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I ran the wrong kind of business, but I did it with integrity.
Sydney Biddle Barrows, in Marian Christy, ''Mayflower Madam' Tells All,' Boston Globe, 1986

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Thursday, November 20th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

Should I post the weather for Alberta? Or Laguna Beach, CA, where I am today? Or neither?

 Not much to write today, but I have been active on BEE-L. More later...

067432 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067440 Re: Genetic compatibility effects on caste determination
067441 Personal Attacks
067452 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067466 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067472 Re: Law of the Survivor
067475 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067494 Re: Personal Attacks


Friday, November 21st, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

A wise man's question contains half the answer.
Solomon Ibn Gabirol

067494 Re: Personal Attacks
067475 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067472 Re: Law of the Survivor


Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

Today's BEE-L Posts:
067494 Re: Personal Attacks
067496 Comparing Pollen Patties
067500 Walk-Away Splits
067502 Re: Personal Attacks
067503 Re: Bee-L at its best
067506 Re: FW: The USA is in bad need of new genetics from abroad
067507 Re: Comparing Pollen Patties

> Has anyone done any trials on the Mann Lake patties compared to Dadant's
> new super duper Mega Bee
patties? I will this spring. I thought that we
> could feed half the yard one and half the yard the other. I would kindly
> appreciate any comments. Mann Lake claims that dollar for dollar they are
> a better buy.

Actually, there is a third source you might want to include in your trials. I should warn you in advance, I am biased. I think for good reason, but you can decide.

Global Patties, are located in Montana and Alberta, and supply or have have supplied patties using a wide variety of materials, including BeePro™, FeedBee™, MegaBee™, and simple yeast/sugar and yeast/soy/sugar patties.

All of these, other than FeedBee™, have been offered with and without pollen as well. All Global patties contain approximately the same proportion of sugar as well, for preservation and to encourage consumption.

The formula for the yeast/soy/sugar patties -- the favourite -- is not secret and the details are freely available at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/misc/pollen/ . It is the formula we used ourselves in the past, and was initially adopted by Frank and Mike, since they originally began by custom-making patties for me and some friends. Global's accuracy and on-time delivery were so well appreciated by beekeepers, that they grew from there into an international supplier with very little advertising.

Interestingly, even after trying many different highly rated products as patty ingredients, the original simple yeast/soy/sugar/pollen formula has proven the most popular and enduring product by far. There may be better formulas out there, but as far as bang for the buck is concerned, this seems to be the beekeepers' choice.

Besides cost, another big plus is that, with this simple formula, you know exactly what the ingredients are, and that they are high quality food-grade, non-spoiling, and fresh. You are not putting unspecified ingredients into your hive. Moreover, these patties do not dry out or drip down.

Global is the originator of the rectangular patty and punctured paper design, which has more recently been widely copied by competitors (without anyone asking). They are neat and simple to use.

Global is also the price leader. Their low-cost approach and low margins have driven down the prices of products offered by competitors. They also custom-make patties, so some proprietary patties offered on the market have actually originated at their plant.

Patties made up with BeePro™, FeedBee™, MegaBee™ although, and offered as Global products in the past, failed to maintain sufficient interest to justify being made in the volumes Global requires, and have been dropped from the price list in the US, although Global will make up anything you want on request, assuming the minimum batch size is met. You actually might save money by buying a competitor's ingredients and having the patties made by Global!

These various feed combinations that Global has made up in the past, in response to requests by beekeepers and/or feed product owners or dealers, have been widely tested in Canada and the US, by beekeepers, and the clear choice, if volume of sales is any indication, seems to be for the yeast/soy/pollen patties. As to be expected, though there are some who prefer some one or another brand name product, and some have custom batches made.

The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before. Thorstein Veblen (1857 - 1929)

Price, texture, spoilage, drying, and customer preference for the basic, lower cost patties were the main reasons to drop the other lines. Even though Global offered them very competitively, the volume simply was not there.

Beekeepers found overwhelmingly that the simple yeast/soy/pollen/sugar formula provided the best results per dollar and keep well both in the box and on the hive. Global requires minimum volumes in any product they make because they have to source fresh ingredients direct from the manufacturer if possible, and their policy is to get the finished product to the beekeeper ASAP, since proteins degrade over time, and warehousing of either ingredients or patties for anything longer than a few months has been demonstrated to result in very diminished efficacy of patties! Global's products are available factory-direct by truckload lots, or from depots around North America for smaller amounts.

One thing to consider, since you mentioned Florida, is that there have been reports that pollen patties are enjoyed by Small Hive Beetles, just as much as by the bees under some circumstances, and that this must be considered when feeding patties there. I am not entirely conversant with the details, but asking around might be in order.

One last consideration, when obtaining protein feeds, be sure to ask how long the ingredients were warehoused and what the manufacture date of the patties was. I don't know how long it takes for these things to degrade to where they have absolutely no benefit, but I think a year is too long for unrefrigerated storage. Maybe some of our scientists can comment.

In the interests of full disclosure, I continue to do some consulting for Global and consider them good friends, so I am not unbiased. I hope this does not sound too much like a commercial, but I am really impressed with this outfit.

 --- We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.
-- Adelle Davis (1904 - 1974)

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

After writing the above article, checking it over, and inserting the links, I visited the websites of all the various pollen patty products on the market that I am aware of -- BeePro™, FeedBee™, MegaBee™ -- and was amused by the claims made on these sites.  I also notice that all the above have unspecified ingredients that we are expected to put into our hives in spite of the fact that we are cautioned by experts to be very careful and know what we are using due to increasingly intense scrutiny of honey by buyers' labs.  It seems to me that a beekeeper needs to know what is in the feed used, and has the right to know exactly.  There was a case some time back where a well-trusted supplement was implicated in some suspected honey contamination.  I don't know what the outcome was, and I imagine it was all worked out without loss, but the precedent is there.

I also have noticed that the proprietary feeds seem to change ingredients and texture over time, so what is to say that the data presented in ads actually applies to the current product?

Let me note that Global's site, on the other hand, does not make any claims beyond stating what the ingredients are and mentioning some studies that Medhat did, plus providing some articles and links.  They really do not have an axe to grind.  They'll make patties out of anything customers request. (As long as it is food grade and will not contaminate the premises).

