TBA Delegates Meeting

Also Published in the Texas Beekeepers Association Journal:

We had a great turnout at this year’s Delegates Meeting hosted in Conroe, Texas. There were so many things discussed and in an effort to convey what was accomplished by TBA and Local Club Leaders, here’s a quick summary of the day.

  1. TBA announced that the board voted to oppose the flea beetle being used as a method to control Chinese Tallow trees on the grounds that it is a valuable clean nectar source for pollinators all over the nation as well as the beekeeping industry as a whole at this point.
  2. The Real Texas Honey grant has been extended and is moving along slowly but surely.
  3. Tanya Phillips is forming a committee to decide whether or not TBA should pursue changes to HB 131 and if the answer is “yes” that committee will work to educate about the existing bill, survey beekeepers, and propose changes to the bill according to input.

Update since the meeting- The committee has been formed and is in discussions.

If you’d like some information about the current bee laws, TAIS has a great resource at https://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu/regulations/

  1. TBA Summer Clinic is June 30, 2018 and will be in Conroe, TX at the Lone Star Convention Center. TBA Convention will be in Temple November 8-10. Discussion of local events from the highly successful Central Texas Beekeeping School to the well attended workshop hosting Larry Connor – by clubs in East Texas. TBA keeps up with events on the events Calendar on the webpage as well as on the TBA Facebook page so stay tuned for more learning opportunities near you.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with events – contact Summer Clinic Volunteer Coordinator – Julie Norman at julie@juliescoops.com  or Ashley Ralph at ashley@primebees.com.

  1. TBA is looking for volunteers webmaster, bookkeeper, treasurer, and scholarship and grant administrators. If you’re interested in volunteering you can contact Lisa Dittfurth. TBA is working on a volunteer sign up form for the website so that volunteers can more easily sign up to help. Contact Vice-President, Lisa Dittfurth at dittfurths@gmail.com if you’re interested in volunteering for the above mentioned roles.
  2. Updates on Texas Honey Bee Education Association were made. This is an educational 501c3 that allows tax deductible donations. This entity’s board is appointed by the TBA board but may consist of anybody deemed qualified for the needs of the organization. THBEA is currently facilitating replacement nucs for beekeepers who had losses due to Hurricane Harvey.

6A – To continue the conversation that was started at last year’s convention – TBA is seeking to go from a 501(c)7 to a 501(c)5 to better reflect what the club actually does today. THBEA is set up as a 501(c)3 Educational foundation and can offer grants and scholarships that are in line with their mission (to educate about honey bees to keep it simple).

  1. TBA made an announcement that there will be upcoming bylaw changes for TBA – these changes are necessary to bring TBA up to the modern age regarding communication, elections, and to better reflect the mission of the TBA’s direction as an agricultural non-profit.

A committee was formed to put together a proposal for bylaw changes that will be published for feedback upon completion of a full draft.

  1. TBA received positive feedback on how much people enjoy reading the TBA Journal. There was some concern raised that not enough people read it or that TBA may need to explore other options of communicating in addition to the journal.

Update since the meeting – TBA had some volunteers (thank you Dodie Stillman, Michelle Boerst) to help get the valuable content within the journal and beyond out to members through a wider variety of mediums. So, look for some good things to come in the near future!

As a side note, you can access all the TBA journal archives here – http://texasbeekeepers.org/journal/

  1. Ruth Ramos gave an update on the Honey Queens and Ambassadors. These young men and women talk around the state educating people about honey bees. The sheer numbers of communities and individuals that they reach is impressive and we definitely all benefit from their efforts.

We broke for Lunch where each Director for TBA talked with their clubs. This was an opportunity for small group sharing about the different programs that are working (or not working) within clubs. We were given some great feedback for how to improve TBA through communication, education, and sharing of resources.

Update since the meeting – TBA is working on a “Club Starter Resource” to share with clubs. Local club leaders from around the state have come together to help consolidate some of the key aspects for starting a club from technology to bylaws. Once completed, this resource will be made available for TBA members.

So many clubs around the state are doing interesting and fun events to promote their clubs, their youth, their schools, and bees in general. A few highlights were the beginning of the Ambassador program by a couple of young men who were interested in educating people like the Honey Queens do – very cool. There’s also clubs doing Honey Tastings for the public to help raise interest and awareness as well as raise money for clubs, research, or programs.

Update since the meeting – Because the sharing from club to club was such a big hit, TBA is looking for ways to continue fostering this sharing throughout the year. Based on feedback, we are exploring email newsletters, Facebook interactions, updates on our website, and of course the TBA Journal. We’ve recently revamped a group on Facebook called “Texas Local Beekeepers Associations Leadership” to help bring more club leaders together and share information in real time. If you’re interested in joining this group, you can email ashley@primebees.com for an invitation

It was a very productive day and it ended with a very long board meeting to continue to discuss the direction TBA is heading this year. We’re excited to have the feedback as well as the devoted membership to help make a positive impact on TBA and our membership this year!

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