Even back in Mr Woodley’s day, when men and women were God-fearing, there were individuals who would exploit trusting and honest people. So bee-ware!
I, too, have had requests to forward parcels of honey to persons of whom I had no previous knowledge, but when the request for cash before delivery is sent I have not heard anything further from them. Some two or three years ago I was foolish enough to send a parcel to a lady (?) with a West End address, who used the best embossed writing-paper and initialed envelope, but whose signature was Mrs. Islip, which I found to be genuine, for the party developed into a real I-slip. The best method of dealing with this class of customer is to insist on cash before goods are sent out, or else have a banker’s reference. Next to this is the “deposit system” as managed by the B.B. Journal. [NBTW 4 JANUARY 1900]
I notice some of our friends are still able to realise a good price for their honey. Regarding low prices, “White Clover” says…”bee-keepers have the remedy in their own hands”, that he disposes of his surplus locally at good prices. This may be possible in some places, but I can assure him that in a district where nearly all the population are agricultural labourers interspersed with a few “agents” or bailiffs he would have great difficulty in selling, and if his price was more than 6d. per lb. he would not sell half-a-dozen pounds to the labourers during the whole year. Then if you sell at 6d. to the labouring man, the village gossip tattles about the price when she goes washing or charing, and her employers’ wives (who are keen on bargain hunting) therefore want some of the 6d. honey when the honey-jar is empty. They think, perhaps, they “will like it as well as the 7d. or 8d. supplied last time”. This is how things work out here. Now our friends who are located in these “live and let live” districts would be doing themselves and their less fortunate brethren in the craft a service if they would still keep the trade going, and, after selling out their own honey, take some from their less fortunately situated brothers. They could do this with profit to themselves, while helping others in more ways than one. [NBTW 24 MAY 1900]