Wednesday 26 January 2011

Membership - 2011

As Free as a Bee
At our pre-season planning meeting last week a small group of YABeePers have looked again at our membership structure. After two years of successfully running as a peer-support group we still see no need to charge a membership fee so have agreed to continue with our loose and informal set-up.

However, over the last 2 years our mailing list has grown massively and is starting to become inoperable. We also we need to ensure that we comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act.  We are therefore introducing a slightly more formalised self-nominated membership system.

2013 Membership
In order become a member of YABeeP, attend meetings and workshops and to receive corporate communications, members are required to complete and sign our membership application form - download a copy of our 2013 Membership Form here or email YABeeP[at]gmail[dot]com to request a membership form. Either way it would help if you could let us know by email.

Can I please ask you to complete one of these forms for each member of your household who wishes to join, print it, sign it and hand it in at the next meeting or post it in using the address supplied at the top of the form.


Thursday 20 January 2011

Natural Beekeeping on BBC2

Natural Beekeeping gets a main stage platform tomorrow night on BBC2. This provides something very positive after a week of relatively negative news, given the British Beekeepers' Association's (BBKA) continued refusal to divorce themselves from insecticide manufacturer at their Annual Delegate Meeting last week-end.
Carol Klein of BBC
 Gardener's World fame

Natural Beekeeping hits prime-time BBC
If you are free try and watch Carol Klein's Life in a Cottage Garden tomorrow night (Friday, 21st January 2011) at 8:30pm on BBC2. In this Spring into Summer episode she is featuring Phil Chandler of the Natural Beekeeping Network who introduces a Top Bar Hive which Carol’s husband Neil will be using.

If you missed it then you can see the extended version here on the BBC iPlayer:

The BBKA again Fail British Bees
If you missed the BBKA Executive's latest disgraceful manipulations to stay in bed with the pesticide industry despite their membership you really should read the British Beekeeping website and follow the Latest Update link.

You probably know I left the BBKA over this issue a couple of years ago. Up to now, YABeeP has agreed that new members should, if they wish, feel free to join their local conventional beekeeping branch for a period as they might gain some benefit. I have to say that I have now changed my mind on this and will argue strongly against our members joining any branch that requires BBKA membership. Given the wealth of evidence that these pesticides are killing our bees can you honestly consider yourself a Sustainable Beekeeper if you belong to an organisation that sees their manufacturers as 'the plant protection industry'(sic)? They also refuse to be open with their membership about what they are up to and fail to operate democratically in order that they can manipulate their membership?

If you are also a BBKA member you sould consider resigning and clearly stating in your resignation why you are leaving. Remember, it's only a Beekeeper's Association, not a Bee Welfare Association; their interests are wholly in supporting honey production and sale using intensive farming principles, not the magnificent insect itself!!!

Expect to hear more on this at future meetings.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

2011 Meeting Dates

YABeeP aims to provide peer support to individuals, families and groups who want to encourage wild bees and/or keep bees themselves using natural beekeeping methods – our interest is in honey, bumble and solitary bees.

In 2011 we will hold our informal meetings at 10:30am on the second Saturday of each month during the bee season - March to October. Meetings last about 2 hours and, weather permitting, usually include a chance to get hands-on with bees:-

2011 Dates:
  • March 12th Meeting - Includes an introduction to natural beekeeping, winter review and introduction to the hive building workshop.
  • April 9th Meeting - Don't miss this one as we have Carlo Montesanti from the Bee Guardian Foundation as our guest speaker talking on "Don't Call Me Honey : Bees the bigger picture". We will also cover 'Getting honeybees for your hive'. The meeting will be followed by........
  • April 9th Workshop follows on from meeting - Build your own solitary bee house - practical & fun.
  • April 30th all day workshop. Build your own honeybee hive - practical & fun. In 2011 we will be building Warré hives, adapted to allow for the easy introduction of framed bees for those buying their bees in nucs.
  • May 14th Meeting - to include and 'Kitting yourself out'
  • June 18th Meeting - to be followed by our annual BYO Barbecue/garden picnic lunch. NB: This meeting was originally 11th June but had to be moved - my apologies.
  • July 9th Meeting - 10:30am Yatton Library 
  • August 13th Meeting Due to holiday commitments we have decided to cancel the August meeting.
  • September 10th Meeting
  • October 8th Meeting
If you wish to join one of these meetings we'd love to see you - please email or tel: 01934 876275to let us know who you are, how many will attend and to get directions to the meeting. We hope to hear from you.

Why do we meet?
Meetings allow us to:
  • Welcome new members to learn about our aims and principles and decide whether they wish join us,
  • Provide an environment to network with each other to expand our knowledge, ask questions and share new ideas and thoughts on helping bees,
  • Provide an opportunity to get hands on with bees (dependant on weather of course) and see into a working hive/bee box
  • Allow us to meet socially and have the occasional BBQ, picnic, etc., after all life’s not all about bees.
Typical meeting
Where do we meet?
Meetings mostly take place in the Yatton area as this is central to our North Somerset patch, however, we may occasionally meet at a members home elsewhere. The venue details and a map are emailed to members the week before each meeting.

Meeting format
YABeeP believes in holding informal meetings; we don't instruct our members or provide formal training courses but use a 'learning through doing with support' philosophy. Meetings are used to provide peer support and help for those new to bees. We also try to have short 10/15 minute themed talks at our meetings, mostly given by our own members (volunteers always needed!) but occasionally bringing in a local(ish) expert. Weather permitting, we also use meetings to let members get up close and personal with bees and experience the workings of the various bee homes we use.
Learn about hive types
Up close & personal with bees

In addition to our monthly meetings we also hold practical workshops as demand dictates. These tend to be all day affairs which allow members to build their own hives for honey bees or homes for bumbles and solitary bees. As well as being highly productive – you should expect to complete your project within the day - the workshops held to date have all been great social events! These workshops will be listed in the Dates section above in red when arranged.
Horizontal honeybee hive workshop - the fruit of our labours
Build a wild bee home
(photo © Simon Johnson)
page written by Robin Morris