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  1. #161
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    I just wanted to let everyone here know what I know. There was a group of us that were "sub producers" for Russell Apiaries. We were from all over the US, and we were supposed to receive breeder queens from Robert Russell. Also Russell Apiaries was supposed to arrange advertising, via internet and bee magazines, for the group. There was supposed to be a woodenware supplier where we could order items from and receive a good discount on the items ordered. We were offered use of yards in MS for overwintering of colonies. Other products, such as queen rearing and shipping supplies were supposed to be sent to us to use and try. These were the major perks of the sub producers program.

    Here is a list of what we got:

    Some folks got a few "breeder" queens, but many orders from us went unfilled or we received them so late in the year they all died out
    No woodenware supplier to received discounts from
    No advertising in any bee journals or magazines
    No queen supplies ever sent
    Yards that were offered up for overwintering... well MTINAZ can tell you how that went.... fortunatly I dont think that any sub producer took him up on the offer to overwinter colonies in MS

    There was never any association with PDG honey and the Sub producers group. Robert and "Rob Hughes" was our contact in the group. Communication was just as poor as it was for the rest of the world. Emails and questions went unanswered, requests for breeder queens, products and services never fulfilled. In hindsight, it was a joke. I cant believe that we were suckered like that. In the beginning, his reputation was still very good, and few folks had late or missing orders. As time went on, it was pretty clear that there were more un shipped queens all the time.
    On a lighter note, all Queen orders that I received from folks at Russell Apiaries NY, have been contacted and refunded in full. Hopefully this will allow me to clear the air with many folks and get back to doing what I like to do, raise queens.
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Lathrop, CA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    I was also part of the "sub-producer" program but did not sell anything and paid a small portion of the $3000 but stopped after I got a funny feeling. The production bees I received from him were good and I thought it would be a good stepping stone. I could learn the business of producing queens, make some contacts, and then step out on my own. This is a blow more to my pride than my pocketbook.

    I think I understand now how he was able to sell larger amounts of queens (I don't know any exact numbers). The simple answer is I don't think he produced them himself. I have been in contact with some CA beekeepers that produced queens for him. I don't know what he did with the bees after he got them but I would guess he was reselling them at twice what he was paying for them. I'm not sure if they were using his breeders or if he was just reselling standard breeds as his brand (sunkist/moonbeam/etc.)

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    50% loss so far. Obtained bees rather late in season (August). One nuc failed immediately...never found a queen...combined it with another which is surviving. I actually did receive an email from RR in July saying my nucs were ready and to arrange a pickup date. It was repeated attempts to contact after that which they ignored for weeks. In some of the emails I sent to them I stated the date that I would be arriving for pickup. It should have been no surprise. Queens which I agreed to take from a sub later, also poor performance...again late season was the probable main factor...but I just didn't want to chance waiting for next year for my orders to come. Given the experiences the last few months, I feel somewhat fortunate to have received anything at all. I will treat my survivors as if they are the magic bees which were promised by RR...who knows?
    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    How did the bees do?

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    buffalo junction, virginia
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Well i got news thru my e-mail today from one of the sub-producers saying that he now know of the fraud and will not be selling bees but i do see this pdg honey guy still posting on roberts web page so it makes you think he might be in on this i also see that russell has not answered any posts on his forum in months. So that should tell people that if this guy does not answer his on forum then that should be a red flag. As far i am concerned he is ruined back last year a guy i know got bees from him but he got them late in the fall half died and the ones that lived well did real good i got one of them and she is still doing good but why lie if you know you could not handle the load why not just tell folks they would have under stood.I spoke to the late Mr. Russell and he was a nice guy and told me that he was sold out he did not beat around the bush but this guy that is his son use his dads name to be more then he is and now he mess is catching up to him. Ny Blues i am not blaming you you got suckered in but you need to let the other sub - producers know what is going on before they make claims they can not back up.

    Thomas

  5. #165
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Hmm, post #140...that boy sho' looks a bit narrow 'tween his eyes, don't he...



    A good thing that I'm seeing is that some good folks who were at odds with each other are coming back together...that's a good thing. As for the one that caused such a problem...I think he's beginning to get his just dues...with more to come. Like most crooks he was stupid and didn't realize he couldn't get away with things forever and will probably squall the "I didn't mean to hurt nobody" song.

