The domain Beesource.com was purchased in 1999 by Barry Birkey, after his brother Randy had purchased and built a website at Birkey.com in 1996. The two brothers collaborated on the first Beesource Beekeeping site using an HTML editor called Adobe PageMill, along with graphics created in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The brothers have also been avid Apple Macintosh users since 1987.
Barry incorporated into the Beesource Beekeeping site much of the information he was gaining from other newsgroups and listserv groups he had joined, along with his own beekeeping experiences and networking with other beekeepers. A natural networker and easy-going by nature, Barry has been able to build long-term relationships with beekeepers all over the United States and around the world.
The Beesource Beekeeping site was originally based on a “discussion board” engine called UBB (the Ultimate Bulletin Board) using cgi scripting, and flat text files on the web server. In 2007, this older technology was replaced with vBulletin which uses current open source PHP and mySQL technology. Brother Randy and his Chicago web design firm, Headstand Media handled the conversion from the old to the new as well as the web hosting environment change from Windows to Linux.
Even with the healthy growing site traffic and membership over the years, Barry has still been able to keep the site “FREE” for anyone. A few years ago, at the insistence of Beesource Beekeeping members, Barry began accepting “donations” to help defray the costs of providing this state-of-the-art online beekeeping community. In 2008, Beesource also added Google Adsense advertising and forum sponsorships to help generate revenue for further beekeeping site development and maintenance.
Also added in 2009 is a popular open source content management system called WordPress that allows for greater flexibility and updating of site content.