Global's results, low cost, and word of mouth are more powerful than claims of doubling crops or tripling brood.  We all know that the data behind such claims are often questionable or subject to interpretation -- or compared to a base situation which may be abnormal. Sometimes hives die or are pulled out of studies without mention, and secondary effects may be ignored in a summary.  We do not know the freshness of products used in comparisons, if any, but we can be sure the product being promoted was fresh and given every advantage. 

There is one case of which we are aware where one product, which contains quite a bit of sugar was compared in patty form to BeePro™, which does not.  BeePro™ patties and other protein feeds normally require sugar in the patty to encourage consumption and maintain texture.  Of course the bees ate the diet that was sweet and ate very little of the dry, unsweetened BeePro™ patties.  The owners of the new formula trumpeted this as a proof of their superiority. In subsequent, independent tests, treating all feeds fairly, no such advantage was found, and, in fact, the new product was not quite as good.  To my mind, the leading products are pretty similar in efficacy, so cost, availability, freshness and keeping qualities are the decision factors, but several of the branded and promoted products are noticeably inferior and more expensive.  We'll be learning more over the next years.

My personal reason for feeding supplements is that I found our bee simply were more healthy and our losses over the year dropped significantly and that the overwintered hives looked better.  We no longer saw stunted bees in the spring.  Medhat and others have run feed comparisons that can give us an idea, but every case is necessarily different.

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

From  The mayo Clinic

Soy allergy affects approximately 1 percent of people in the United States. Soy, also called soya, is among the top eight most common foods that trigger allergies in children. In many cases soy allergy starts with a reaction to a soy-based infant formula. Although most children outgrow soy allergy by age 3, soy allergy may persist and is becoming more common in adults.

In most cases signs and symptoms of soy allergy are mild. Severe allergic reactions are more common with other food allergens than with soy, but in rare cases, soy allergy can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Deaths linked to soy allergy have occurred in people who also had both severe peanut allergy and asthma. You can reduce your risk of having an allergic reaction to soy by knowing as much as you can about soy allergy and how to avoid soy-containing products  (more)

Now I am wondering about soy allergy.   I realise that maybe I should just let sleeping dogs lie, but I do recall the time when we though using sulfathiazole in beehives was harmless.  As the references indicate, it later turned out that the traces were significant for some people and the levels getting into honey were higher than assumed in some cases.  The result was seized loads of honey that wound up being dumped at the beekeepers' expense.

I sometimes see on food labels these days the warning, "may contain traces of peanuts", and similar paragraphs simply because the food was, is, or may be at some future time, prepared in the same building where peanuts products are handled, even if they are not on the same line -- or possibly since the manufacturer cannot know the details of all sourced ingredients, or wants the flexibility to change suppliers.

Should beekeepers and packers also start considering potential allergens and mentioning exposure to soy, yeasts, and, for that matter everything within flight distance that the bees might bring home? At some point the possibilities boggle the imagination.

I really have no idea if any traces of soy remain in hives, and if so, for how long, and, for that matter, I assume bees visit soy for pollen and that soy dust blows around the country in season.  Should patties, like treatments, be removed before the honeyflow?  Since the feed is actually placed in the hive, and uneaten scraps could conceivably get into the honey at extracting time there is a potential for 'contamination', so-called, even if the 'contaminant' is itself food-approved.  I doubt a significant amount would ever be involved, especially when specks are diluted by tonnes of honey, but we need to think about every imaginable risk these days.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

As far as I know, all the popular bee feeds contain some soy, although some say not, but do not state what they do contain and may be playing with weasel words if they use derivatives of soy. Some people are also allergic to yeasts, so there you go.  What is safe?  Processed honey is fine filtered, but honey at the farm gate is not.  People with a critical allergy should be and usually are very aware where they might encounter the allergen and are therefore very careful.

Are soy, yeasts and other feeds the least of our worries?  After all, beehives and honey contain pollen, and that is one of the most common allergens!  Will we ever get to the point of posting warnings on honey?  I hope not.

And what would we do if we do not even know what goes into our bee feeds?  As far as I am concerned, every animal feed should list the ingredients for all to see.  I'd assume that any products labelled as food-grade should be OK as bee feed, but, an animal grade rating is not sufficient.

Frankly, I do not think there is a real risk, but it might be a good study for someone.

Monday, November 24th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

Bob Harrison on queen cells...

When we raise cells in Texas we use the jenter system and need around 6-10 systems. My eyes (as well as my partners ) are not the best so we have dropped grafting except for the eggs the queen lays between the cups. The problem with the jenter system is you need the comb cell box drawn before using to raise queens. A mistake often made by first time cell raisers trying to raise cells on new plastic with the cells undrawn.

Also cups need cleaned before reuse by the bees or you can simply use new cups (which is what we do if in a hurry).

Timing is the key to success plus prolific queens when caged and super strong cell builder and cell finisher colonies. if a strong flow is not on then you need to provide excellent nutrition for all parts of the operation.

The only queen rearing system I have use (other than grafting) has been the jenter. Others will need to comment on the Mann lake system which is advertised to raise I think four times as many cells as the jenter.

I think because cells are so cheap most would rather simply buy cells. Would you find the time to raise cells if cells were around ten bucks a cell?

Cells can be pricey if cells are not viable ( 50% is not uncommon) or poorly raised and the queens are dinks and soon superceded.

Cell raisers usually start about twice as many as ordered so when you get 90% raised (happens at times ) then you look for a place to sell those cells as if not sold or used most are tossed.

Cell use 101 for commercial beeks:

1. order cells but far more than you need. 125% ? 150%? if candling.

2. Pick up cells from cell raiser soon after sealed and transport in a Styrofoam heated incubator if possible (12 volt to truck cigar lighter) to your location. Use wet sponge for humidity.

3. at your location have a G.O.F. egg incubator (used $125- 250 but can be homemade as all the parts can be purchased from the maker) set and ready for the cells ( takes usually 48 hours to get temp & humidity correct) On mine I use the timer which turns the heat off and on with a single degree of accuracy . I used to hatch exotic bird eggs for my self and others and found the better timer worth the money over the wafer type.

4. carefully place the cells in the incubator. You should have around 3 days to make your splits ready. You obviously can leave the cells in the cell finisher but using an incubator makes raising a large number of cells faster.