    Ed

  6. #166
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,724

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    From the limited discussions I've had with some of the members after this information came out, I think I may have been the only member of the sub-producer program that met him in person and can positively identify him.
    I've been informed that I'm not the only Sub Producer that has seen him. I just wanted to clarify.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    A good thing that I'm seeing is that some good folks who were at odds with each other are coming back together...that's a good thing.
    At least some good has come from it. A pleasure to stand on the same side of the line again

  7. #167
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,371

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post

    At least some good has come from it. A pleasure to stand on the same side of the line again
    ...and the two people that died in the accident never actually existed, so that's a good thing too.......right?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #168
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,967

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Mr Lyon You snake! You just keep heaping the humiliation on the gullible set like me! Don't worry, I don't take it personal, I have been a trusting dolt my whole life! As soon as my expected herd of jackalopes arrive, I am thru with mail order~!

  9. #169
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,371

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Vance: actually until my last post I have treaded pretty carefully on this subject knowing that lots of people have been victimized. I know Vance was joking but there is a real dark side to this whole affair.

  10. #170
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    For me, it was a combination of the following things:

    1) Glowing reviews from beesource members who actually received and worked with his SK queens.
    2) His apparent knowledge of many things related to bees.
    3) His ability to communicate in written forums.
    4) The fact that he came from a long-established beekeeping family with a good reputation.
    5) His connections to trusted beesource contributors.
    6) And yes, his website was good too. Looking at his website was like setting a kid in a candy store.

    All these things came together to sucker people in. Gratefully, I never threw down my money, but I came VERY close.

    I agree with you Sippy, that he had the potential to really make this happen, which also contributed to the likelihood of people buying into this scam.
    I agree with AstroBee. I loved the photos of the Sunkists and as a hobbyist wanted beautiful bees that would be easy to distinguish. I ordered one queen in March 2012 and she arrived fairly quickly--but looking nothing like the Sunkists. RA website explained that by saying they had added back some darker genetics this year to keep the traits balanced, but that the Northern SKs were lighter. So I ordered 2 more and requested Northern SKS--never received them. Don't know what this queen was or if she is still heading up that hive because she wasn't marked and looked just like any other Italian--but the hive did survive the winter. Hardly ever saw them out vs. my Italian hive that flew regularly.

  11. #171

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by VolunteerK9 View Post
    Hopefully, after a conviction, the only bees he works with from here on out will be fighting yellow jackets when hes out weedeating ditches on work release.
    Still shakin' Boss!
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  12. #172
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,645

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Wow this is crazy. I would never have guessed it went this deep. Every good scam normally has just enough truth to keep pulling people in. I think he knew what he was doing by the time he started the whole sub producer thing. It had already started to unravel here and he took the opportunity to move on to one more group of beekeepers.

    I did like reading his post, he did know how to talk the talk so to speak.

  13. #173
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Aw Barry, and I had such great artistic aspirations...

  14. #174
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,434

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    I'll give you that!
    Regards, Barry

  15. #175
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    BB's Honey
    www.bbshoney.com

  16. #176
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,884

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Where do I get that hive dolly/lifter?

  17. #177
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Send a check to Russel Apiaries for the entire cost of the dolly and then schedule a shipping date.

  18. #178
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    You'll notice on Google that there is no Victoria Ball in Brandon. There are 3 Victoria Ball's in MS and the closest one to this address is over 100 miles away in Louisville! That would be one daily commute, wouldn't it!
    He flies her in everyday on his private plane. Beeshugheshoney says in another post that she is British . Perhaps a descendant of the Queen Victoria herself. Maybe he had a bee bootlegging operation to acquire all these rare breed bees by paying off the Royal Guard.

  19. #179
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by alblancher View Post
    Send a check to Russel Apiaries for the entire cost of the dolly and then schedule a shipping date.
    Good one.

  20. #180
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,897

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Where do I get that hive dolly/lifter?
    I sent an email to the original poster of that picture asking if she knew where JN Russell purchase, date on picture was 2011?
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

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