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  1. #201
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,462

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Permission was granted from Matthew to post this email he sent me. Matthew is/was the Nebraska sub-producer for Russell.
    *********************************

    Barry,
    I'm one of the good men who gave Robert Russell the benefit of the doubt and I acted in good faith with pure intent only to help people when agreeing to be a sub-producer for Robert Russell, as the bees I received from RA to date perform well when compared alongside others. I've written before that I'll not speak ill of others and I intend to do my best to maintain that effort, but I won't withold truth either if I know it. We may never know where fact and fiction part in this whole ordeal, but we're trying to find out and once we know, I'll share what truth I know openly and honestly.

    We've been misled just like everyone else and gave him the benefit of the doubt at every turn, because he did get us good bees. Many of us sub-producers are out thousands. I've only ever tried to help people and these events have made me sick to my stomach literally. I'm a man of my word and I'm having a hard time fathoming the level of what may turn out to be true. Anyone who ordered bees from me is welcome to a full refund or to have me get them bees from my stocks whose identities I can verify. I'm out several thousands of dollars that likely I'll never see again, so it may take me a while to come up with the money out of my own pocket for refunds for my customers who desire them, but I will keep my word. This just makes me sick.

    I'll keep russellapiariesnebraska@gmail.com open for long enough to work out replacements or refunds with every single customer of mine. I have hard copy records of all customers who ordered through me, so these can't disappear. I always have and I always will live an honorable life and I will do right by people or die trying, so please copy and paste this anywhere you see fit. I'm 100% genuine 100% of the time and I stand by my word as well as help others when I can and everyone knows it. Us sub-producers were taken by the deception too. I may not be able to get any of my bees in Mississippi and I may not see several thousand dollars if any, but I'll be able to meet all my nuc and package orders and the NSK orders from May onward, as they are good bees regardless of any wrongdoing to all of us. The rest of the types I offered in good faith to be as they were represented to all of us, but they may or may not be what we all were led to believe, and so I will not be offended in any way if anyone chooses a full refund instead of replacements.

    I'd like to reiterate that as I said above, I will keep my word to refund those who ordered through me who choose refund instead of alternate replacements, but I'll need several months' time to take care of everyone out of my own pocket. Already, I've helped several last year by sending queens or agreed to help several people with queens this year that they never received, as have several of the other sub-producers. Please forgive me and the others for being taken too. I offer my most sincere apologies. If you suspect my motives or trustworthiness in the least, then perhaps someone whom I’ve helped who has hard feeling towards RA and has voiced them publicly will offer their opinion of me, so that you know that my every act has been honorable. I will continue to do what I can to work through this ordeal to make as much good of a bad situation as is humanly possible, both for customers and for the other sub-producers, who like me lost so much.

    Many people already have been in contact with me at russellapiariesnebraska@gmail.com, but feel free to send me an e-mail and I’ll try to find a way to find an acceptable solution for you. But, please give me or any of the other sub-producers time to respond to each e-mail as the volume of e-mails may make a timely response impossible.

    Matthew
    Regards, Barry

  2. #202
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Has anyone out there met Matthew in person? Just curious.

  3. #203
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Man man.... Robert had a good thing goin'. All he had to do was make a few bees... heck... he could have just had his subs do most of the work for him.... and STILL he couldn't make enough. Had his expertise been in raising bees instead of marketing schemes.... everyone here would still think I was a crazy just trying to ruin a good man.....
    I guess we can be anyone we want to be on the internet.... if that is what we set out to do.
    I really wouldn't have cared even knowing all his BS on his website if people were getting their bees and no one was complaining.... and honestly I don't think anyone else here really cared if he were a Phd or not.... but they do care if you take their money and do not deliver..... there is a lesson for anyone.
    I was just trying to help.... and still even "I" must wait for all this to play out before I get my own vindication by some. As they say... no good deed goes unpunished.... yea, I know.

  4. #204
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    551

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    I'm still kind of curious about where he was getting all of his cells? His real problems didn't really hit until he mentioned that he wasn't getting the emergence with the last two batches of cells. Some are mentioning getting some nice queens. Would be interesting to know who was really supplying him with those cells. Since it's fairly clear he wasn't doing it. And I'm guessing they still want $$ for those cells and or queens they may also have been shipping to him, which makes cash flow a little difficult if 2/3 of the cells don't emerge.. Really not a bad plan if your suppliers don't mind you taking all the glory in those queens.

