Currently we support beekeepers by providing neighbourhood groups in a few areas. There are also a few informal arrangements. We would like to extend these throughout the range of Canterbury Beekeepers, to provide practical support, whether in times of success, or in moments of panic or crisis.
At its simplest, a neighbourhood group could just be 2 beekeepers who meet in an apiary to compare notes. Other groups like to get together in a place where beverages are served. It’s up to the group.
However, we’ve found that neighbourhood groups don’t cover the whole geographical area, and whilst novice beekeepers are certainly encouraged to join a group, we also want to provide them with a little more formal support, by introducing individual mentoring for beginner/novice beekeepers.
So in addition to joining a neighbourhood group, please offer your help as a mentor for 2018.
The idea is to provide a first port of call for advice and support. Most of the beginners will not have bees at the start so will need to get experience handling bees and help in getting bees. Once keeping their own bees most help will probably be just phone or email support with occasional visits, but this will be up to you.
Mentors should have at least two years’ experience and be reasonably confident in what they do. If you have passed the Basic Assessment that will also help you. However, you do not have to be an expert, just able to help those who know less than you. If you are part of a neighbourhood group that is fine because there will be a natural progression from individual mentoring to becoming part of a group.