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taff.. 

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Can we have a discussion about what a mentor could be reasonably asked to do and what the 'student' should do/provide/pay in return.

in essence a set of etiquette guidelines for mentor and student bearing in mind the student is likely to be brand new to beekeeping and still finding his/her feet.


:cheers2:
 

jimbeekeeper 

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That’s a good point Taff

Personally I think a student should expect to

make all the teas and coffee, make all the frames up, carry all the suppers, clean up everything, clean my shoes, and pay me about £300 per day for the privilege :svengo:

OK I am joking. But I know few old times that would expect this and more!

My view is, there should be no cost as long as there is no additional cost to you. They should learn from you in your normal routine / inspections and be able to ask questions freely.

I think from the student, some prior reading (basic) will greatly help so you are not starting from “this is a bee” “this is a hive” etc.

There is some old saying that a student is only as good as the teacher, but it is a two way street.
 

Metamorphosis 

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Hi taff,

in essence a set of etiquette guidelines for mentor and student bearing in mind the student is likely to be brand new to beekeeping and still finding his/her feet.
And so do some Mentors I could mention. I know that sounds terribly harsh but being a mentor after one year beekeeping is what some of our association members have become, its a shame to say this but there are people who will never become good beekeepers.

The word Mentor means a wise or trusted adviser or guide which is a bit OTT for me I think something along the lines of Bee Buddy then that implies the BB is a member who has experienced beekeeping first hand.
I would like to think that this makes it more friendlier for all parties.
 

VEG 

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I think it would be hard to put together a set of expected things as different people have different commitments with their time. I was lucky with the fella I had as a mentor as I could ring him up and speak to him straight away (and wow did I make some phonecalls lol). I think this is something that local associations need to look at more. Some associations seem to look after new beeks for the first year and then your on your own, which can be a bit daunting, as everything can go text book one year and not the next. You need to befriend someone who wont mind you making phonecalls sending e-mails.
 

taff.. 

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That’s a good point Taff

Personally I think a student should expect to

make all the teas and coffee, make all the frames up, carry all the suppers, clean up everything, clean my shoes, and pay me about £300 per day for the privilege :svengo:
just like being in work here then :boxing_smiley:


OK I am joking. But I know few old times that would expect this and more!

My view is, there should be no cost as long as there is no additional cost to you. They should learn from you in your normal routine / inspections and be able to ask questions freely.

I think from the student, some prior reading (basic) will greatly help so you are not starting from “this is a bee” “this is a hive” etc.

There is some old saying that a student is only as good as the teacher, but it is a two way street.
so to you then, its a case of the student going to the mentor when he's doing his usual inspections and learning from that, what about the mentor travelling to the students hives once in a while to make sure everything is ok?

presumably student covers travelling cost?
 

jimbeekeeper 

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so to you then, its a case of the student going to the mentor when he's doing his usual inspections and learning from that, what about the mentor travelling to the students hives once in a while to make sure everything is ok?

presumably student covers travelling cost?
Yes I have offered to go to my students houses (hives) to help them out, but I would not charge!

But....no there is no but! I would not charge. Ok there is a But, my students are withing 10 miles of me, and I would arrange it as part of another trip I am going to.
 

taff.. 

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Yes I have offered to go to my students houses (hives) to help them out, but I would not charge!

But....no there is no but! I would not charge. Ok there is a But, my students are withing 10 miles of me, and I would arrange it as part of another trip I am going to.
Thats pretty generous of you Jim, its a shame we dont live within 10 miles :driving:

anyone else have a view on this?
 

shonabee 

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It's tricky, because ultimately the mentor is doing a very big favour and providing invaluable help; and mostly it's for someone they don't know well at all.
I'd like to be able to offer something in return, but I'm not exactly overburdened with the obvious, such as bees, spare gear to lend out, or - ahem - expertise to offer help in return.
 

Hombre 

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What goes around can come around.

You may not have the expertise to help others at the moment, but make a commitment to reach a good standard and offer the same mentorship to one or more Newbees in the future perhaps.

if your mentor is running a lot of hives, then during your on-the-job training you can provide a bit of labour to lighten his/her load.
 

Poly Hive 

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Mentoring to my mind can exist on many levels.

I do have a problem with a one year owner of one hive mentoring. that I agree comes under Bee Buddy label.

I am hoping that someone will want to spend some time with my bees, with my queen rearing situation, and lastly, and possibly sadly, with me.

The stats as I see them go like this. One hive over one year is one years experience. Three hives over one year is three times the experience compared to the base line. ETC

Some, of course, trundle on never progressing and making the same errors year after year, the main problem being they cannot ever find the queen with ensuing chaos.

That in turn neatly comes round to the issue of "this years nuc" but that is another super again.

PH
 
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Salkeela 

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My OH started classes a couple of years ago, but other commitments got in the way.

This spring he got interested again and to encourage him I bought him a hive. He went back to the club and discovered that there were now 99 people in our region waiting for bees -all had completed the course at one club or another. He learned that he would be no 100 on the list & that he would probably not get bees this year. (Local clubs here try to promote local bees rather than bought in nucs or queens.)

So I start chatting about all this in work and I discovered that a friend kept bees. He offered to let us see into his hives. OH & I both found that really inspiring. I often see this work colleague at coffee time and the conversation keeps turning to bees.