    And thanks Matthew for your input.

  5. #205
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    I can appreciate an apology with the best of them, but if the sub producers were experiencing the same friggin problems that us lowly hobbyist were trying to report,why in Gods name did you guys keep defending him and did so for so long? Time after time I was blasted or had posts flagged/removed for questioning where my money was on RA's site by at least two different subs and I wasn't the only one either. I hate that anyone ever gets ripped off but if you guys knew what we were saying was true or even had the slightest doubt it might have been true and continued to defend this creep, then you got what was coming to ya in my opinion.

    Sorry Barry, remove if necessary.

  6. #206
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,593

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by VolunteerK9 View Post
    continued to defend this creep
    First, I was not a sub. However, I'm quite sure that those who became subs truly believed that this guy was the "real deal". And since they believed, it was only logical that they would defend him. I suspect that none of them knew what was really going on. Personally, I believe that the subs were ripped off worse than anyone else. I do feel bad for them. Not only did this "creep" take their money, he also seriously tarnished their businesses. I think everyone was duped. Congrats K9 on being able to identify this early on, but saying that "you got what was coming to ya" is rude and simply throwing salt into still very open wounds. Perhaps you should remove your own post and not put Barry in that position.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  7. #207
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    I agree with Astro. I was never a sub and never really fell for the Russell sales pitch (just too much wrong with the science). However, I think that we can assume a few things:

    1. The sub-producers believed in the Russell product more than anyone. So much so, that they invested their own businesses in it, thereby tying their success to Russell. Some of them invested the $3000 or more, I am sure. This is a heavy financial commitment.

    2. Because they believed Russell AND invested financially, they are predisposed to being that last to accept that he is a fraud. Those who lost a smaller sum and were put back for a year are more likely to accept less evidence and conclude he is a con-man much earlier. Anyone heavily invested is going to require a LOT more evidence.

    3. Russell was incentivized to screw the sub-producers LAST. Ironically, if Russell had come up with the sub-producer scheme 6-8 months earlier and avoided all the problems with the hobby beekeepers, he would arguably be in business still. The sub-producers would be marketing "Russell queens" (and who knows what they really would have had queen-wise), any problems that hobbyists had with the queens would be laid on the sub-producers and Russell would have been insulated. Frankly, I think that the subs dodged a HUGE bullet.

    4. The subs needed to sell between 100-120 Russell queens just to break even on their initial investment. As true believers in the product and businessmen, they would be inclined to wait for Russell to work out the problems. Think about it - you just put $3000 of you money into a business venture, you hear stuff that is potentially damaging to the product you are trying to sell, but you really believe in the quality of the product. Are you really going to go out there and start telling people not to buy it or are you going to give it a little time, confident that it is just a glitch that will work itself out?

    I can't fault the subs for any 'timing' issues and am impressed at how those who post here are handling it now. Russell's claims always sounded too good to be true to me. Moonbeams return after dark? How do they navigate - all other honeybees use the sun. How does Russell supervise queen selection, drone production etc. at all of these colonies ostensibly all over the US? Etc. etc. My questions were never sufficiently answered.

    As Po (Kung Fu Panda) would say, "There is no secret ingredient."

    Mike

  8. #208
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Mike,
    There may be a bit of baby in that bathwater:

    Last summer I moved some nucs, and got up an hour before it started getting light and screened them in.

    When I went out at dawn, there were foragers carrying pollen clustered on the screen of the well sealed Hybrid 410 nucs.

    Marketing info said these were Moonbeams crossed to Alaskan bees. Whether that was true or not, they are both dark-foraging and very aggressive toward mites...I watched guard pretty agressively grooming returning workers.

    Liars lie, and can't be trusted to tell the truth.
    But that doesn't mean they never tell the truth.

    I bought some great bees from both NY_BLUES and beetrucker74 when they were subs.

    At this point could if I could trust RRussell to sell me a few NSK or Moonbeam breeders I'd jump on it.
    Unfortunately right now I'm not sure that I can.

