For... Bee Improvement. Published... April 2001
I have been interested in bees and beekeeping since I was four years
of age. I did not pursue this directly until I was in my late teens
when I started collecting beekeeping books and became fascinated by
bees and beekeeping methods. During the 1960s I started manufacturing
beekeeping equipment. Originally I had no bees of my own, until about
1975, then I started with a single colony, then ten, then thirty
five:- but then most of you will have been down this route!
By trade I was an electronic engineer and I have had knowledge of
computers since 1961, however they were not very accessible to
individuals and programming was an absolute nightmare compared to
the present day. I have been involved in the design of computer
hardware and used many versions of computers over many years. The
IBM desktop PC that has become the "standard" of today was not
originally thought to have much appeal, there were others that were
more suited to those with an engineering background.
My manufacturing company APEX Enterprises became bankrupt in 1995 and
shortly afterwards I had a heart attack. The surgery that I underwent
to correct the problems was unsuccessful, which leaves me feeble and
easily tired, my poor physical state means that I can barely do
justice to the few bees that I do still keep.
I obtained my first IBM PC in October 1999, I purchased a particularly
inexpensive machine (£299.00) which was riddled with faults. It took
me three months of intermittant work and extra cost to get the thing
running to my satisfaction. With a workable machine I started looking
at the internet... I had known about the internet since the early,
military "arpanet" days.
I was very surprised, as I did not realise what a powerful resource
the internet had grown into. A friend passed me the URL's of a few
beekeeping related sites which included several Email "lists", I
should explain that a URL is an electronic address of an internet
website and that Email lists are forums of discusion by like minded
During my time as an equipment manufacturer I met and conversed with
many beekeepers, academics and other equipment manufacturers. The
Email lists are similar to this but with a fully worldwide group of
participants. I jumped into this system with both feet and I now
regularly converse, discuss and on some occasions argue with, about
a thousand individuals on about a dozen Email lists.
During my time as an equipment manufacturer I did many experiments
with bees, and had intended to write books on retirement. Beekeeping
books currently do not sell very well and the possible market is
diminishing all the time, so I decided I would put my information on
a website instead.
I thought that a website of about 12 or 15 pages would suffice so I
bought a book on HTML (a very simple programming language) and
rattled off a few pages... After two weeks I had produced about forty
pages and realised that I had only scratched the surface. I have been
plugging away and have produced an unsophisticated, sometimes
controversial set of about 400 pages, (some of which are far from
complete) I hope what I have produced so far is useful to others...
I am always open to suggestions for additions or improvements.
I deliberaterly hold no copyright on any of my internet work so that
it may be freely distributed.
My health is not likely to improve, but my brain remains active and I
can exercise it in the many discussion groups. As I spend more than
half of my beekeeping time at a keyboard, I now describe myself as a
Many of you may already have computers and then again many of you may
be unaware of the benefits. To those that say "I have no interest in
computers" I would reply that they are only a means to an end... They
are merely a way of communicating with other people or obtaining
information. You do not need to be interested in how a telephone
works to be able to use one. There are computer owners that do not
use the internet. To those I would ask that they think again, there
is much useful information "out there" and no doubt you have
information that others may wish to share. Email is very fast,
efficient and virtually no cost, you can send 10 or more Emails to
any point on the globe for about £0.01. Most libraries now have
internet computers and will give instruction on how to use them. For
a fee of about £1 per hour they will let you try it for yourself.
I am prepared to give further information or advice by telephone
(0116 260 2527) to any that may wish to enter the world of computers
but are unsure how to.
I can be contacted via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or you can visit my website: http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman
Written... April 2001
Facelift... 04 February 2002