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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise bees

    Not sure how this post should go... but I felt COMPELLED to say something due to all I have rad recently about Russell apiaries. My name is Clark Burrell and I live in Raymond Mississippi... just about 7 miles from Bolton Mississippi and the home of Russell apiaries. I have raised and sold queens and a few packages with my wife at the time.. under the name SippyBees here on beesource, and also through Russell apiaries. I have never had a SINGLE unfilled paid order... never had a complaint about my bees that were sold... and have never seen Russell Apiaries NOT send an order as promised.
    FIRST... Russell Apiaries WAS indeed started and operated for 50 years by J N Russell. He was a good guy.... he passed away about 2 years ago. I had known him for about 15 years when he passed. HE is who started myself and my wife in beekeeping. My wife worked for him through 3 seasons.... I helped when I was not working my day job when I could. JN never screwed anyone... he would not cash your check until he KNEW your bees were getting shipped. I could go on and on about JN Russell... but thats not what this post is about....
    After JN passed.... it seems all was not on good terms within the family with his sons. He had 4 sons... Don(deceased), Johnny (owns his own welding shop) Ricky( wanted to raise bees), and a 1/2 brother(different Mom) Robert (also wanted his Dad's bees).
    After JN passed... seems the electric was turned off, mail was forwarded to Robert's house, and much of the bee equipment and >100 hives all went walking... this was not written in the JN's will... as Johnny is the executor and is a personal friend of mine. I personally got out of bees for about 5 years and now when I start trying to get bees again, I learn all of this happened since I got out of bees. Robert does have a very nice website... Johnny said his son phillip is one of the people who tried to help Robert setup the web site... hmmmm. I know that Ricky the oldest son wants to get his fathers business going again.... and I personally GUARANTEE that Ricky will not steal anyone's money. He is like myself... starting over small with not so much.... but he WANTS to preserve his father's name and good reputation... He lives in Bolton at his fathers same house where Russell Apiaries have been for 50 years.
    NOW... Robert Russell.... hmmmm There are SOME things I have knowledge of that I will not say in a public forum.... but ANYONE who is interested can call me anytime... if I am busy/ leave a message will call you back. BUT.. is some things I CAN say here...
    #1.. brothers say Robert never went to college... I dont care either way... but.. "Dr" Russell ???
    #2.. Bees have been bought from Robert with foulbrood..... state apiarist involved already
    #3.. NUMEROUS orders of bees that were paid for but never shipped... doesn't answer phone or email... being looked at already by those that care
    #4.. He lives in SE Jackson Mississippi... queen operations there at his house I suppose... how do you raise 13 genetically different strains of bees in the same location?????
    #5.. in every web page I have looked at... I cannot see ANYWHERE his physical location or address... what's this mean???
    #6.. sub breeders selling queens under HIS name?? whats in it for these sub breeders? Why they aren't just selling their own bees under their OWN name? I still just learned about this and I can't figure out why anyone is doing this or whats in it for each party involved.... just strange
    #7.. Think I read he claims to have thousands of colonies... sells thousands of queens.... etc etc.. seems every number I read on his website is GREATLY exagerated.... I WORKED for his Dad, shook those bees... caught his queens... and on the BEST year JN ran about 400-600 hives.

    I could say more... no need... he has built his own reputation now. It is just a REAL PITY to me to see how the name Russell has turned out for JN Russell. JN Russell had good bees... filled his orders.... everyone was happy..... THAT is what convinced me to get into the business in the first place. I just want EVERYONE on this forum who has dealt with Russell apiaries... or anyone who has read the posts here about Russell apiaries.... that what is NOW.. is not what it was 5 years ago. Ricky will be trying to build back up... plans to use "Russell and sons" apiaries. Hopefully I will realize my dreams also to sell queens and packages just like the man who taught me how to do it... under the name "SippyBees".
    BUT... no matter who you buy your bees from... just PLEASE do not let the name Russell apiaries ruin the Russell name.... JN doesn't deserve that. "DR" Robert Russell will eventually meet his fate.... that I am sure.... but understand what has been done has been done by ONE person who shares the name of other persons who are honest and will do their best to help you if they can.
    personally... I am not sure if this is tribute enough to JN Russell by writing all of this.... I could write much more, but if you like me LONG posts tend to lose my attention..
    To those who have lost money from Russell apiaries... am sorry that someone did that to you...
    JN Russell would never have done that to you....
    I HOPE everyone concerned will read this post and understand.... really sorry for what happened in the last 5 years I was gone... hope I can make it better in the future.
    Clark Burrell
    PM me for my phone if you want more info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    McComb, Ms.
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    When I first got into bees I had queen troubles. I found Ricky on the web. I called him and thou he had never met me, he could not have been more helpful. He gave more stuff than I bought. He was genuinely concerned about the success of my bees. I have never had any dealings with Robert. I to have read a lot of the negative post about Russell Apiaries. I can't believe this is the business dealings of the man I that helped me so much. I would not have any problems dealing with Ricky Russell PERIOD.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Time to flog this dead horse again eh. Wow.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Facebook