    But I'd buy from either Varner's or Allegehany bees (NY_Blues & beetrucker74) again all day long and twice on Sunday.

  9. #209
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    OK.. so if all the different lines of RA were truly unique races of bees... I really wonder where he got them. I'm not saying that they AREN'T real moonbeams or whatever.... but I know they did not come from his Dad's yard. I do not doubt that Robert may have truly been doing some good things.. but tell me 100 lies and then expect me to believe one truth.... probably ain't gonna happen. But honestly... if they are truly unique he must have gotten them somewhere..... so maybe the subs can shed some light in that area? Maybe there WAS a real moonbeam.... so where did it come from?? For me... breeder or production queen is the same thing except a breeder is either TESTED over time for characteristic traits... or was Instrumentally inseminated and therfore SHOULD have the genetic traits. JN Russell told me where he got his first sunkist queen.... and it was just a production queen from another breeder. BUT.. it became HIS breeder queen. After I stopped working bees, he once told me he got a couple of queens from Glenn I think he said. One was superceded soon after he got it... but the other he was able to keep and breed from.... this would have been about 2008-09 that he told me.
    SO... does anyone else out there claim to have "moonbeams"? Tigers? Maybe they WERE really unique... but we all know that Robert didn't "develope" them..... but he maybe got them from somewhere..... so where?

  10. #210
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Sunbeams? Moonbeams? Tigers? Has anyone ever heard of these "lines" anywhere else? I think the whole picture here is dawning on some folks a bit more slowly than others.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #211
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Hehehe... you think SO Jim Lyon??? You can't blame folks for hoping can you??

  12. #212
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Well, I cant answer to where robert got them, but I can say that the Moonbeams, Tigers, and others werent uniques species, but rather he claimed that they were hybrids selected for certain traits. The tigers were supposedly aggressive against SHB, hence the name. He claimed that Moonbeams were selected for flying ability at lower temps and in lower light conditions. I am not defending him, but rather staiting what Robert Russell claimed. Where did he get them? I dont know, he claimed that he was the developer of these lines. He claimed that it took many generations of II, and strict culling to develop a single Moonbeam breeder.
    Again I am not defending Robert, or anything that he claimed, but there are numerous breeders that have done II and extensive selecting to "develop" certain strains, such as Joe Latshaw and his Aurea and Karnica lines, or Adam Finklestein and his Allegro or Spartan lines. Heck, even JN Russell had his Sunkist queens, and certainly no one here is questioning the fact that JN Russell was genuine. These folks took available bees, did II, selected for certain traits, and then marketed the bees under a new name. Why is it hard to believe that another person, Robert in this case, could have done the same thing.
    I am not defending him, nor will I ever again, but i just want to put that out there as something that could have been a possibility.
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  13. #213
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Sippy, there are an awful lot of things we don't know.. and a few we do.

    We know Robert took money, didn't deliver, and didn't refund.
    We know he's going on trial for felony pretense (lying).
    Some of know he had some kick-***** bees.

    We know that in some the first posts you made here, you said you had no bees.
    We know that you showed up here shortly after your pal Ricky the convicted pedophile got out of prison.
    We know that shortly after that bees were stolen from Robert's property.
    We know that more recently you mentioned the bees you now have.

    Speculation and assumption without proof, expressed as suggestion, that any man - even a man know to lie and be dishonest, has stolen bees is a vile and dishonorable practice.

    Some, including you have done this to Robert.
    It would certainly be reasonable to suspect him of it.
    It would be equally reasonable to suspect you, given your statements and associations.

    Yet none have done so, and please do not mistake this post for me doing so now.

    The proof of what bees are is in their performance.
    It doesn't matter what the bees are called.

    I suggest that if there is evidence that any of the lines Russell sold don't exist, there is no less evidence that another Russell and his friend stole a lot of bees from a certain yards.

    And that there is not enough evidence of either to make accusation or comment.

    One shouldn't wrestle with a pig...if he does, he'll get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it.
    But the dishonorable way you throw reasonable suspicion around as if "everybody knows" it to be true and proven is vile.

