if something is that important to you you should do your do diligence and research your purchace. If you have enough time to complain on Beesource you should have enough time to research a vendor on Beesource.

    I would bet that he doesn't have the same delivery and communication problems with his commercial accounts. They most likely have the priority over everyone else and have a seperate phone line to call where someone is always available. Thats why you don't have commercials complaining and thats why he still is in business. I'm sure he wants to make everyone happy but if a few hobbiests have late orders how does that affect his big picture?

    I think he is going to setup a system were hobbiests can still get his breeds of bees. It shouldn't matter that much anyways. If you wanted his bees enough you could organize a group buy.

  19. #119
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dallas,GA
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    29

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by NDnewbeek View Post
    There are only two responses to this from a business standpoint, 1. fix the problem (hire more staff, increase production, etc.) or 2. get out of that particular market. The Russell operation seems to recognize this (which is a credit to the operation - there are other threads on this site about suppliers with similar problems who have steadfastly refused to recognize the situation until it has forced them completely out of business). They have chosen to address the problem by scaling back. This doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Perhaps in the future, Russell will attempt a second foray into the hobby market and, at that time, be better prepared from this most recent experience and be more successful.

    In the meantime, there seems to be a lot of anguish over not being able to buy his particular queens anymore. This I don't entirely understand. His queens may be very good - but he isn't the only competent queen breeder out there. I am about as far away from production queens as anyone can get (save Alaska and parts of Canada). I have very little trouble finding excellent queens and good people willing to ship them, on time (presently, I use queens from three sources shipped from CA, OK and OH).

    No one persons queens are the 'silver bullet' or key to your beekeeping success. There are plenty of breeders producing queens just as good or better than Russells out there. To react to this information as though now your entire beekeeping future is in jeopardy is a bit over the top.

    Mike
    This pretty well sums it up. Some of you need to stop blaming the customer. In a free market if you don't satisfy your customers there is a price to be paid for that. If you don't like that, too bad. This industry is no exception to the rule. They aren't the only ones selling queens. Some companies have great reviews, some don't. So who is responsible for that? The customer? Russell Apiaries just somehow managed to get customers that demand too much while other companies got better customers? Of course not.

    This decision to discontinue sales to the general public seems to confirm that for Dr Russell, it just isn't worth it to the company, in fact he pretty much said that in his announcement. Maybe that is part of why opening up sales to the public didn't work out for them. Just a thought.

    For those braying about not being able to get the genetics that just isn't true. He is going to set up sub producers in each state and even if he didn't do that he still sells breeder queens so a smaller producer could start producing and selling Russell Queens to the hobbyist market.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-26-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: remove name calling

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,625

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beehugheshoney View Post
    Here is one. He's never been late for me but he has asked if I could take them early.
    Commercials almost always order in units of 100 (actually 104) which may be more than all of the complaints I have read combined. I have no doubt it is a bit of a pain to deal with lots of small orders, I know I wouldn't have the patience, but why on earth wouldn't you just fill all these orders to save the bad publicity when you are in some cases offering far larger numbers of queens early to others. Im not trying to pile on here but this account just dosent sound like the same company that has been telling us about all the hard luck they have had the past 2 seasons. Guess I am just going to quit trying to make any sense out of all this.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-28-2012 at 09:36 AM. Reason: edit quote code
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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