Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor
I'm feeling like the worst mentor in history. But I don't know what I could have done differently!
I was asked by my bee club to mentor an 11 year old boy and his family in beekeeping. I was thrilled to do it.
My husband and I have helped them through every stage, from assembling the hive in December, to helping them install the bees, showing them how to do inspections, and helping them to harvest some honey.
However, one thing I noticed - this is a very busy family, And somewhat disorganized. Every time we went up there, it seemed like they had misplaced equipment, etc., so we couldn't always do things the way I thought they should be done. They lost the hive tool, a queen excluder, a smoker, etc.
And, the boy has just lost interest. The only time they go in the hive is when my husband and I contact them, and say, hey, would you like us to inspect the hive with you? They never go in it themselves, and never call us with any questions, etc.
We went up there about a month ago, and suggested they put on the entrance reducer (which they lost, so that didn't happen), and to put out some wasp traps, because there were several around the hive. Then, we had them over to do some extracting, which was a really nice time.
We went up there today, and the hive is a disaster. It probably won't survive the winter. It is under terrible attack by wasps, and has been robbed out, with many dead bees.
They hadn't even looked at the hive in a MONTH. I'm going to help them try to save it, but all I could think was "why didn't you at least look at it and call me????".
My husband says not to feel bad - that a mentor is there to answer questions and help, not to do the work for them. But I still feel like I failed somehow.
Has anyone else mentored someone like this? Was I unrealistic? Not do enough?