About this websiteRelevant to beekeeping pages only
Dave Cushman died on 22nd February 2011 and shortly before he died he asked me to take over his beekeeping website. I subsequently discovered he bequeathed it to me, along with all his others. Dave's health declined rapidly in the last few weeks of his life and he was only able to talk for short periods because he tired very quickly, so I was unable to obtain as much information as I would have liked.
Dave had a number of medical problems making it difficult or impossible for him to work. Ironically his poor health led to the existence of this website and the incredible amount of information on it was compiled in only about 10 years. He had an incredibly sharp mind right to the end and he was very frustrated that he couldn't get upstairs to access his computers in his last few weeks.
I knew Dave well and was aware of what he was trying to achieve. This was quite simply a website that would help beekeepers worldwide where they could source good sound information. He was very forward thinking and didn't always accept what is often put forward as "fact". In these pages you will see some alternative views, some not his own theories, but most of them are as sound as the common line. Like Dave I often question what is taught, especially by those who are not passing on the benefit of experience, but the words of others. I urge the visitor not to dismiss the "alternatives" just because they are not what is normally written or taught, but to consider them carefully before making judgement.
Dave told me I could develop the website how I liked. In general I see little I would disagree with and I fully intend to retain his basic principles. I will try to maintain the high standards that Dave set, but it must be accepted that I am unable to spend 15-16 hours a day in front of a screen like he did. I will try to keep the website largely in the same format that visitors are used to, but inevitably there will be changes, as of course there always has been. Any changes are not a criticism of what Dave did, but more likely an attempt by me to achieve the same result with a lot less technical knowledge of building and maintaining websites than he had.
Of the regular users I have spoken to around 50% thought the format should stay exactly the same and the other 50% thought it should be altered to make it easier on the eyes. I have decided to leave all the pages Dave started largely as he left them, but make changes to any new ones. I know this is a compromise and in my experience a compromise rarely works, but I hope this one will.
My role will be that of editor with the technical side being handled by someone who wishes to remain anonymous
Although Dave created probably the world's best beekeeping website and was rightly proud of it, he was always just an ordinary person and didn't think himself above others. He was always accessible and willing to help anyone, whatever their experience and knowledge and of course a lot of it was through providing the information on this website.
Progress will dictate there will be regular additions and updates and the further we get from Dave's passing the less there will be of his original material, but whatever the changes I still want it to be known throughout beekeeping as "Dave Cushman's Website". I am keen that future generations should be aware of the huge contribution Dave made to beekeeping.
Dave Cushman hand coded everything and I'm fully aware of the time that took. No doubt at some time in the future that coding will become obsolete, which is a problem that concerned him greatly. Any new material will be in a slightly different format that will make it obvious which pages have been added.
I intend to make some modifications and additions so the website grows and perhaps widens it's appeal. This I see as progress and I hope it gains support. In doing so there may well be a few problems such as the occasional missing link or page, although I will try to test everything before uploading.
There are some pages I feel are no longer needed and they will be archived. There are others that need modification for a number of reasons such as they are out of date or the content is no longer appropriate. Where I make a major modification to a page I will try to make it obvious, though I won't bother with small changes. Some pages I will leave for historical purposes although I may make comment. If I make a comment I need to highlight, it will be in this colour.
Apart from a few transitional pages the font will be changed so it is obvious what is new material. I have already had a significant number of comments about the original font and I hope the new one is an improvement.
I agreed with Dave that the non-beekeeping pages of the website are not updated, but they will still be available for viewing.
Dave Cushman wanted all his beekeeping material to be fully accessible and free of copyright. All he asked for in return was a credit if the material was used elsewhere. This policy will continue and I encourage you to make whatever use of the material you wish providing it isn't misrepresented, but please include the words
"Credit - Dave Cushman's Website", or where it is credited to others,
"Credit - Name - via Dave Cushman's Website"
Please note that some of the material on the non-beekeeping pages is subject to copyright.
Dave Cushman received a lot of emails, many of which were of a very basic nature. Despite his disability he tried to respond to all of them, although some could have been easily answered by the sender simply searching the website.
I am happy to receive emails about beekeeping, especially if they;-
Lack of time means I will not be able to respond to all correspondence. I am very heavily involved with beekeeping, especially teaching and I will have to be selective in what I respond to. If you don't get a response please don't think I am being rude, I'm just trying to make the best use of the 168 hours there are in a week. I hope you understand.
On searching Dave's messages I came across these two gems that I have slightly edited. I thought they were quite amusing.
I live in Canada and I was with a friend having coffee when we got into conversation with another lady about bees. She said each bee drinks a liter of water a day. Can you tell me if this is correct?
Dear Mr Cushman,
I think you have a wonderful website.
My wife and I have always wanted to keep bees. We have just retiredto the Isle of Wight. Do you think our garden will be suitable?
I am always willing to accept new material providing it is sound, safe and legal. Dave Cushman relied heavily on information that was gleaned from elsewhere and I am no different. It must be agreed that all material will be free of copyright. To provide balanced information there may be alternative information or views displayed. If material has appeared elsewhere I will need to know as there may be copyright issues. If I am supplied with material and post it on the website not knowing it has been published elsewhere I would appreciate it if visitors let me know.
I am unable to guarantee inclusion of any material, but will include good quality material if and when possible. I retain the right to edit material and include or exclude it for whatever reason and no correspondence will be entered into. I will give credit for both text and images where I think fit. It must be accepted by contributors that material may subsequently be used elsewhere and possibly out of context. I am unable to control that and will accept no responsibility. It is a risk that contributors will have to take when submitting material.
The website will develop on largely the lines Dave intended and you can see what is needed. The sort of things I am particularly interested in are:-
Unless for a good reason I must ask that all information is supplied in electronic form.
Dave Cushman was proud of the fact his website was highly ranked. This was partly because of the high quality of information and the amount of traffic. I hope you enjoy surfing this website and will return regularly.