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PCBA Board Meeting Minutes, Tuesday February 28,2023

Pierce County Beekeeping Association Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Meeting Time: 6:34 pm to 7:43 pm


Those in attendance include: Mary Dempsey, Sherri Thomas, Katie Marler, SR Balukoff, and Natasha Balukoff


~ Meeting opened at 6:34 pm by Mary Dempsey, seconded by Natasha


Last Meeting Minutes:

~ Minutes from last meeting were read and approved by attendees


Old Business:

~ Mary is working on the honey jars for the HoneyBucket contact (who provided the port-o’potty for the picnic ). The honey was crystalized, so Mary wants to filter it one more time.


~ Katie performed the survey to see which weekday would be most popular if we could have some weekday apiary days. The day chosen by most was Wednesday.


~ The PCBA Club has officially joined WASBA


~ Mary spoke to Jason and he said that he would be willing to teach an all day beginner class. Mary purchased the class books from WASBA to check them out and see if they would work for the class.


~ The bees were ordered for the learning apiary.


Treasurer Report:

~ Mary & Sherri will be meeting on March 3rd. The Board will receive a full update then.


~ The club owed back rent on some of the property at the WSU campus. It appears we were not receiving itemized invoices for the rent so that piece of the rental property was not being paid for. The club has paid for it. The two pieces of the property include the apiary, which is about 3,000 sq ft, and about 6,000 sq ft out by the road. The property out by the road is specifically set aside for pollinator plants. Charity Johnson has a map and said she would request that maintenance mark off the area.


~ Mary spoke to Charity recently and Charity stated that she would try to find an internal WSU employee to sponsor us. If we have a sponsor our rent will be lowered.


~ Data has been lost from the clubs accounting records due to a catastrophic computer data loss. Sherri said that between the hard copies she has and data that wasn’t lost that she should be able to piece together the majority of the records.


~ Sherri brought up that we may need to change banks. We currently bank with Columbia but they are merging with Umpqua. It has affected getting past records and statements. Sherri suggested that switching to a more local bank may be more advantageous for the club. Sherri suggested Homestreet Bank. They have been friendly, helpful, and professional in her experiences. Natasha also had positive past experiences with them. The motion was voted on and the motion was carried unanimously.


Website Update:

~ The new website has been up and running for a bit now. It appears to be working really well. The new website allows people to pay for memberships and other fees. The website itemizes the payments which would be helpful for the treasurer. Sherri asked if there is a possibility of the records being exported to Quickbooks. Mary said she thought so and would check into that.



Apiary Update:

~ Every hive in the apiary is dead. Bees have been ordered to start the apiary back up. Robbins’ said our two nucs would be in around the first weekend of April. Mary said we should plan an apiary day around their installations into the learning apiary.


~ The second set of bees are two packages the board ordered from Alisa Shorey along with an extra queen. One package was Carniolans and the other was Italians. It was discussed that Italians, while gentle, tend to build their numbers quickly and swarm. It was suggested by Sherri that perhaps the extra queen should be a different race from the Italians so the new genetics may keep them from swarming so readily. Sherri suggested getting a Saskatraz queen. The board members agreed and Mary said she would contact Alisa Shorey. Someone is needed to pick up these packages and queen on Sunday, April 16th. Sherri volunteered as she was already picking some up.


~ Saturday, March 4th, 11 am has already been allocated as an apiary clean up day. That will also be the day club members can pick up sugar donated by Brown & Hayley in Tacoma. Katie and Mary discussed the large amount of old wood frames piled up in the apiary shed. Katie suggested some ways to clean them and reuse them. It was decided they would discuss this on Saturday in the apiary while they assessed the pile of frames.


~ Sherri brought up her concern that we have waivers for people to sign at apiary days and classes. Even though they have to sign an acknowledgement when they signed up and paid on the website, it may be better legally to have people sign that again the day of being in the apiary due to possible injuries and allergies. Mary said she would look into coming up with something.


Spring Fair:

~ The Puyallup Fair has given up the idea of a live bee exhibit due to the amount of time and resources it would take.


~ The Spring fair is for two weeks in April. Volunteers are needed for running the booth. Andy negotiated a better spot and price for us to be in the fair. We will sell honey in the fair. Whatever is left from last season’s harvest, after selling bulk honey to Maris Farms, will be bottled up. If we need more we can purchase from Robbin’s Honey and we can sell that.


~ Natasha brought up the ease of the new sign up system on the website and how this can be done at meetings. She wondered if, rather than people signing up on a notebook for a later email about signing up with the club, if it would be possible to have a tablet or computer so people could sign up and pay right there. Mary said it would certainly save on all that data entry after the fair. We need to discuss this with Kathleen.


Plant Sale & Sustainability Booth update:

~ Katie said things are going well with her plans for the booth. She is waiting back to hear from them about the possibility of selling other bee related items at the booth. She asked about borrowing displays we used at the Washington state Fair booth to put up for this booth. Mary thought that should be fine.


The Pierce County Fair:

~ (August 10th - 13th) The fair people have asked us to have an education booth at this fair. Mary thought it would be a good opportunity for outreach and education and perhaps we could sell honey there too. The board thought that it was a good idea. Also, it was asked of Mary, if we could possibly get more of those education sheets she had gotten from the Honey Bee Health Coalition, the ones we used at the Washington State Fair. They were very popular. Mary said she still has some and thought it would be easy to get more. She said all she had to do was pay shipping.


New Ideas:

~ Mary asked the board to start brainstorming on some ideas for the club, moving forward into the future. Some ideas on how we want to convey our Purpose, Vision, Ideas for new programs & Outreach, & ideas for Membership. Mary shared some of her goals too. Mary would like us to do more as a full 501c3 charity. She would like to see more engaging social activities. She asked the other people in attendance to brainstorm for any ideas they may have.


~ Sherri said she would love to see our library expanded. Not only new books on beekeeping, which are needed, but fiction books where beekeeping is a part of the story.


Auction & Dessert Night:

~ This will take place on May’s meeting night. It will be a dessert potluck. There was discussion about asking for donations for the auction. Sherri suggested a raffle ticket system for most items and only a silent auction for bigger ticket items. That seemed like a good idea to all in attendance.


Meeting Signs:

~ Some people complained to Mary that The Allmendinger Center and parking is hard to find and isn't clear. So Mary ordered some signs that we can put out and use.


Next Board Meeting:

~ The next board meeting will be held on Thursday, March 30th at 6pm at Sherri’s house. Thank you Sherri for hosting!


~ Mary would like the board member to arrive 15 minutes before the monthly club meetings, if at all possible, for a quick huddle to prepare for that evening’s meeting.


Meeting Adjourned: 7:43 pm

~ Mary made a motion for the meeting to be adjourned- Katie seconded.



Addendum: Friday 3/10/2023 5:49 pm, Remote/ Virtual Vote

Those in the stream:

Board members: Mary Dempsey, Sherri Thomas, Kathleen Clerc, Natasha Balukoff

Others: SR Balukoff


During a meeting with Sherri and Mary, it was brought up that Quickbooks is coming to a point where they will no longer support the old version that was a one time download purchase.They are moving to an online monthly service only. The basic service will cost $30/ month. The old Quickbooks does not merge with the new website platform, WIX. The new version has an app in Wix that says it does. Right now Sherri has to data entry every transaction. With the new Quickbooks, It will download those transactions. Mary Dempsey made a motion to purchase the new Quickbooks. Kathleen Clerc seconded it. A vote was called and the motion was approved unanimously.


Sherri will purchase the online Quickbooks.

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