4.a Havoc will happen if you get queens hatching the the incubator. If happens catch and cage the virgins and place in queen cages and release after a few hours. simply releasing right away does not produce the best takes in my opinion but others may have had better results.

5. Place the cells in the nucs after dark the day before emergence and candle each cell. Toss cells which queens show no movement when candled . If you candle night is the time to candle fast.

6. Important: Do not move the nucs for at least two weeks for best take or until queen is laying solid patterns. It is my opinion bees will blame the move on the new queen and supercede her until they have totally accepted her. Others may disagree or perhaps disagree with everything I have said. If others on the list use a better method please post as I am here to learn also.

Also the longer the time the queen is in the hive laying before shipping north seems to help take. I have seen 3 out of four hives on a pallet queenless when back in the north when moved to quickly when using cells. Using mated queens hives can in my opinion can be moved sooner with success.

Rarely is the take better using cells than with mated queens but using cells is certainly cheaper. We have done everything right and still at times end up with less than a 25% take using cells. Certainly something was not right but whatever the problem was it was not obvious to us.

hope the above helps!

Sincerely, Bob Harrison

OK. I've been away, but have had a chance to look at the videos that were recommended to me.

I don't know if the URLs were posted to BEE-L. If they were my search did not turn them up, so here they are.



They are long, low res and unedited -- apparently, so for those who are short of spare time, I recommend going to about 3/4ths to 7/8ths through the second one. That's where it gets good.

Priceless, actually.

And I thought I was being hard on Dee and the recent state of BEE-L...

Thought you would like these videos. The links were posted here a good while back by [a list member] to illustrate how great it all was. He sounds more like an enthralled amateur than anything else to me.  My telling moment came early in the Mendoza one, when Dee is counting whilst the commentary is fulsome in its praise.  You can clearly hear her in the back say '10 alive' and am not sure but think I heard 6 before and four new ones. But it's a great success. Apparently. And you better accept that. In the bit opposite the video on the original location we were sent to there is a tiny snippet of text that states this group to be 'typical' of the groups they saw.

Other things jumped out too.

4 boxes of brood??? Even if only HALF full that's still 140,000 cells of brood. divide by 21 days.........that's 6667 eggs a day!

120K bees in those hives? Nonsense, my estimate would be 45 to 60K, and that's in the big ones only.

Boxes of honey lifted by arms only and no body balancing adjustments? Even I lean away a bit to stop myself falling over and I am built like Godzilla's overweight twin.

And those bees!!!! Plumes of them around the face mask after the warm breath. Fine if you KNOW no-one will ever come nearby, but I shudder to think what might happen to any animal or person (horse riders especially) who inadvertently strayed into this scene. I hope her public liability insurance is both up to date AND the insurers aware of the risks.

That swarm. Was it a virgin? Did they know? How the heck will it mate with an excluder in the way? Why not just give it a bar of larvae to pin it and take it on to the next place? (We do that a lot) As for them having already found the queen and were flying in? Not what I saw. Where were the bees on the front with their nasonov organs in the air fanning like crazy? Only then do you know they are attracting the rest in.

Junk. Most of the gear is junk.......junk boxes......junk combs ..junk lying about. Sadly any bee inspector [in my area] coming across that lot would be apoplectic and wondering if he was going to need to burn the lot. Probably here they are TOO fussy but nonetheless it does not have anything like the aura of a successful commercial outfit.

I don't like the 'weak old woman' bit either. She may be of mature years but anything but weak, and in any case this should not be an issue introduced for sympathy or whatever as it completely irrelevant to the key question, 'Does it work?'

I am not posting this on the list as it would just be seen as provocation and a deliberate personal attack on the characters involved. However if that lot was mine I would call it a disaster, not quite the end as there is stock to breed back from, but would be looking at a couple of seasons build back time again.

Way way years back I christened this movement in its Arizona roots AHBDS, as it was in some way tied in to protecting the states ability to continue selling queens etc out of state. It got out of hand for whatever reason and that's where we are today. The last two words of the acronym are 'denial syndrome' btw.

Have fun. I for one am enjoying having you back and productive. Its a return to the real world away from the land of fluffy bunnies and navel contemplators we were suffering for ages. I have had e-mails from a few subscribers welcoming us both back and hoping all will get back to the way it was, to quote one guy, 'before the kooks moved in'.

I would add the smartasses to that too, dare say we could all name a couple of those.

My comments: 

Actually, the equipment is quite sound and free of any apparent disease.  I looked when I was there, and the yards are actually very tidy unless coatamundi or vandals have knocked things over.  I did not see combs or equipment strewn around.  Sure, empty boxes are kept on stands like hives, but they are clean and in reasonable condition.  Check out my pictures at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Lusby/default.htm for a better idea. The video is pretty bad.

Dee's frames are used and re-used and look old, but they are well-wired and sound.  Dee only uses foundation that falls short of the bottom bar, so most combs may have gaps at the bottom, which looks bad, but actually works well, and the combs are flat and even.

I have no doubt that Dee is a very good and knowledgeable beekeeper and runs a pretty good outfit.  It may be primitive by many standards, but it is clean and maintained.  My only issues are with some of her theories, her promotion of panaceas, and her claim to be a commercial beekeeper.  That latter claim is accepted by some, using criteria different than mine, but I hold that anyone who is not able to turn a profit in a reasonable time (a decade?) is not commercial, but rather a research project or a hobby.

I've received a lot of welcoming, thankful emails, too, and only one abusive one (predictably from a proven slow learner with an attitude), if I don't count one from my perpetual stalker which I deleted on seeing where it originated.

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

Well, I think I'm wasting my time on BEE-L.  I get hassled by the moderator for quoting essential material to which I am responding, then posts with long messy posts are accepted.  I try to be polite and direct, but, after a long discussion on politeness and civility, impudence is posted from non-involved individuals with attitude butting in.  In the recent case, the word, "untruth" was used, which equates in dictionary to, "lie".  What's the point of moderation when such tactlessness and outright rudeness can be expected, while reasonable words are cause for rejection?   I have spent infinite time discussing this with the list owner and we simply do not see eye to eye on what constitutes good manners and appropriate content. Never have.  I am not sure we even speak the same language.  Apparently not if, "untruth" is acceptable.

