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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am located in Douglas County Oregon. The closest place for bee keepers here to attend a bee association is about 1hr. and 15min. away. Those of us in the Roseburg and surrounding areas would benefit from something closer. Would be interested in getting something going here, just not sure how to go about that. Looking for someone who might have some insight on how to go about this. There are a lot of new bee keepers in the area who would greatly appreciate information and help from the more experienced bee keepers. I think even just getting a club going would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any advise.
 

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If it were me, I would post on Craigslist to get an idea of interest, and also to get a roster going. You might check your public library for a meeting room, or perhaps churches.
 

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I am located in Douglas County Oregon. The closest place for bee keepers here to attend a bee association is about 1hr. and 15min. away. Those of us in the Roseburg and surrounding areas would benefit from something closer. Would be interested in getting something going here, just not sure how to go about that. Looking for someone who might have some insight on how to go about this. There are a lot of new bee keepers in the area who would greatly appreciate information and help from the more experienced bee keepers. I think even just getting a club going would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any advise.
Are you talking about the LCBA (Lane County Beekeepers Association) that meets in Eugene?
 

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QB,

There are several steps to get organized....first you want to start or figure out how to create a core list of local beeks that are also interested in forming some kind of local chapter of "bee's are us" and gauge interest. Just like a hive of workers, discuss what it is you want to accomplish, don't be a club of drones, just showing up, eating the honey (donuts), and aimlessly waiting for something to happen...once you have made a determination to go forward, you'll need to decide if you want to be an independent local bee club or an affiliate of the Oregon State Bee Keepers Association if there is one. There are advantages and disadvantages....affiliation would be less work and be a jumpstart, give you access to established (education) programs, maybe group buys or whatever depending on how organized they are....disadvantages is no voice in direction (no representation on the board), entrenchment of existing board and programs (change and new ideas may be a tough sell) and you typically send the money to someone else....which you keep control of if you set your own course....but it will be a lot more work as a start-up. You can run for a while in this kind of "loose affiliation" but sooner or later a supercedure cell will emerge and you'll all have to decide what's next.....there are several options to consider if you formalize the club to something that looks like a registered non-profit in the state, a few registration fee's, by-laws, mission statement, board election and membership committee, education committee, a treasury and what ever else you need to resource the growth of the hive....kind of like house bee's and field bee's with a task rotation....if you get this far in a year or two, you'll be doing well...talk to someone in the dept. of revenue for Oregon to see what is the best way to organize: 501c-3 (education/charity) or 501c-6 (if you want a legislative focus) or if there is some other tax exempt (and non-reporting) class that you may organize under (a decent CPA can also advise), otherwise once you start collecting money, you'll have to likely file taxes....you'll be tax exempt, but the requirement is usually still there....alternatively, you could just set up a blog site, and a monthly gathering for coffee at the local starschmucks and tell war stories for $4.70 for a tall honey Chai tea latte and do about the same....it just depends on what you're up for....remember, no good deed goes unpunished ;). ....good luck with what ever direction you choose!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
tacomabees thanks, that's a lot of useful information. No wonder there isn't one here, it's a lot of work:) Maybe the blog, coffee idea is the way to go.
 

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I like the slow and steady method. Find a beek or two and get together once a month around one of your hives for an insoection or some sort. Then add another beek then another as word spreads. Then another beek or someone maybe interested. Then by winter you'll meet inside somewhere and by next soring youll bee a little bigger and each month you might just keep growing.


Who know but grow into something. Starting small might be a boon.
 

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Rome wasn't built in a day. Start with a CL ad and you will be surprised at the feedback you will get. Start small with a coffee get together and ask for comments, ideas, topics. I will guarantee you that one (if not a few) have woodworking equipment to build "stuff" in the winter months.
You really don't think you are the only beekeeper in your area that wants to do this, right?
Throw that bone out there and see who will bite.
 

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We find a lot of people come to our club through the Master Gardeners and Ag Stores- stores where you buy agricultural supplies. Now we don't even advertise except our web site and the class fills up every year.
 

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Here's what I did:

Email address--I set up a free email address with the hoped for groups name, to appear organized and have a central place for people to contact me about the club.

Craigslist ad--checked to see if there was an interest. If I got 10 responses I thought that would be a good sign. I got 12.

Find a meeting place--probably the hardest part. I was lucky to find one for free, my only other choice was to pay $25 a meeting at the community building. Some libraries have meeting rooms you can use for free.

Work with your county extension office--they helped me to find the free meeting place, had a list of people they thought would be interested in beekeeping, and are offering guest speakers.

Local paper--I put an ad in the local newspaper (published weekly), and the free weekly ads they distribute. I also wrote up a short press release, and they ran it as an article two weeks in a row.

Fliers--I posted a few fliers to advertise. Local grocery stores, restaurants, farm supply stores, and anywhere else that has a bulletin board.

Our first meeting had 30 in attendance. It was a very successful start. From my experience and that of others, we will have to do more than just have general discussions and talk about beginning beekeeping, or interest will wane after a year or so.

Good luck, I think you will be successful if you put a little work into it. It really wasn't very hard for me. The hardest part is coming up with the idea and deciding to go forward with it.
 
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