Ideas please

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Queen Bee
Dec 7, 2008
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Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Hi all, My association is very friendly and a mentor there helped me in my first steps in bee keeping. I have been to other Associations open meetings that were much more forward thinking and pro-active and it was very tempting to jump ship and move.:auto:
We are very much a 'quick chat, tea and cake brigade...
BUT we have quite a few new beeless people who join us and WANT to learn SO - I have stayed, become a committee member :ack2:and want to get this Association more educational and in the 21st Century (I am sure some haven't heard of treating varroa)

Now, I am needing some good ideas for discussion ...
We have had candle making..
Roger (from another Assoc I hasten to add) gave us a cracking talk on queen rearing (going for it this year,Roger)
Need a talk on record keeping.
I would love to have a talk on all the different hives, whys and wherefores- but without examples it could be tricky.
Am happy to have an open day at my house.

Any other ideas out there to re-invigorate the programme -PLEASE
Not really an idea for a meeting, more a general one and you may be doing it already.
My local association operates a "free bees" scheme, for new members. The way this works is new members sign up to 2 years membership and are then allocated a nuc raised on the branch apiary. The hives etc they are kept in are loaned from the branch but after a couple of weeks people are expected to start buying their own equipment (beesuit, hive tool, smoker etc). During the initial 2 years a rota of experienced beekeepers take a regular weekly session (through the season). At the end of the 2 years the bees are yours to keep, the hives etc are returned to the association and you are free to move your bees elsewhere into your own hives.
This to me has several advantages in that there isnt the same initial outlay in case you decide beekeeping isnt for you. You get several perspectives on the best way to keep bees

Hi Heather

Have you had your local bee inspector do a talk on pests and diseases, most will be very happy to do one.

I think the best way to engage beginners, especially before they get their own bees, is through the association apiary, if you don't have one yet I'd make that a priority. A practical hands on session, followed by demonstrations of various techniques using empty hives is very helpful to the novice.

A local association does one autumn talk where members can show their own slides/photo's of beekeeping related stuff (equipment, holidays, etc). Another does a summer BBQ and autumn hot-pot evening. I think many associations don't capitalize on the potential social aspects of beekeeping groups.

Hope that helps!

Cambridge UK
HI Peter,that is something that shocked me also regards the social side of local groups,I am very lucky that my group understand the good it does and holds meetings that have everything from beginers days to skittle evenings.

Often the best talks are by members from clubs outside of your area and with a bit of travel help they are always up for bringing a few slides along and having a chat.
Hi Heather,

we are trying a slightly different angle on the free nucs for beginners:

New members and course graduates can buy a nuc (?100 or thereabouts).
They then have the option of returning an equivalent nuc in any following spring for a refund of their money.
I think the benefits of this scheme are (a) it ensures a certain level of commitment (b) it doesn't create an "easy come easy go" mentality (c) it encourages new beeks to learn skills sufficient to make nucs themselves.

I'll let you know how it goes as it's the first year.

All the best
Swarming of course.

I'd be happy to do a lecture for you if you wanted but not this winter, too tied down at the min.

Many thanks for the above- and Polyhive that would be great - though sure you are massively busy - I will leave that to your calendar and fit in with you -roast potatoes next time, I promise:cheers2:
Did someone say food! ummmmm.
Where about is your association H Q?

How about getting someone to do a demonstration,or talk,or hands on skep making,that still seems to be popular.

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