I have been getting surprising support in welcome-back emails from several of the higher quality contributors, one of whom has been holding the fort almost single-handedly.  Maybe I should canvas them to come to a new list?  At this point, I do not have list software that I like enough.  Some handles the mailing fine, but has a poor web presence.  Forums have good web feel, but do not mail well or accept email input, at least off the rack.  Maybe I need to take another look at LISTSERV.

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

As many know, back in 97/98, I had a list at one time which repeated the best from BEE-L since BEE-L was such a slough (same problems as today) but had some good material, and from sci.agriculture.beekeeping.

Best of Bee overtook BEE-L in circulation quite quickly, but I gave it up when I found it was overpowering my server. I may just start it up again.  I see nobody is posting in the Honey Bee World Forum, although at one time, before I closed it for a while, it was pretty active.  I think that is where I am going to hang out in future, and here.  I have been thinking of using RSS in the forum, since that makes access easier, or a mailing list mod.  I played with one, but it did not work out.  The problem is maintaining forum software can be a hassle, with constant upgrades required.

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

OK.  I set up a new list -- HoneyBeeWorld.  I am using Mailman again.  It is fine.  I was just hoping for a fancier looking web page to go with the list. Maybe I'll write one eventually.

To subscribe to the HoneyBeeWorld list, just fill out the form at this link or send email to HoneyBeeWorld-request@honeybeeworld.com, saying subscribe in the subject line.  Give it a try.  No Spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Hey!  It works.  I am now subscribed at three addresses, just to see how it works.  Now I need to make a post.

That's done too, now.  We're off to a start -- or not.  A list needs subscribers.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

One month until Christmas.

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882)

I actually don't know if I want to run a list again.  When I did Best Of Bee, it was work.

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

My son is a software developer, and in the dim and distant past, I wrote and maintained software. He is working on setting up a business, and I am wondering if I should get involved.

I recall having been offered a $90K/yr UNIX job back in the mid-90s and turning it down because I lived on the farm, ran a commercial bee operation and had kids in school, AND because I would have had to move to the Los Angeles area. 

Internet in those days was mostly dialup -- if you could find a connection at all.  I was connected through The Calgary Unix Users Group, sixty miles from home, but fortunately not long distance.  That was before even AOL came along, and Compuserve was the big thing, with their discussion boards being popular, as were USENET and CUUG's own forums.  BBSs, like Andy Nachbaur's were also reachable by telephone modem, but not via the Internet.I

Anyhow, here I am sitting less than an hour south of LA, in Laguna Beach, and it is quite nice here.  Jon and Sarah and the kids live here now.  Not that I would stay, but, with Internet, I can work from anywhere in the world.  We'll see.

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

I've received a few emails today about my decision to quit BEE-L again.  The BEE-L related messages incoming today, some were sad and worried, others were downright humorous, and one included quotes from **** in which he compared himself to Jesus and tried to correct perfect grammar, while making ad hominem attacks about things he does not understand. Actually, it would be funny if it were not so sad.  If I ever needed proof that my decision was the correct one...

I did get one post for moderation on my new list.  It was from a Spammer.  Of course it was not approved.

So far the response to the new list is underwhelming.

There is new traffic at the Honey Bee World Forum.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

Collapsed GazeboWe're having a storm, as I write (after midnight). The wind is blowing hard and and the rain is pouring.  That's what they say about California. It never rains, but when it does, it pours.

7:30 AM: The sun is shining this morning, but I see the gazebo was flattened by the storm.

We spent the day at Disneyland.

 Kids at Disneyland Jon & Kids at Disneyland

Thursday, November 27th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

Another night of rain, and a sunny bright Thanksgiving Day.

We're mostly visiting, but I continue to consider the BEE-L problem and work on solutions or alternatives.  For one thing, I have been reading up on netiquette.  I've spent time on this before, but I have been trying to figure out the Gordian Knot that is BEE-L.  BEE-L is supposed to be an advanced beekeeping list, or at least that was my understanding, yet relative newbies or one-trick ponies think they should be able to get on and bore everybody about things that some members learned decades ago, and about which some may have even written the book.

Netiquette is like Roberts Rules in that it is a set of rules designed to make public and private meetings productive.  An understanding of the philosophy of both is very helpful for dealing with the inevitable abuses that arise in any public forum.

A discussion group, if it is to be more than a wrestling and mud-slinging match much of the time, or be bogged down in endless repetitions of basics, needs some firm management to ensure that everyone is heard and that unscrupulous, clueless, inconsiderate, or impatient parties do not dominate or sabotage the conversation.  Also, the regulars should not have to repeat everything over and over or put up with watching others fall into that trap and drift away since the list becomes largely a waste of time for the advanced beekeeper.

We've all been to meetings which are well managed by a firm, but fair chair, and others where the moderation has been wishy-washy and overly tolerant of abuses and frequent irrelevant interruptions.  I spoke earlier about my concerns about over the chairing of discussions at the Alberta Beekeepers meeting recently, where there was some reluctance to allow full discussion, and procedural points were overused IMO.  BEE-L is the opposite case.

A good example happened today. Seeing as I wrote to the owner with my observations and said it best in that note, here it is:
My initial comment: (edited):

Reading BEE-L today, it looks so perfect (with the exception of Dee's redundant and irrelevant interruption and her bit about mites in Oz) that one would almost think that there is no need for alternate lists. If BEE-L were always this well behaved (or well-pruned -- I can't tell from here) there would not be need for new venues, and more of the respected, scrupulous people would dare to post. Who knows how many might surface, given a little support and protection?

Running a list is a bit like gardening. You have to do some weeding or the flowers get choked out. Dee's post with irrelevant and deceptive citations has to top the the list of obvious weeds that are growing in the garden today.

USDA people monitor BEE-L but I suspect they are not permitted to to participate ever since a particular list member went on his 'bull in a china shop' rampages, making wild accusations and misquoting scientists on sensitive topics -- unchecked -- on BEE-L years back .  I saw it happening, but was unable to stop him.  The episode, although it went unmentioned publicly, put ARS in defence mode and reduced transparency and freedom of scientists to engage in public discussions like BEE-L. (I documented this privately, but will not here - ed.)

