Thank you guys for the support.
And while I know I have earned a bit of criticism by my own mannerisms, I do want others to know I do certain things for reasons. And anyone who knows me, knows marketing for sales is not one of them. I could post on 5 other forums anytime if I wanted business. Yet this is the only forum by choice I belong too.
As for my website or other perceived agendas, yes I was a state inspector. And I have been very critical of the commercial industry, in regards to chemicals and other dirty secrets. And because I have been outspoken, I have had letter writing campaigns against me, had a commercial beekeeper who happens to be on the state bee association nomination committee try to overthrow my post and refused to renominate me, as well as a host of other crap.
I started NSQBA, because I truly believe micro-breeders can be a growing benefit to the bee industry.
I started National Honey Bee Day, since I believe hobbyist beekeepers should have a stronger voice and I wanted an event not guided by commercial influence or larger national organizations that do not promote local beekeeping, local honey, or local agriculture.
I started the Pennsylvania Backyard Beekeeper Association when it became apparent there was a need for a statewide bee association catering to hobbyist beekeepers.
While I am a larger than a "hobbyist" operation, I do not move my bees across state lines. So I am not really a commercial migratory beekeeper. I favor a non-chemical approach and have been at adds with commercial guys for years.
Yes, 99% of my customers are hobbyists, and catering to this group is a benefit. Nothing to hide there.
You want to debate a difference in beekeeping philosophy, I'm all game. But please do not suggest I step on toes and make enemies on the scale I do by my writings, for the sole benefit of making a sale. That is laughable.
One of the reasons I started PennApic was after talking with several beekeepers from Indiana, and the split they had years ago in their state association. Commercial guys dominated and controlled everything and the needs of the hobbyists were not being met. So now Indiana has the "Indiana State Beekeeping Association" and the "Indiana Beekeeping Association". Funny thing is, most agree this was the best thing to have happened. Both associations now try to "one up" the other, by providing great programs and provide increased support. And for the beekeepers in the middle, they are the ones that benefit.
a funny thing happened when I first announced the start of NSQBA. Two rather well known people called me and asked by who's authority did I start the association. I said "huh?'. They asked if I had been advised or gotten approval from this person or that person. They stated "who was I" to start a queen association without approval from a few mentioned "academia" type bee people.
It's this kind of elitist attitude I despise.
So yes, if your asking who I consider myself connected too.....it is the hobbyist beekeeper. And my articles hold nothing back when it comes to being critical of the other groups.
I have spend thousands, working towards grassroots associations that cater to hobbyists. They are the ones that are my customers, contacts, and friends. And I would never have it any other way. As I said on my website, they are the industry in my eyes.
I hope by mentioning some of my own story and past, others will be motivated to make changes in their own world of influence. You don't need anyone's approval. You just need to stand up and do it.