  14. #214
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    My intent was not to ignite a discussion about the legitimacy of Russell's product - only to state that I didn't think that the sub-producers colluded or did anything nefarious with respect to when they finally came forward.

    Still, I don't doubt that Beregondo's bees forage early or late. I have Russian/Carn crosses that do the same. Two points need to be made:

    1. Russell claimed that Moonbeams returned AFTER dark.
    2. Even if true - no one has been able to tell me how they do it; and the BREEDER should be able to answer that question if it is expected to be believed.

    Russell also made claims about bees drawing straighter comb, being able to defend hives from small hive beetles, being better suited to commercial pollination......shoot, I bet his bees made a mean margarita too.

    Evidence was never offered indicating:

    1. HOW these traits were quantified, measured and verified experimentally
    2. What the controls for the experiments and crosses producing these traits were
    3. The identity of the genes responsible for the traits (eg. the gene producing Cordovan traits is identified and known).
    4. The mechanism by which the trait is expressed (see the 'Moonbeam' question above).

    Any geneticist, ESPECIALLY one with a Ph.D. in genetics as Russell and his supporters claimed he had (no one has yet been able to tell me what University he received it from) would be able to answer these questions.

    He just made the claims. When I posed questions like this, I got hammered by some (but not all). What I never got was answers. And that, more than anything, tipped me off to stay away.

    Behavior is tricky subject. Just because an organism does a 'thing', doesn't mean that it is coded for genetically. It also doesn't mean that if it is genetic, it is passed on in a linear fashion or can be reliably replicated in future generations. Russell's sales pitch for his strains came across like all he had to do was program the 'Queen producing machine' and it would spit out whatever he wanted.

    I will admit that I was initially tempted by the sales pitch for the 'Moonbeams'. The inability of Russell apiaries to address even basic questions regarding genetics and experimental design told me that something wasn't right.

    Mike

  15. #215
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Beregondo... This is not the first and I am sure will not be the last time you bear strong words towards me. It bothered me at first... but am gonna let it slide cuz I know you don't know what you are talking about in most of your facts...

    Some of know he had some kick-***** bees.
    True statement... and I have said many times his Dad did have excellent bees... that is where Robert's bees came from... from the back yard at his Dad's house.

    Speculation and assumption without expressed as suggestion that any man, even a man know to lie and be dishonest, has stolen bees is a vile and dishonorable practice.
    Ummmm... if a person shows himself to be dishonest.... until further evaluation over a certain length of time... I may choose to assume many things about them... as you would also sir.

    We know that in some the first posts you made here, you said you had no bees.
    NOT TRUE... I said I walked away from 80 hives in about 2007-08... just left them where they sat... 3 months ago I decide I want bees again and so I go collect what equipment I had... and of 80 hives.. there were 6 still alive after 5 years.... of those 6, I split 5 of them last week of january.... drones were already flying.... so will they make it?? Won't know 'till May, cuz currently I am at my "day job" just down the road from YOU.

    We know that you showed up here shortly after your pal Ricky the convicted pedophile got out of prison.
    WRONG again Mr. Beregondo... Ricky got out of prison I THINK the last year I was working with JN Russell... but I never talked to him much then... was still just there cuz I was working with JN. I was HERE starting I think 2005-06?? when I was working with JN and selling my OWN queens here also. NEVER a single complaint from a queen that I sold that I am aware of. I stopped visiting this forum about 2007..... until December 2012 when I decided I wanted bees again... that is also when I saw 20 pages on this forum about Robert.... so I decided I SHOULD shed light on what I knew or suspected. I know Ricky... have nothing against him.... but he is not my "pal" as you loosely claim. I have FEW pals.... and none that raise bees.

    We know that shortly after that bees were stolen from Robert's property.
    Yep... that is true.... but I am no more suspect than anyone else in Hinds county my fellow beek.... and YOU might not know, but "I" KNOW that when all the dirt settles.... you will have NO DOUBTS whatsoever that I had anything to do with those bees being stolen. I have already spoken with the law.... and they are welcome to check my property ANYTIME. But if anything gets "dumped" on my place anytime soon.... just to let you know I am in New York now... and I have PLENTY of witnesses who know there was no stolen crap at MY HOUSE before I left.