From where I sit, it looks as if the good guys have taken heart lately and are working to contribute and keep the list working well.  Don't let the side of truth and enlightenment fail in this attempt to retake the list.  They need support from good moderation.

The reply came saying that Steve Noble's post was "a gem" and would never have come about if Dee had not posted her (standard reply to absolutely any topic) message.

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. -- Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988), Time Enough For Love

My response is that the reply was great, but nothing that all of us have not tried to explain to Dee over and over, to no avail, and that the list keeps getting dragged down and dragged back and distracted by such interruptions to the train of thought.

Actually IMO Steve became an unwitting accomplice in an abuse of the list -- a hijacking, while trying to do the moderators' job -- curbing BS.

I know Dee well enough to see that she has been deliberately disrupting  BEE-L for a long, long time with interruptions, semi-coherent mumblings, distractions, bad citations and evasions because she has an agenda.  BEE-L is the antithesis of all she stands for, since BEE-L is based on science, questioning, diversity, integrated pest management, rejection of panaceas, and rejection of dogma and of would-be gurus.  Yet she insists on hassling BEE-L, even though she has her own list with a huge compliment of worshipful adherents and no need to waste our time.  The discussions and opinions that are welcome on BEE-L don't stand a chance on her list, according to reports.  What say, Dee?

Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them. -- Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)

It is IMO a moderator's duty to prevent thread hijacking and irrelevant interruptions and to keep the signal-to-noise ratio high. 

  • At a public meeting, with reasonable exceptions, each person gets to speak once on each topic except when bearing new information, or at the discretion of the chair.

  • In a conversation, such as the one Dee interrupted, a specific person addressed another specific person in regard to a specific matter, and we should have expected the second to respond, on topic, not to have the matter hijacked by a repetitious bit of patent, meaningless, vague propaganda. If another joined in on topic and was contributing to what was being discussed, that would be one thing, but interrupting and changing the topic to a pet theory is another.

  • On a list, constant interruptions lower the tone and cause people who value their time to leave or quit reading the list.

To subscribe to the HoneyBeeWorld list, just fill out the form at this link or send email to HoneyBeeWorld-request@honeybeeworld.com, saying subscribe in the subject line. 
Give it a try.  No Spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

I am told to just delete or kill-file offensive posters.  Well,  that is fine, except that it seems to me that the moderators' job is to read everything and pass on only material that is actually valid and useful to the readers.  That is what I did when I moderated, but sometimes other moderators permitted posts which I found off-topic, badly composed, abusive, or merely untruthful.

The reason for having moderation rather than having readers do their own weeding -- besides the 1000X duplication of effort -- is that even if we individually kill-file or delete some posters, other, worthwhile posters insist on replying to those writers, often to try to wrestle them to the ground  -- negating the purpose of such filters.  Besides the list focus shifts quickly to the lowest common denominator and the discussions become a waste of time.

The moderators should be the filters.  Besides, it is impossible to expect that any one person who deserves filtering today will never have a worthwhile post.  There are several I've read that make this seem idea plausible, but some I thought were beyond hope have proven, in time, to write thoughtful contributions.  Also filters tend to be unreliable and can sometimes block totally unintended -- and potentially important -- material.

It seems to me to be a huge duplication and waste of effort to have moderators read everything and not eliminate the noise and chaff from the output.  A list should be run, not to stoke the egos of those on the input end, but to serve the sensibilities of those reading the output. Scraps and unusable bits should go into the trash bin, not into the product.  Besides, when the standards of acceptance are enforced and even raised, those wishing to make the list will make the effort, and most can succeed -- if they try.

At one time, Best of Bee only carried the best material from BEE-L and that is what over 700 people read.  Those who wished to post replies had to send them to BEE-L.  I don't know how many actually read the raw output from BEE-L, but BEE-L had about the same number of subscribers as Best of Bee, so I bet most were set to NOMAIL and just subscribed to be able to post, or occasionally read the input to see what was filtered.

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

We had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and walked on the beach.


Friday, November 28th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

I woke up this morning to find this in my inbox:

Dear Subscribers,

As Moderator and list owner I have been taking excessive flack lately from all sides regarding the care and feeding of BEE-L.

BEE-L cannot be all things to all people, nothing can. This is a repeat conversation, it is a perennial topic in the archives. Each time things come to a head I remind everyone that although I would like to accommodate everyone, it comes down to as I already stated, BEE-L cannot be all things to all people, so when push comes to shove I have to insist that BEE-L follow the owner's perception of what BEE-L should be. My ideals for BEE-L are posted at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/bee-l/default.htm  where among other things readers will find the guidelines for posting at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/bee-l/guidelines.htm  which have been suggested reading for as long as I can remember.

More important to this posting is the page that outlines misconceptions about what BEE-L is and what BEE-L is not. "Dispelling Common Misconceptions About BEE-L" can be found at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/bee-l/misconceptions.htm  and I urge all subscribers to go there and read it.

I will open up BEE-L for the remainder of the weekend for any and all comments. I will weigh all input, although I've considered for years what I want BEE-L to be and I'll state right now that I doubt I will be impacted much by objections that may be raised this weekend. There have been discussions over the years, lists have splintered off in protest, and today there are more lists than I have the time to monitor, and I understand soon there will be another one. So be it. As of midnight Sunday night, Monday morning I will begin to moderate BEE-L as described at honeybeeworld.com. Thereafter, any objections regarding the job I do will be unwelcome in my mailbox. If this is not to the liking of subscribers, there are other lists wher you can participate and other list owners who you can abuse.

I apologize for the tone of this post and offer in advance my apologies to BEE-L fans, be they active contributors or silent contributors.

Sincerely, Aaron Morris

* * Search the BEE-L archives at: * *
* *******************************************************

Well, I have to admit that I have been leaning pretty hard on my friend, and have been feeling pretty bad about it.  I know it has been straining our friendship. The problem is that he is too nice a guy and has trouble not seeing everyone's point of view.  People take advantage of that and he is flooded by complaints by the abusers who are not getting their way.  I have been a major PITA lately, so I hope I don't fall in this class.  My excuse is that I was here a long time, was a moderator a long time, wrote and host the BEE-L FAQ pages, and would like to see the ideals there enforced. Lame excuse? Worth sacrificing a friendship over?  Dunno. Hope that is not the result.  I've been feely grumpy lately and am not in the mood to take any prisoners.

