Relevant 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. 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, with the incredible amount of information on it when I took over being 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 their own 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. This is best done by sticking your head into a beehive, not a book!
Dave specifically asked that all non-beekeeping websites and pages stay exactly as they are and I promised I would maintain them as long as I could. I understand his reasons and will respect them. They will be archived, but still accessible. He told me I could develop the beekeeping 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 by starting one of the world's finest beekeeping websites.
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 its 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 significant comment it will be highlighted in this colour and probably initialled.
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 on his website 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 or Source - via Dave Cushman's Website"
Please note that some of the material on the non-beekeeping pages and Dave Cushman's family is subject to copyright.
Much of the new material that has been written since Dave Cushman's death has been written by me. Much is from my own knowledge, but also using information that may have been sourced from elsewhere. Where a topic is of a specialist nature I may have asked someone else to write it or I have used articles from elsewhere with permission. If so, I give full credit.
In receiving written material for inclusion from third parties I do it in good faith. Some, or part, may have been acquired from elsewhere, with the original source being unknown to me. I am unable to guarantee the copyright is not held by someone else. If you recognise any material on this website where the copyright belongs to you, please contact me, if possible supplying proof and I will do my best to deal with it.
Prior to me taking over this website there were many photographs, some of which I know were taken by Dave Cushman. Many that have been used since that date have been taken by me, but some have been supplied by contributors. Although I am careful and check where I can, I am unable to be certain they have not been taken from elsewhere and are the copyright of someone else. Again, if you own the copyright and can show me reasonable proof I will deal with it in the best way that I can.
Bearing in mind the nature of this website it is expected that any item that is supplied to me should be free of 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 retired to 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 material, but I 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 appropriate. It must be accepted by contributors that material may subsequently be used elsewhere and possibly out of context by users. 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 information 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. For some reason Dave objected to PDF format, but I am happy to use it.
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.
Copying of Material
I am aware that some material has been copied from this website and is displayed on another one that appears to have been set up for that purpose. It was Dave Cushman's policy to make all beekeeping items on this website free of copyright, as he wanted it to be freely available for all beekeepers to help them become more knowledgeable. Dave was a very generous man and for that reason I do not intend taking any action.
I have had a large number of messages, discussions and calls informing me of the situation. Many have shown anger, annoyance and distaste for what has happened and I thank beekeepers for being kind enough to take the trouble to express their concerns.
In the weeks before he died, Dave indicated he was concerned this website might get into the hands of those who may abuse it and use it for their own purposes. I believe he would have been furious at this development.
This is the official Dave Cushman website and I intend to maintain the very high standards Dave set. I apologise for having to display this message, but feel I ought to in order to register the views of the many genuine and caring beekeepers who, although they may not have met Dave, they respect the huge amount of effort he put into compiling this website for the benefit of others.