Then one day he just offered to split a hive for us!

It hasn't happened yet, but OH has been out to our mentors hives several times now. Once we thought he would be coming home with bees and a 3yr old queen, but after a hive-side debate the plan changed.

We now are raising a queen from a queen cell in a loaned apodea. It is sitting in the hedge here (having spent 3 days in the dark) and even just a few bees going in and out are brilliant.

Our mentor has been incredibly generous to us, both in time and teaching. (Every instruction OH gets while out, is also relayed to me over coffee! :) ) He was round one evening to help us decide where to site our hive and he and his wife joined us for an evening meal.

I cannot think of a nicer way to learn about bees!
 

Salkeela 

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:cheers2: Just raising a glass here to all mentors and their generosity.:cheers2::hurray::nature-smiley-016::nature-smiley-013::nature-smiley-005:
 

admin 

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I was driving by a cottage a few weeks back on a sunday afternoon and spotted a couple with Sherrif suits on so pulled over for a chat.

I ended up in their kitchen having tea chatting bees for an hour,they had a very nice bee shed in the garden.
 

Poly Hive 

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This Mentor, Provisional Grade, is in despair.

Unwanted. Sighs.........

PH
 

hedgerow pete 

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if someone comes to me looking for mentoring . i would normaly offer them one of my hives and a small nuc inside it.

this is free for the first year. all they have to do is supply there bee suits and some basic tools at the end of the year we will use my extractor to remove any crop of honey and if they decide to like and stick with bee keeping they can either offer to buy the nuc and or the hive . I also have a selection of hives mainly Nationals and wbc but i can quickly manafactor a lang or a danant or a darlington if its some thing that they want to try out

in that way they can trial as a beek without spending loads of money of equipment.

during the first year every time that i do an inspection they can come to help and if they are that way inclined the same with swarm collections etc.

all i do is start with me doing the inspections and explaining wat i am doing and looking for and after a few trials i choose my calmest hive and set them free with me suited but stood at least ten foot away giving them the confordance to work on there own but clos enough if they want helping.

the bee shed makes for a great school room because we are not weather dependant and can arrange a set time every week , rather than being weather dependant.

i am willing to travel to someone elses hive as long as it within 10 miles and will travel further ut then it becomes a family day out so you end up with a wife two dogs and my son as well as the big fella.

cost is zero, i have no intention of charging for my time at the shed because if there is one or five people there it still has to be done, and the reason why i do what i do as a mentor is simple. in 1982 at high school my old farm tutor peter hepworth and a friend of the family allowed me to start in that way, and it was done under the idea that i start at least someone on the road to being a beek as payment to them
 

crazy_bull 

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This Mentor, Provisional Grade, is in despair.

Unwanted. Sighs.........

PH
I know the feeling! I'm after an apprentice who doesn't mind lugging about 100 full supers into the shed and then uncapping and extracting them! :biggrinjester: next weekend would be lovely i might even let said apprentice have a look at a hive..... would have to be a quick look mind as would have to get back to the extractor quickly! haha anyone want a mentor like that? I'll show you how to do it then pop off down the pub till it's done. Sounds fair to me:sifone:
 

Polyanwood 

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I got fed up with being a mentor becuase I was getting phonecalls all the time asking for me to look at bees, some of them from people who were too lazy to open a book. They treated me like their servant... could I please come round tonight and do the bees for them?

Now I have students and I am much happier and I am really pleased that they are doing much better than a number of the mentees. I want them at the apiary every week through the season. We cover all the jobs. Sometimes I ask them to read something. Sometimes I test them on thier knowledge or make sure that they can do a manipulation. They ask questions about why and how, that make me reflect and learn too. They get to look at enough colonies so they learn fast, and as they get more proficient they become increasingly helpful to me. I really hope I've still got students when it comes to taking the supers off...there will defintiely be free honey for them... they will have earned it!

I would prefer to support people to become good beekeeprs before they get bees.
 

Salkeela 

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I haven't been here in a while, but OH did his bee keeping exam and practical assessment today.

We overwintered 2 hives. One which was thriving and split about 3 weeks ago and the other which didn't do at all. The split hives are both going great now and we are optimistic for honey this year.

I am rather shocked at how "some people" treat their mentors! Do they not realise that mentoring is voluntary? We certainly made sure our mentor was well appreciated at Christmas and OH still goes out to help him with his hives sometimes. I guess we have been very lucky too as our mentor and his wife have been very supportive.
 

Adam 

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The best thing a student can do is offer to helop extract for their mentor. I always like to have at least two people helping, it makes it so much quicker (i.e. 1 day not 2).

Adam
 

Bee Sting 

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My mentor lives about 100 miles from me, he checks my hives in person whenever he can , usually early spring and the rest of the time it's me with a mobile wedged under my chin, inside my bee suit and him a saying "tell me what you can see" :D

When he's not advising me in the field we exchange emails and photos whenever I come up against a problem

He gifted me my first colony 3 seasons ago and it was nice to be able to return the favour this year after all of his colonies failed during the winter, even if the grumpy old bugger did have a bit of a moan about how the nice colony he had given me had been interfered with by less well behaved local mongrels :D
 
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