When I was at Disneyland, I saw lots of new-looking sweatshirts with "Grumpy" on them in big letters. (After one of the Seven Dwarfs). I wondered why I didn't see any saying, "Dopey".

At the same time as many new and fresh faces have shown up on BEE-L, many of the sorts of people most useful to lists like this, and for which BEE-L was originally formed -- researchers, extension people, and the like -- usually do not make a fuss, but tend to simply go away and find quieter places with more informed, discreet and polite company, when faced with the type of things that happen in many public forums. There are exceptions and and people like Peter fight valiantly to raise the content level and keep discussions factual.

Edmund Burke said, "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing".  We are not talking evil here, but we are talking ignorance, and they are closely related.  Beekeeping has always been a magnet for snake-oil people, and quite a bit of the older literature is pretty shaky.  With faith-based beekeeping, using selected and interpreted old material as gospel, and superstitions like "Housel positioning", we are looking at the antithesis of science and diversity, and an attempt to draw us all into a new beekeeping dark ages.  IMO, anyhow.

Those professionals who leave ultimately tend to congregate in private spaces where participation may be by invitation only (often after recommendation by a respected member) and where the rules are clear.  Offenders are warned once if the transgression is minor or simply banned for any major breach.  Or they may congregate on lists maintained by professional societies to which they belong.  Many or some may monitor BEE-L and the articles on BEE-L -- typically the best, the novel, and the most atrocious -- are widely forwarded on those lists, so we know researchers and extension people read at least some of BEE-L, but many are forbidden by their employers, or by their own sense of self-preservation, to post on BEE-L due to indiscreet attacks on those that innocently stuck their necks out in the past, and on other researchers -- based on unfounded rumour and misreading of facts.

For the record, I saw that happening and did my best to stop it, but was powerless, since moderation is a parallel process on BEE-L and any one moderator can OK any given post, even if deleted by another. Interestingly, we have had a discussion on BEE-L recently about something similar on Wikipedia, where the worst is driving out the best.  In the Wikipedia case, allegedly, and somewhat unbelievably, one person who has no hands-on knowledge is declaring himslf to be the expert and deleting material from the very people who are actively researching CCD..

For the record, I am not, and have not been a moderator on BEE-L for some time.

We will see how the owner decides.  I will stay out of it, other than writing my comments here.  If he does decide to rule with an iron hand, then I will consider contributing again.  As for my list, I can set up several, or convert the current one to a "BEE-L backchannel" where all the gripes and rejected posts can be directed.  It would be sort of like alt.flame, I think.  Sort of a Hell that it is fun to look in on one or twice, but a place you would not really want to spend time in, unless pain was your fetish. I can already predict several who would be regulars there.

alt.flame is a classic group on USENET.  Or how about alt.pave.the.earth? I see sci.agriculture.beekeeping is still running strong, and I saw a post by Adam Finkelstein! (the founder of s.a.b), but not a lot of traffic.  If anyone has a really good free public USENET server, please let me know.  Some servers have limited feed on less popular groups.

I can also just drop my list entirely, if BEE-L actually does decide to raise the bar, unless there turns out to be a group who want a private offshoot of BEE-L for undisturbed special discussion, like the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) meetings.  I set up a list for queen breeders after the last Niagara Falls joint meeting in 2002, but it never got any significant traffic.

Enough about BEE-L.  I have been a little obsessive about the matter, but that is how I am.  When I decide to do something, I do it.

Now I'm done, I hope, and I'm off for a walk on the beach and time in the park with the kids.

It is Black Friday, but I am not into that.

   *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

This has been a long segment in the diary, and I congratulate anybody who has made it this far.  I write to clarify my own thoughts and feelings, but am assured that others read and enjoy these pages.  I never tire of hearing about readers and their opinions, so please drop me a line with your comments, or to debate and point out the error of my ways.

To subscribe to the HoneyBeeWorld list, just fill out the form at this link or send email to HoneyBeeWorld-request@honeybeeworld.com, saying subscribe in the subject line.  Give it a try.  No Spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.  Also try the Honey Bee World Forum




Saturday, November 29th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

What difference a day makes.  BEE-L rocks since Aaron lowered the boom... and raised the bar.  There have been many good posts.  The quotes could be trimmed a bit better, but the content has improved -- vastly, and the preponderance of members coming out of the woodwork are calling for continued and tighter moderation.  Others, including some offenders, are silent.

I was totally delighted with the following post:  It's in Spanish, with Babelfish translation (enhanced by my corrections) to the right. Juanse says it all, and gets first prize, although others come very close. (The translation is a work in progress, and has not yet been approved by Juanse).

So far, I give it First Prize.  Gavin gets a close second.  (Further down below)

The original from Juanse


En vista que ahora podemos escribir libremente, lo haré en español para mejor expresarme en mi lengua materna. Escribir en ingles es un gran esfuerzo.

Antes de comenzar a escribir en Bee-l me tome casi dos años para leerme todos y cada uno de los correos históricos a través del acceso en honeybeeworld.com.

Para mi aprendizaje como apicultor la lectura de esos mensajes fue de muchisima utilidad, por no decir de vital importancia. Luego comence timidamente a escribir, al comienzo con preguntas de principiante, hoy escribo con lo que considero son aportes desde esta humilde trinchera en el sur de Chile.

Lo más importante es que encontré amigos. Pude viajar a Australia gracias a que conoci a través de la Bee-l a Peter Detchon. He tenido el privilegio de contar con la valiosa ayuda de Randy Oliver, a quien hace años atrás le hice ver la importancia de la nosemosis, a quién gratamente he servido de traductor con los investigadores españoles y que con creces a demostrado lo que vale, como persona, como cientifico y como renacentista. He descubierto a Peter Borst, quién trabajo en Chile hace años y me ha ayudado mucho con sus vínculos bibliotecarios. He gozado los aportes de Allen Dick (con su sugestivo apellido) y su formidable honeybeeworld. Porque no mencionar a Trevor Weatherhead y sus consejos en la cria de reinas y los intercambios con Irwin Harlton respecto del precio de la miel. Son muchos a los que no menciono. En fin, a través de la bee-l me siento cerca del conocimiento de punta y de la experiencia de muchos años de otros colegas en otras latitudes. Gracias Aaron, gracias Bee-L, gracias a todos y cada uno de los que escriben y aportan.