    We know that more recently you mentioned the bees you now have.
    Yep.... explained above....

    It would be equally reasonable to suspect you, given your statements and associations.
    NOT TRUE Beregondo.... would it be equally reasonable to suspect YOU if Robert is found guilty of complicity in all of this? You certainly have made it clear whose side you are on. I am not on ANYONE's side.... and the fact that I EVER mentioned Ricky is regretful... however, personally I trust him..... that YOU don't is understandable, but do not make judgement of ME because I do.

    The proof of what bees are what is in their performance.
    It doesn't matter what the bees are called.
    In my original post about the moonbeams..... I was being sincere. I do not think that Robert was II anything... just my opinion. I am fairly certain Robert didn't get any kind of specialized training raising bees.... and fairly certain he had a basic laymen's knowledge about bees when his Father passed.... again... just my opinion. BUT you say they have specific chracteristics... and I believe you... and sincerely asked if anyone knew where these supposed moonbeams came from. Of course I, like Jim, am skeptical.... but if anyone can show me evidence to the contrary... I would certainly be intgerested in them... as would many others here I believe.

    One shouldn't wrestle with a pig...if he does, he'll get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it.
    From your posts in regards to my posting... and your PM's to me.... should I assume you are enjoying this?

    But the dishonorable way you throw reasonable suspicion around as if "everybody knows" it to be a true and proven is vile.
    There have been such as you who condemn me.... and I admit... I don't like people to suggest I am a liar, however... there are many MORE people who have thanked me for the information I put out 2 months ago.... and we see where it has all lead to NOW.
    I maybe make a few insinuations.... but I think they are warranted in light of the circumstances... and yes considering I am ALSO suspect in all of this crap... REALLY makes me want to do a bit MORE insinuating. I am rather "unhappy" that my desire to try help some people understand has resulted in ME being suspect in theft... but in the end I know I will have my vindication.... You don't know that... YET... but you will.

    I am not dishonorable Mr. Beregondo.... but you can think what you like.... I even considered trying to PROVE to YOU that I am not dishonorable by meeting you in person while I am up here in your neighborhood.... but, I think in light of everything would just be a big waste of both our time....
    SO... I wish you a good beekeeping season.... now I have corrected what you have suggested....
    Thanks again

  16. #216
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,827

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Some of know he had some kick-***** bees.
    And some of us got crappy queens, and NO queens. Beregondo your defense of Russell is unbelievable.

  17. #217
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,191

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Anyone can see, by looking in the top right corner of any of SippyBees' posts, that he joined Beesource in February 2004. Or you can check his profile page to see the same info.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #218
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    Quote Originally Posted by SippyBees View Post
    Have chewed my tongue until it's a bloody stubb.... am I vindicated yet????
    Ditto, SippyBees, Ditto!

    That's all I have to say about my lighter wallet and the ABUSE I TOOK FROM RUSSELL SUPPORTERS, which was worse than getting ripped off in the first place!
    There are several people who owe many of us a BIG APOLOGY.

    Thank you SpecialKayme for yours. Almost makes me believe in man kind again. Almost.

    And I won't even tell you about the lengthy PM's Rob Hughs (Beehughshoney)sent me during that time. He was like my best buddy. Creeps me out to read all this!

    Is Rob Hughes and Beehugheshoney the same person -aka Robert Russell?
    I see Beehugheshoney makes no posts himself other than to respond to Russell threads ? http://www.beesource.com/forums/memb...beehugheshoney
    Last edited by Lauri; 02-24-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  19. #219
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lycoming New York
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    I got 5 queens from RA not what I ordered, not one survived the winter. Ordered northern bees told by RA what to order. I had to e-mail several times to get my order, lots of phone calls, stamped on the package had a Missippi post mark. I wish I had been one of the lucky ones to get GOOD BEES. This was before anyone died and there had not been any bad weather. I complained to RA and on here I was told I did not know how to take care of bees. No I just didn't know how to take care of money.. BUY LOCAL Tony

  20. #220
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: Robert Russell is a fraud

    i think this thread has achieved a beesource record amount of activity in the first five days.

    pretty cool how the forum got to the bottom of it like that.

    but what a shame.......
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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