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Thanks for the info Sippy!
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,647

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Seems odd to me that there isn't an address listing anywhere on the website. Even under "Locations Near You" where Russell Apiaries is the first option in MS, no address.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    As I said.. have been out of beekeeping for about 5 years.. just now getting back into it.... just NOW reading all the old posts that has happened in the last few years.... someone put up a link for the mississippi BBB result for Robert... he has 7 official complaints now... http://www.bbb.org/mississippi/busin...8#reasonrating AND is the only place I have found that list an address for him...
    Russell Apiaries
    Phone: (601) 966-3568
    212 Fannin Landing Cir, Brandon, MS 39047
    http://russellapiaries.webs.com/

    I would be surprised if that is still a working phone though.... I am just very sorry for what has happened in a few years since I got out of bees.... in another thread it asks WHO is your Role model.... J N Russell was my role model/ beekeeping inspiration and motivation to believe that a man can earn his living with this special knowledge... Sorry to see what has been done to his reputation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Sippy, Sadly it looks like Robert is doing just fine on his own at ruining the Russel name. To know that it is a different Russel than built the company is good. But it does not make Russell bees available. And it does not change what you can expect by dealing with that name today. If Ricky intends to start it up and is all that you seem to think he is. He would be well advised to start it under another name. I am not sure which would be harder to do. build a new name for a new apiary or try to clean up the mess that has been made of the Russell name.

    Sounds like a child that thought what daddy had always done looked easy. and had no clue what it takes. Stepped into the deep end and will probably never come back up.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    The Russell I know, still owes me queens and or money. They are dishonest and hard to deal with; but still, even with all the excuses he flies on a private plane!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,268

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    On a lighter note. Can you tell us anything about Maureen?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    First I want to be clear... I have never met Robert. I only know Ricky and Johnny personally. I did meet Don a couple of times before he died. I worked with JN Russel for 3 years... my ex-wife worked for him basically full time.... and we never SAW Robert there... he was never talked about... he had no interest or part of JN's bee business at that time. I am told that as JN's health began failing Robert started coming around then. After JN passed... Robert stole more than 100 hives from bee yards.. which is why is so difficult for Ricky to get it all going again. I worked for and knew JN Russell... I know what he had... and the people that were helping him. Everything I am saying about Robert is just what is being told to me by his brothers.
    Maureen?? Dont know who that is... and Ricky didnt know also when I called and asked. I think I will try to drive out to the address where Robert lives and just take some pics and put here if anyone wants to see what this grand operation looks like (or if he is even still living there)
    Private plane???? You are joking I am sure. Did you SEE his private plane or was that just something you read on the internet? I have read his website... claims to have sold 80,000 queens????? runs a genetics research lab????? 3 generations of beekeeping???? is just so MUCH smoke and mirrors I cannot BEGIN to describe what is REALLY REAL.
    Am sorry I went away for 5 years and wasn't here to nip this before it all started... but it seems to be 98% scam... maybe 2% real. But so you know i KNOW how you feel... 20 years ago I sent $5000 check to a company to start a coffee service business... to buy $5000 worth of commercial coffee pots. less than 1 month later I get a notice they filed bankruptcy... long story short, I never saw a dime of that money again. Cant tell people how to get their money back.... but if I find where he lives.... well, will let everyone decide themselves how best to try to get their money back.
    The REAL Russell Apiaries was JN Russell... he is not with us anymore. Ricky Russell will try to build a business again like his father's... Ricky will not steal from you... I personally guarantee that. Ricky lives in his Daddy's old house... Ricky is not gonna disappear, and neither will I. I hope I am helping SOMEONE by informing people.... I dont know ... just doing what I think I SHOULD do.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    portland, dorset, UK
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Quote Originally Posted by SippyBees View Post
    First I want to be clear... I have never met Robert.
    To be honest, irrespective of the rights or wrongs of the situation, I would have thought that was a good enough reason not to start a thread such as this.
    Last edited by Rolande; 01-17-2013 at 11:00 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Homestead,Iowa,USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    I do not feel that it is flogging a dead horse if the information is accurate and helps explain the sorry treatment that some have expeirinced at the hands of someone they send payment to and did not find satisfaction with the product or service. And of course it will help to caution prospective buyers that the advertised product MAY not be as claimed. I do know that I will not be returning, out of 23 Queens I have 1 that is great.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater,TN
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    212 fannin circle is just an old delapidated house with a few bee hives in the yard and a storage shed with some old bee equipment. I drove down there in June to pick up my spring nucs. A couple of guys that work for Russell showed me around what is supposed to be their cotton fields and other crops. In all there was no more than 100 hives on the property I would say it was closer to 50. I got 5 nucs from them I paid 600 dollars. 4 out of 5 are dead and the last remaining one I don't have high hopes for. How they have all these sub producers is beyond me cause it is a crock. I was trying to expand my apiary and instead I'm out 600 bucks. My advice to people buy locally see what you are getting because people are so untrustworthy these days. I'm going to get my state apiary inspector to take a look at the dead hives and who knows maybe he can get with the ms inspector and at least get the ms den of thieves shut down.
    Major

