Results 1 to 20 of 21

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    91

    Default What do you like the MOST about your beekeeping org?

    Other than the social aspects, what do you like the most about your local beekeeping organization? We are in the process of starting up a new association in our area and, while we have a list of potential benefits to members, we are, of course, biased by our own interests and would like some suggestions from other beekeepers as to how the group can best serve it's members.

    I guess, conversely, it would be useful to also know what you do NOT like about your association- maybe we can avoid the same mistakes, lol.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Elizabeth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    #1...Acceptance and assistance concerning new members. In ours you will feel like you have been there forever, the first visit.

    #2...Education is priority. We have a speaker every month. Whether it be a queen breeder, allergy doctor, college research professor, ETC., or one of our members, we always have someone giving a presentation on something concerning bees and beekeeping.

    #3...Having the older beeks willing to be contacted for help between meetings. I have never heard of one of our senior members turning down a request for help or info from a newbie.

    #5...New info being brought up be any member reading, seeing, or hearing of new information, and the welcoming of such info.

    #6...Camaraderie...I have never met a group as friendly as our club. I have never witnessed or heard of a short answer or other snide remark from any member. They are just a great group of people.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    EKW,

    I belong to two county clubs. Let me give you my take on each.

    Club #1,

    They are very active. So active with a week long state farm show, agriculture events, short courses, Keystone livestock expo, county days, 4-H programs, and so on. And while I think clubs should promote, and be active in the community, this club meetings borders on "recruitment hours" as they are always looking for a volunteer for this, and a volunteer for that. For the retired guy that can take time off almost every month to some extent, its no big deal. But for the members who just want some fellowship with beekeepers, its quite a schedule of events that makes you feel like your not doing your part.

    Club #2,
    Is 12 or 14 guys who somehow feel that geting out of the house one night a month is the primary reason to belong to the club. Of these 12 guys, 8 are old-timers, with a few dozing off by the time the meetings end.
    I could go on and on, detailing whats wrong with each. Both clubs to me are missing the boat so to speak.

    If I was to belong to a bike club, I would expect to occassionally ride. If I belonged to a horse club, I would expect to occassionally see a horse. For the many years, in both bee clubs....Want to guess how many beehives I've seen of another beekeeper in conjuction with a meeting or meeting event? ZERO!


    Two things that keeps membership low is the monthly meetings, or lack of. Due to a schedule of events, meetings are not scheduled this month, or that month. And so, sometimes several months go by between meetings. I feel a regular meeting every month would be more helpful for the casual member. Half the times, I can't even remember when the next meeting is.

    Next weekend is my annual picnic. I'll be conducting a paper survey to see what the interest may be for a backyard beekeeping club. No bylaws, no dues, and the like. Just an email list of beekeepers who may want to get together a few times throughout the year to visit someone's apairy, eat some snacks, and have a good time.

    I think there are beekeepers who just want to talk bees, and see what others are doing.

    I know you wanted what I like "MOST". Sorry. But maybe this will help in knowing what not to do..
    Last edited by BjornBee; 07-22-2007 at 04:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Bangor, Maine
    Posts
    35

    Default

    We (my girlfriend and I) joined a small club covering two counties here in Maine and the best things are:

    - we meet every month
    - usually have speakers with interesting info
    - everyone is interested and shares
    - old-timers and newbies alike are willing to discuss anything and help each other out, and not just on meeting night
    - the chapter is part of a larger state-wide club

    We have a 3-ring binder that was put together with tons of good info for any age or exprience level beekeeper, and add to it as we find more info. We are putting together a bee school program for next year, and we're putting together some club products to sell at local stores and fairs.

  5. #5

    Default

    ...........
    Last edited by Carolina-Family-Farm; 07-22-2007 at 08:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Willington, CT USA
    Posts
    414

    Smile

    All that Iddee said and then some. Our club makes it educational and fun. The people are as nice as you could ask for.

    Our club also keeps a few hives. Every month we do something relevant i.e. April we show how to set up the hive and introduce a package of bees.

    Today we did did honey extraction (at the hobbyist level).

    Next we are prepping for our display at the county fair. All members can volunteer and sell their bee/honey products. Packaging and pricing guidelines are established in order to make it educational for the public and fair for everyone in the club (large and small producers).

    In the fall we do mite treatments and prep colonies for winter.

    In Feb our club teaches a 4 night course on bee keeping - open to the public $25 (cost includes 1 year membership in the club). We actually assemble a hive top to bottom and can order bees for the spring.

    Most of all the experienced people listen and answer questions for the new people. I have learned so much from our bee club meetings. I really look forward to going and cant wait for the next.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Default

    Bee meetings are fun and informative. Since no one has talked about a negative I shall. I only have one negative about the bee meetings--beekeepers like to talk too much at times (me included) --seems like the hard of hearing beekeepers sit in the back and then yell that they can't hear!
    While a meeting is in session someone is at the periphery or in a hallway telling a story about a swarm catch or a good joke--very distracting to say the least.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    I think you need some structure to the meetings. At ours there used to be a half dozen people with their own conversations going which was distracting to people trying to discuss one topic as a club. Now many members get there a half hr or so early to shoot the bull. We have part of the meeting scheduled for a specific thing whether it be a speaker, a video or demonstration about a particular pc of equipment, some time after to discuss that specific topic, and a break for coffee and snacks. As long as the person running the meeting keeps the focus it works out fine. When the meeting is officially "over" little groups for to discuss various things and these discussions continue in the parking lot sometimes for an hour or more. We bring bee related items for a raffle at each meeting. This raises enough to put out our monthly newsletter. We have a summer picnic at the club presidents house and we look at his or her hives. We also do a fall banquet with a honey contest for best color and flavor. Many of us meet throughout the month for coffee and bull sessions. The best things about having an orginization is the friendship and everyone's sincere willingness to help each other out. Need some foundation or a queen in a hurry, or a hand moving a hive? Put out the word and someone offers to help. It's great to here the oldtimer's stories and the newcomers questions.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New Braunfels, TX
    Posts
    463

    Default San Antonio Beekeepers Association

    --When I first joined our association, I was brand new to the hobby (hobby for me). I hoped to gain insights in practical beekeeping. I was disappointed. The association seemed to be more of a social group. I made a suggestion to the association that we schedule at least one speaker or presentation dedicated to education for each bi-monthly meeting. They agreed and have tried to get members and/or invitees for each meeting. This has been great. I remember one in particular. We had a leading specialist in allergies speak to us about the difference in bee vs. wasp stings, treatment, and immunology. We once had a speaker on apitherapy. We have also had speakers on beekeeping from beginners through professional stages.
    --Our association puts out a bulletin prior to each meeting recapping the last meeting, and including locally written articles on the hobby. We have an agenda for the upcoming meeting.
    --They kept the social aspect, offering a pot-luck meal at each meeting. We have some members who travel a long distance and this is a nice time to schmooz.
    --Consider including a Wanted and For Sale section in your bulletin, if you start one. Use email whenever possible to save on postage. Use your association's buying power for consolidated orders of supplies and package bees or nucs.
    --Set up good ties with your state organization as they can be very helpful with articles that some members may not have access to read. The state org. has also been a source for speaker when the speaker is in our neighborhood on other business.
    --Try to establish some mentors with local experience for those beeks new to the hobby. For those who want to get into the business, this is even more important.
    Hobbyist

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads