Present: Lewis Cauble, Geneva Green and guest, ‘Lizabeth Collins and guest, Todd Walker, Inge Kautzmann, John Harrell, Charles Fleckenstein, and Wattie Bowes
Lewis stated that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss goals for 2011 and beyond for OCBA. Short term goals would be the spring and summer—even State Fair—of 2011; longer term goals would be for the 2012 Bee School and how the club might “look” different. He pointed out that the Golden Achievement Award outline was a good benchmark of how a NC beekeeping chapter should be.
So Lewis went first. He wants the 2012 Bee School to be an active goal of the chapter. Next, Lewis would like to see the club plan for presentations, such as those for elementary school classes or clubs, with a “To Go Box”. Perhaps the club could prepare a box with information and items in advance for such presentation, and even provide some training. John suggested checking with other chapters for presentation guidelines and topics to be covered, etc. Charles said that he was paid to make presentations. The committee agreed that members should be encouraged to “sign up” as willing to do a presentation. This would count toward certification for beekeepers working up. Geneva mentioned that there should be information about presentations on the club’s website for schools or others interested in having a presentation. She thought it might be helpful to get information about the size of group, age of participants, type of presentation requested. There should be information about any fee charged by the club, if any.
Todd contributed the goal of encouraging active membership. Dick added that he’d like to see more active participation at state meetings and to continue our success at the NC State Fair.
Lewis would also like to see more publicity about the club and its activities in the local newspapers and on the website. The News of Orange County would print the club’s meeting information the week before the date.
John mentioned that one method of getting members more involved would be to get (or appoint) a volunteer for a job and add someone else in the club to help (or mentor, or support, or supervise, etc.). There would be no “solo” jobs. Remember that all of these activities count toward certification.
Charles suggested a PR position in the club—someone who actively works to put the club out in the public in a positive way. This position would have a “buddy” (see above suggestion).
Inge asked about the 2012 Bee School timeline. Wattie, who serves as chair of a committee appointed to plan, will report his committee findings at the January meeting, but there will be a series of workshops planned for 2011 and another Bee School planned for 2012. Wattie briefly discussed some of the committee recommendations. There would be two levels of workshops: a beginner’s level and an expert level. There would be classroom workshops and field work. He reported that his committee was having trouble with the personnel to direct the workshops, and Lewis pointed out that Don and Will were experts who were there to help beekeepers so we should use them. Wattie said some workshops would be for club members and some for “outsiders.” The committee has not made a recommendation about whether to charge a fee for these workshops (possibly a nominal fee: $3/members and $5/public). One workshop would be “Introduction to Bee School” for weeding out people who think they want to keep bees but aren’t serious. Other possible topics are History of Bees, Products of Bees, Bee Equipment, Swarm Prevention, Hive Inspection for Diseases, Feeding Bees, Splits and Nucs, Building Frames and Hives, and Nectar and Flowers for Bees.
Lewis pointed out that OCBA includes Durham County so Wattie’s committee should plan to use space such as Durham’s Public Library meeting room for some workshops, if possible. Others would be schedule as part of regular club meetings. He reminded Wattie that the committee should be ready to report at the January meeting.
Geneva mentioned a goal to educate the public and publicize the club: having a community bee yard, possibly at Anathoth Garden in Cedar Grove where there are already three (?) hives.
Charles would like to see the mentorship of beekeeping with 4-H and FFA at OHS be followed up on. Any 4-Her(up to four) interested in beekeeping will be provided with a hive and an OCBA mentor for a year. The 4-Her is requested to attend OCBA meetings and share what’s going on with the bees. Students in elementary school who see a presentation might follow up with participation in 4-H with a hive. FFA students in high school could also participate and learn about beekeeping for credit. ‘Lizabeth expressed an interest in this.
Geneva’s suggestion was that the young people that we get involved in beekeeping could have their own “club”.
John suggested that a presentation or workshop on Swarm Catching be held so members will become informed. Charles mentioned that charging a fee for catching a swarm or extracting bees from a dwelling is quite profitable.
The next meeting of OCBA will be Thursday, January 13, at 7:00 pm in the County Extension kitchen.