Como decimos en Chile: Aaron no te mueras nunca!! Bee-L no te mueras nunca!!

Entiendo Aaron, que estes agotado con muchos de nosotros cuando la conversación se centra en las declaraciones insidiosas de Jim o en el agote de las celdas pequeñas de Dee o en el sabelotodo Bob. Más te entiendo cuando muchos nos enfrascamos contra ellos.

Lo que no quiero ni imaginar es la cantidad de mails que no vemos, las conversaciones que moderas y tratas de corregir para que cumplan las pautas de la lista. Por experiencia personal he recibido un par de mail de vuelta, desde tu lado, porque no cumplia la bee-l-tiquete, comentarios que realmente aprecie por su respeto y precisión, también porque me ayudaron a perfeccionar mi ingles.

Por favor, no dejes de moderar, no dejes a la bee-l, no nos dejes a nosotros, los fieles seguidores de esta fuente de información.

A los que inchan las pelotas, por favor pongánse en el lugar de Aaron y en el de todos los que leemos la lista y no estamos ni ahí con sus precarios aportes.

Si alguna vez vienes a Chile Aaron, no dudes en contactarme. Mi casa es tu casa.

Con aprecio y apoyo desde Chile, te deseo que descanses de nosotros este fin de semana y vuelvas recargado este lunes.

-- Juanse Barros J. APIZUR S.A. Carrera 695 Gorbea - CHILE +56-45-271693 08-3613310 http://apiaraucania.blogspot.com

The translation


In view that now we can write freely I will write in Spanish better to express myself -- in my maternal language.

To write in English is a great effort. Before beginning to write on Bee-l it took almost two years for me to read each and every one of the historical archives through access via  honeybeeworld.com. [link to the the U at A server - ed.]

For my learning as beekeeper, the reading of those messages was of great usefulness, even vitally important. Soon I began timidly to write, at the start with beginning questions; today I write what I consider to be contributions from this humble valley in the south of Chile.

Most important it is than I found friends. I could travel to Australia thanks to the fact that I know Peter Detchon through Bee-l. I have had the privilege to report on the valuable aid of Randy Oliver: that years ago back I made him see the importance of the nosemosis, and for whom pleasingly I have served as translator with the Spanish investigators and who fully to demonstrated what it costs, like person, scientist and Renaissance Man.  I am beholden to Peter Borst, who worked in Chile for years and has been helping greatly  with his librarian connections. I have enjoyed the contributions of Allen Dick (with his suggestive last name) and his formidable honeybeeworld. I should also mention Trevor Weatherhead and his advice in the rearing of queens and the interchanges with Irwin Harlton with respect to the price of the honey. There are many I do not mention.  In short, through bee-l I feel near the knowledge of end and the experience of many years of other colleagues in other latitudes. Aaron thanks, Bee-L thanks, thanks to those who write and contribute.

Like decimos (a coin?) in Chile: Aaron you never die! Bee-L you never die!

I understand Aaron, that you are tired, as are many of us when conversation concentrates in the insidious declarations of Jim or in the tiring small cell talk from Dee or in sabelotodo (know-it-all) Bob. I understand [your weariness] when many of us were involved against them.

What I do not want to imagine is the amount of mails that we do not see, and the conversations that you moderate and try to correct so that they fulfill you rule of the list. By personal experience I have received several emails returned from your side, because they did not comply with bee-l-tiquete -- commentaries that I really appreciate by their respect and precision, and also because helped a me to perfect my English.

Please, you do not stop moderating, do not leave bee-l, and do not leave us, the faithful following of this source of intelligence.

To that have the balls, please put [yourself] in the place of Aaron and the one of which we read the list and we are not there with its precarious contributions.

If sometime you come to Chile, Aaron, you do not doubt in contacting to me. My house is your house.

With esteem and support from Chile, I wish you that you rest away from us this weekend and you return recharged on Monday

-- Juanse Mud J. APIZUR S.A. Race 695 Gorbea - CHILE +56-45-271693 08-3613310 http://apiaraucania.blogspot.com


Thanks for taking the trouble render Juanse's thoughtful letter into English. Those automatic translations are sometimes worse than none at all, since they miss quaint little expressions such as

> To those whose balls are swollen, please put yourself in Aaron's place and that of us, who read the list and are not with you and your dubious contributions.

Also, "Peter Borst, who worked in Chile for years" is wrong; it was years ago, but only for six months. But long enough to fall in love with one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. If you like California, you'll love Chile!

I would render his final sentence as

> With appreciation and support from Chile, I wish you a break from us this weekend and hope you return recharged this Monday.

* * *

Y a ti, Juanse, que tenga una buena primavera mientras estamos congelandonos los culos.

Tu amigo, Pedro

Looks to me to be a strong vote to raise the bar.  I hope, probably in vain, that we will some day have a forum so respectable and so well managed that more of the scientists who now only lurk will have the courage to post again without fear of being made a target or wading through, rude, ignorant remarks and attacks on "The Establishment".

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby (1937 - )

Of course, I have to applaud those few scientists and extension people who currently post for their bravery and commitment. I notice that they are either independent operators, or working for non-US Federal or State government employers. At one time, we had a good deal of involvement from the scientific crowd, but over time, they have drifted away.  If we write them, they contribute material we can post, but seldom if ever is there any direct posting from that direction anymore.  Sometimes, I get emails from some them when they come across something I wrote on BEE-L that is of interest to them, and I gather that either they were lurking, or that something was forwarded.

OK...  Time out.  I have to tell you what great bunch the USDA people are.  They are not stuffed shirts,  Sure, they went to school far longer than most of us cared to, or could manage to afford, BUT, they are educated, smart, caring, and just like you and me, and they get just as much dirt under their fingernails.

People are known by the company they keep, and for those who make a career of science at institutions, been seen too often or seeming too comfortable in the company of indiscreet, abusive and/or deluded people can limit one's future job prospects.  All the scientists I know tend to be very discreet in public, and if they let their hair down and speculate or hypothesize a bit in private, which they do, they really do not want to be quoted as if these thoughts were their actual opinions or, even worse, those of their employers.