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    I started this thread to TRY to restore the reputation of a good mentor of mine.. a man I had great respect for as far as beekeeping is concerned. What I have said about Robert is what has been told to me by his own brothers, and what I see on his website that either CANT be true.. or is extremely exagerated. How many people paid money and got NOTHING... OK, keep ordering bees/queens from Robert... but hopefully I will skip your posts here about how you got robbed. I NEVER saw JN Russell not fill an order that he accepted payment for... I never did it... and I dont think Ricky has or will do it in the future.
    There seems to be MUCH smoke and mirrors going on since I stopped raising queens... I am just trying to answer some of the questions that SOOO many people have about what happened to their money... wish I could have known about this and answered the questions sooner. I have responded to some PM's.... and if people want more information... PM me.
    I dont think I have flamed on Robert or anyone else.... not trying to beat a dead horse.... not trying to start trouble.... just trying to help some people that seems like they cannot get help from the people who TOOK their money... and to preserve the reputation of the man that taught me most everything I know about bees...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,767

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    SippyBees,

    If what you say is true, then most of what has been told to us by RR was a lie. Can this be true? I know that many got taken, but he seemed extremely knowledgeable. You can't just wake up one day and "talk bees" - something doesn't fit.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Lie??? Hmmm... personally I cant prove what he is doing... but I would bet a YEAR of my wages in what I am saying. I have nothing to gain here... just trying to protect the reputation of an old friend, and maybe clue some of the people that didnt get what they paid for an idea WHY that happened. Would have done it LONG ago had I known about it.I did not say he knows nothing about bees... his father was a beek>> he must have learned something about it all his life. Does that make him a Phd. in Entomology??? Call Mississippi state uni. and ask THEM. His website claims to have 13 genetically different lines of bees... has ANY OTHER major queen breeder in this country claiming to have that? His website claims to sell 80,000 queens per year.. does ANY breeder in this country raise that many??? etc etc etc etc... apparently he started this in the last 3-4 years... his father did it for 50 years... when I worked for JN Russell, we were making MAYBE 4000 queens a season...
    I am still finding out about some of the things that happened in the last 5 years.... but it is MY PERSONAL OPINION... is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. You can claim ANYTHING on a website. The BOTTOM LINE IS... if someone gives me money to buy something from me.... I had BETTER DELIVER SOMETHING.... even a DEAD QUEEN in the mail is better than NOTHING. whether someones queens are what I expected... good/ bad/ otherwise.. I have no problem with that... everyone has an opinion about their queen quality. If someone does not like MY queens.... I might give them their money back and never sell them a queen again.... but as a MINIMUM, I will have SENT THEM SOMETHING to justify cashing their check. I will ALSO ANSWER my phone or email to explain to someone what I am willing to do to make it right with them.
    SO MANY people here were writing pages on this forum wondering why they cant get their money back, cant get their bees, cant get an answer to their questions..... you can believe what you want.... but I think I have answered many people's questions.
    COME HERE AND SEE FOR YOURSELF... bring your RV and stay at my place if you want... will show you where JN Russell raised his bees... you can drive out to Robert's house and maybe he will invite you in for some tea like his daddy used to do to ANYONE who wanted to talk bees... or maybe he will not... dont know.
    I used to meet SEVERAL large commercial beeks buying JN's queens or packages.... where are THEY now?? are ANY of them on this forum?? They would come to JN's house and pick up their 100 queens or packages.... why didnt THEY see all of this coming before my post??

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Well sippy that is indeed a lot of information to digest. Please dont take this the wrong way but you have admit it does sound like there is some kind of grudge between you guys and that you have a skewed opinion of things based on your past experiences. Also because you are starting a business, it is tough to take what you say as gospel because you have a clear financial interest. Lastly, as this is a customer reporting forum, you haven't really been a customer of them so you dont seem to have a customer experience to report - and as you mentioned you dont know robert.

