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.
PM me for my phone if you want more info