Some BEE-L members are very literal-minded and cannot tell the difference between hypothecation and opinion, and we have had some uncomfortable moments on the list.

Also some matters are quite subtle, and require understanding of technical terms. The uneducated can get the wrong idea and put innocent researchers into hot water, by mis-interpreting words that have precise scientific meaning.

067687 Re: Imitating Without Understanding
067688 Re: Imitating Without Understanding

Most of the posts are pretty good, and some have learned to use their email software and quote properly, using the standard method.  Dee has not, and probably never will. There are a few others who do similarly, and it makes it hard to tell who is saying what.  She stills writes gobbledegook as if it meant something, and sometimes it appears to, a bit anyhow, but at other times, I wonder...  She has some good ideas, but I think most of us have heard them both too many times.  I am hoping that when moderation raises the bar, she will be the first to get a tune-up.  She can write good English when she wants to.

Another point that is seldom considered is that in some forums topics are banned temporarily or permanently if they become disruptive or deflect the intent of the forum.  That has seldom been done on BEE-L, but I think it is high time that small cell, "wholebee" and some other nebulous topics are truncated for the sake of the list.

Here is Gavin's:

Bee-L just got its juju back. We're back to Informed posts and to posts that firmly, directly, accurately and politely challenge the challenge-worthy without long-winded confusion, point-scoring and diatribes.

Aaron: many many thanks for that. Bee-L is import to us. It needs a strong custodian with that strong view of what the list should be and what the list needs. Be firm, trust in your own judgement, we're with you!

You said somewhere that 95% of posts are approved. For me, that is too high. People should see that only the highest quality posts get through. We should *expect* that many of our posts are rejected, failing to make the grade. In some ways, it is like publishing in a scientific journal - you don't expect the editor to think every contribution worthwhile. You have to be saying something interesting, justifiable, appropriate, well-presented, relevant, polite and reasonably novel. If you fail, you try harder next time.

It saddens me that you are getting grief behind the scenes. Whoever they are, they've got it wrong. The referee is always right even if his interpretation of the rules at one particular infringement is debateable. In the sports I watch, arguing with the referee gets you a yellow card. Persist with it and you get a red and are removed from the field of play, sometimes for weeks. You might try that if you like.

And as for talk of splinter-lists - great! Bee-L is and always will be the most respected in cyberland. If a few individuals (and I've no idea who you are talking about) decide to go off in the huff, great! Bee-L will probably be better without them.

best wishes



Sunday, November 30th, 2008
Novembers past: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999
Honey Bee World Forum

Ooops. Aaron said he turned off NOREVIEW.

Now you know what I REALLY think.

As if you didn't already. <grins>

Excessive quotes to follow:
> Excuse me. Did I *actually* see this in BEE-L?
>> Peter,
>> You are so funny, that you cannot see alignment size wise with real world
>> and man's/your artificial folly, but then that is what gives you job
>> security temporarily as a bee inspector for those great LC bees that
>> choak seem so CCD healthy!!!!.
> I NEED a new drug.

Well, I posted on BEE-L.  Accidentally.  Aaron and I were chatting and I somehow understood him to say that he was putting the list back on moderation and going to bed. 

I guess he didn't.  Anyhow, a bit later, I noticed a particularly gratuitous post (personal, sly, bad grammar and spelling -- sounding stoned?) and I replied to the list address, assuming Aaron would get it and not pass it on. 

I guess that moderation was NOT on, and my comment went to the list, so I sent an explanation (right).

Then, this morning I looked over the chat, and could not see where I got the idea that the list was back on REVIEW.  Oh well.

So then I decided that I might as well post a bit, so I posted the translation of Juanse's message. 

Here is another good comment on raising the bar.  I especially agree with the need for some judicious quoting.  The reason for limiting quotes is not storage, but rather the problem that excessive quotes cause when searching the archives.

067701 Re: Raising the bar
067703 Re: Imitating Without Understanding
067707 Re: Raising the bar
067709 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067710 Re: Nosema Ceranae in US...dead bees in feeder
067713 Re: Nosema Ceranae in US...dead bees in feeder
067715 Re: neonicotinoids (was Leadership )
067721 Re: Nosema Ceranae in US...dead bees in feeder
067729 Re: News from Nebraska
067741 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067743 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
067745 Re: A Sustainable Commercial Model?
Hmmm.  I'm writing this in SharePoint Designer inside a virtual machine running on my laptop.  I usually use FrontPage, and have since the first GUI HTML writers came out.  I can hand code, but why do it?
Good evening, Aaron -

Add mine to the many voices expressing support for the work you do and for the benefits of moderation on the BEE-L list. I'm sorry that you're taking flak. You do not deserve it.

I have to admit, though, that I'm a bit surprised to hear that you're getting abuse. As a reader, it's not apparent who is upset with you or why. Not knowing what kinds of posts are getting rejected, I don't know that the rest of us can really offer useful opinions about what should be changed. Can you give us a synopsis of the nature of the complaints that you received?

Mike Rossander

Having said all that, if I had one wish for a change to BEE-L, it would only be to ask you to check again with the system administrators to see if they still care about the rule against "excessive" quotes. With the dramatic reductions in the cost of electronic memory and the improved archiving techniques, most companies I work with have abandoned their "size control" rules. The costs to usability are no longer justified by the systems savings. I have to think that the folks at Albany are seeing the same trends.
As I think I've said before, the problem for me is that some participants at BEE-L feel that they must comply with the rule so strictly that
they slash out _all_ the context, making their reply very difficult for the rest of us to
understand and to place back into the proper order. Since some people respond to posts made days ago, saving the messages or even using the web feed is not a guaranteed solution.
That's really a nit, though. I wish the rule about quotes were a little looser. I can't think of anything else to ask for and definitely do not want you to loosen the guidelines about civility, relevance, staying fact-based, etc. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to offer our opinions about the functioning of the list itself.

By the way, are you the only moderator? The "What is BEE-L" page implies that there are multiple moderators but you seem to be the only one we ever hear from. Are the guidelines out of date? Would it take some of the stress off you if the list had several moderators?

Thanks again.


 Hmmm.  I'm writing this in SharePoint Designer inside a virtual machine running on my laptop.  I usually use FrontPage, and have since the first GUI HTML writers came out.  I can hand code, but why do it?

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