You may receive an answer to your question if we actually receive your query. About one in twenty e-mails we get are blank - someone is attempting to send us a letter or comment or request for information, but their e-mail arrives with nothing written in the letter. Referred to in geek-speak as premature e-mailation, this is almost always due to hitting the send button before the letter is consummated. We occasionally do not answer an e-mail request for information if we accidentally delete the message - this, of course, is known as PeMS or Post e-Mailationdisposition Syndrome. It seems to occur most frequently when the e-mail message is particularly difficult to answer.
We do what we can to answer all questions, but it is really great when people take the time to search this site first because about half of all our requests for information are covered somewhere on our pages. We also have a very extensive page of Beekeeping Web Links with over 700 links to other people's pages. This is especially handy if you don't like our opinions on some subject - we offer lots of links to pages with opinions that might suit your preconceived notions better.
It is also nice of you to read before writing because we is really just me and a big stuffed bee named Benny and it occasionally becomes pretty tough to answer 30 to 50 e-mail notes every week! If you can find an answer on your own first, it is obviously appreciated. Also, please keep in mind that I do have a day-job and even travel once-in-a-while, so it might take a few weeks to get an answer from me to you.
Having made all these excuses, I have to admit that I do like to send out information and answers to questions, and I will try to answer every request for help I receive. I have fifty years of bee journals and about 200 beekeeping books and manuals; I forward some questions on to contacts on four continents; I have been a bee inspector, I come from an extensive beekeeping family; I have kept from 2 hives to 2000 hives for (oh my!) almost twenty-five years; and, if I can't answer your question, I am at least talented enough to make up a believable answer!
By the way, for those of you curious about raw, meaningless statistics, we offer the following: We get 4.2 e-mail notes for every 100 visits to our site. 70 percent of those notes make a request for some information. About one-third of all requests ask us to help kill nuisance bees. (if you need this kind of help please see our Problem Bees page.) About 10 per cent of e-mail notes are from high school students doing science reports - giving us a chance to twist young minds. About half of all questions are related to starting with bees. We can help by referring beginners to bee clubs and bee inspectors in their area. We also offer How to Beegin Beekeeping. Only one-half of requests for information use the words please or thank you. (I guess the other folks are saving valuable bandwidth.} I have received about 2000 e-mail notes during the past two years and about 1400 asked for advice or information. Now here is the scary part.... only one person has ever asked for my credentials! Folks, just because someone has a web site it doesn't necessarily mean they actually know anything!!!
Beekeeping: The Beekeeper's Home Pages