    I will again share my experiences purchasing queens from Russell and let other members decide for themselves.
    I ordered several of the sunkist codovans for delivery in early summer 2011. While they did arrive a month late, the queens arrived in great condition and were readily accepted by the nucs. I did have trouble getting one to take, but in retrospect this was clearly my fault, and the nuc was already failing due to high mite levels. Regardless, I contacted Robert and got a fast response. New queens (yes he sent a few extra!) were in the mail the next day! That was awesome! they were all accepted. The queens all had solid laying patterns after 2-3 weeks. The nucs they were in were building up well, and then I noticed DWV. Nearly all of them had very high mite levels, and most crashed very hard. Their loss was clearly related to my pest management, and not the fault of russell. I have data from my own macro and microscopic analysis as well as corroberating data from the beltsville lab


    I also ordered queens for delivery in summer 2012. Now those queens were not delivered. Circumstances were tough as there were natural disastors and a highway accident leading to deaths of his crew - they have been elaborated in other posts. I contacted Rob Hughes and he assured me that they would fill my order with substitutes or I could wait till next season, - . He also said I could have one of their subs fill it. I chose to wait till the next spring as it was getting late in the summer for increases.

    Now as far as the subs go I have dealt with both the pennsylvania and the nebraska producers. I have always received excellent service and fast replies from both of these gentleman. Bees were delivered promtly and were well packaged. Other members have also commented on these subs and they have seperate, respective comment threads in this section per barrys request so i will not comment on them further.

    As far as taking money before filling orders, as I remember, the site did say you could mail a check or money order, but I choose to pay by paypal due to convenience. I dont think there is an option in paypal to not process the transaction when you order it. If anyone knows different then please elaborate.

    Well those are the facts of my dealing with RA. Regardless, it is like we're beating a dead horse since he is no longer supplying directly, and the subs appear to be taking those with legitamate outstanding orders such as myself. Also customer threads on the subs have had only positive comments to my knowledge so a lot of this is moot.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Well Doc... honestly, I am happy that YOU are happy with what you bought... and if everyone here had the same opinion as you I would never had written my first post about the situation. Please understand there is no "grudge" bewteen me or anyone anywhere that I know of.... and I am NOT in any competition with Robert for any kind of business. IF I ever do start raising bees again.... it will not be soon, and IF I were raising bees again.... its not very competitive anywhere really. If you can raise bees... there is always someone that will need them.
    As for all what I have said.... hey, I have done my best to inform people here of facts, and also what I THINK is going on. You can believe what you want... but you are welcome to come here anytime and see first hand. For me.. is just amazing how strongly people form their beliefs based on a website.... but no matter. There is 20 pages on this forum of folks discussing and wondering why they didn't get their queens or money back.... I only knew about this in the last 3 or 4 weeks.... the site moderators had to reset my password for me since I have not been on the site for about 5 years and no longer had my old email address.
    Maybe some people think ill of me for making this post.... and if they do that is certainly their business.... but I have had more than one person send me a PM to thank me for the info... and others who say they tried to say the same things in the past, but the RA fans slammed them then also..... I know Robert has some good bees.... they came from his daddy's yard, and is the same bees I have in my yard now. I would buy queens from Robert myself.... but I wont pay for them in advance ( know what I mean?)
    I have put this info out here for all to know that wants to know..... HOPE I dont have people hating ME for saying it.... but anyone is welcome to come here and see for yourself what is what.... there is really not much more to discuss.... If other people want to continue the thread thats fine.... but I think my input to all of this is about done....
    I wish everyone good luck.... and if Robert does sell you a queen I am glad for it.... it will probably be a good queen.... but to all those left holding the bag.... my sympathies... Mr JN Russell nor myself would never have let that happen... am sorry for your experiences...... wish everyone good beekeeping this year.... good luck.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    buffalo junction, virginia
    Posts
    376

    Thumbs down Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    I had a freind get queens from them and it took almost the whole summer to get them and then half died tried to contact russell and never got a reply then some girl wrote. A year later saying she worked for russell she wrote here for a while then dissapeared twinkie bee was her name. My thing is this how can this guy have so many breeds of bees and some of them are from others countries isn't there some kind of law that prevents him bringing in different bees and where does he keep them all sound like Bull to me i got one of his caucasians she did good then went down hill since and she is not even two years old and she looks like a carni too me he is crap sorry to say the way he took people money sorry just plain sorry.

    Thomas

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vicksburg Mississippi
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: RUSSELL APIARIES- FACTS, and first hand knowledge... He taught me how to raise be

    Sippy you are being used by a man who was convicted of raping a minor and stealing from his daddy's company. You need to look into who Ricky Russell really is. Go talk to Dan Smith at his resteraunt in Raymond. He was JN's closest friend and he's the commander for the sheriff department there. He will tell you who Ricky really is. Robert's bees aren't in Mississippi. Ricky killed almost all of his daddy's bees. You made the title here say FACTS and first hand knowledge but you say you have never met Robert and are just repeating what you were told by a convict. I have had good experiences with Robert personally. You should read his writings here before you talk about him. Now there are some squabbles about his cancellation policy but that's between him and the people that are squabbling over it.

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