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PCBA Board Meeting Minutes, February 2, 2023

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Pierce County Beekeepers Association Board Meeting Minutes from Thursday, Feb 2, 2023.

Meeting time: 6:25 pm to 7:35pm.


Attendees: Mary Dempsey, Kathleen Clerc, Sherri Thomas, Katie Marler, SR Balukoff, and Natasha Balukoff


Meeting called to order at 6:25pm by Mary Dempsey.


Minutes from the last board meeting had been previously read by everyone present. Minutes were approved (and seconded).


Treasurer report:

  • We have approx. $12k after rent and other expenses have been paid.

  • Rent is now being charged on a yearly basis and has been paid for 2023.

  • Question about Wordpress renewal: We had been paying $25 monthly on the 23rd for Wordpress. With the new website up on WIX, we have canceled the Wordpress subscription.

  • An accounting audit is due and required by the bylaws. It will be done prior to Sherri's departure from the Treasurer position. The audit will be abbreviated because of complications with the WordPress website and data collection during the Covid pandemic lockdown. The audit will require two members (one being the Vice President) working together to go over the books.

  • We pay $378.27 for the WordPress website, domain name and DNS services per year. This was renewed on 11/23/22. Once we have moved our email list and other hosted services (files, etc.) off of Dreamhost, we will cancel that service and transition it over to WIX hosting entirely.

  • Mary was able to take advantage of a sale and got our WIX subscription at 50% off totaling $211.20 for the year.

  • Annual renewal of membership is October 1st every year per the bylaws.This was put into place because having individual dates of membership renewal was difficult to track. As of August 2022, people are buying memberships with a yearly subscription on the website. Since WIX is better at keeping track of membership dates (and sending out renewal notices, etc.), it was suggested by Mary to change the bylaws to allow for individual renewal dates. After some discussion about what it will take to change the bylaws, the idea will be put to a vote by the membership.

  • We are working on doing renewals/new memberships, online only. Kathleen will help technology averse individuals with their renewals/new memberships at the beginning of the monthly meetings.

  • On the new system that Kathleen and Mary set up with WIX, for now memberships are on auto-renewal; In the future, this will be an optional setting set when a person first signs up for a membership, and adjustable afterward on a person’s account/membership page.

  • The online system will also include automatically collecting signed liability waivers protecting PCBA from liability of stings or other accidents while participating in PCBA matters. It will also auto-subscribe new members to the newsletter (which should make management of accounts and paperwork easier going forward).


Apiary update:

  • All of the apiary hives are dead.

  • We ordered 2 NUC boxes from Harvard. We will also be buying 2 packages so we can demonstrate how installing a package is done. The plan is to supplement the remaining hives in the apiary with swarm rescues this spring.

  • Katie talked with Tracy Klein (local bee supplier); She will be concentrating on bees with varroa-specific hygienic genetics.

  • It’s been too cold to paint the apiary building; We have paint and are waiting on a warm weather window. Labor will be done by students needing community service to graduate.

  • Figuring out apiary day: We will be taking a survey at the next meeting (Monday). Apiary day will be the same Saturday every month; it was suggested that it be on the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of the month to avoid conflicting with holidays. Potentially we will also have an intermittent weekday time if we can get volunteers to run it.


Miscellaneous matters:

  • Discussion about WASBA:

    • On joining WASBA: Mary would like to do it. It makes sense to do it now as the fee is $1/member for clubs and our membership is currently low. WASBA membership comes with significant benefits, including: Access to their curriculum, certificates for class completion, potential participation in a club insurance deal, access to speakers, the WASBA conference, and access to conference recordings.

    • Kathleen motioned to vote on WASBA membership, Natasha seconded. Vote was unanimous in favor of joining WASBA.

  • Kathleen mentioned the need to make a large jar of honey for the man who donated the port-a-potty for the picnic last summer. We have a large bucket of PCBA honey that needs to be strained that can be used for this.

  • Advertisers / Sponsors: Mary followed up on all the old advertisers and sponsors listed in our current newsletter. Most have either not responded to Mary’s inquiries or are not in business anymore. However, we do have some exceptions: Harvard (Robbins Honey Farm) has paid this year’s advertising fee.

  • Voted on changing the advertising fee to $25/year. Mary motioned, Kathleen seconded, passed unanimously.

  • Silent auction: We have some donations lined up for the silent auction. We will be making a sponsor page on the website for people who donate items for the auction.

  • The PCBA logo was located and is now on the website and facebook page.

  • Door prizes: Mary purchased enough for this year’s meetings. They are in the storage room in the Allmendinger building.

  • Picnic: July 22nd was suggested and discussed and decided upon for the annual picnic.


Education update:

  • The May club meeting has no classes, due to the Guest speaker and the silent auction.

  • Classes:

    • Jason Sanko offered to do an all-day Beginner Beekeeping class for new people who are just getting started with beekeeping and want to get as much information as they can, as quickly as they can. A suggested fee for this class is $100/ person. The participants will receive a Workbook and a Certificate of Completion. These classes will be held at the WOSSA building. The rent for use of the building is free. This will be scheduled.

  • Fair related:

    • Mary spent some time talking with a representative of the fair who is trying to put together a pollinator garden for the Fair in the children’s area. Specifically, they would like to work with us to provide an observation hive for the spring and fall fair.

    • While the fall fair is something that has been done in the past, board members felt doing it for the spring fair seems much more difficult since people don’t usually have many bees yet and it’s just as the season is getting started, and any colony put into an observation hive usually doesn’t survive.

    • We are still willing to consider it, based on benefits the club might receive. The hope is that if we volunteer to take care of a hive for the fair in the spring fair, we’ll be able to get free rent for the fair. The bees would live in an observation hive during the fair, and get moved back to our apiary in the intervening time to a Langstroth hive for bee health and survivability.

    • More updates to come as we work with the fair on this.

  • Mary looked into prices for holding the Workshop classes. We found that using the space (Wossa building) at the WSU extension where we already have our Sustainability meetings and apiary would be free for us, so that’s where we will be planning on doing workshop classes.


More miscellaneous updates:

  • Hybrid meetings:

    • Mary talked about trying to get hybrid meetings going. It’s not a popular idea among the leadership of PCBA because it’s expensive and hard to pull off well, but it’s something we’ll be looking into, because it’s commonly requested by people generally and commonly provided by other clubs. It also discourages people from coming to the live meetings which is important.

    • We talked about hosting videos on a private Youtube channel as well as recruiting people with education and experience in film and videography so that if we do this, we can do it right. Kathleen may be able to leverage some of her professional connections to find someone willing to put this together for us.

  • Briefly discussed still vacant chair positions. We will continue to advertise for volunteers at the meeting as well as on the website.

  • Katie talked about the WSU master gardener plant sale on April 29th. The organizer would like to have PCBA do a booth there. Katie would like help manning that booth. We can potentially sell honey here.

  • There is a sustainability expo. On April 22nd. Katie will be doing a PCBA booth there, and is looking for people to help out with that. We can potentially sell honey here.

  • Mary talked about the possibility of selling honey before or after monthly meetings to anyone in the public who wants to buy some (and advertise this).

  • Mary also talked about reaching out to companies for grants and donations to our club.

  • Kathleen brought up: We have access to 6000 sq.ft. of space for a garden on the WSU extension land. If we can get people to work on it, this is a resource we could take advantage of. We should make people aware of this and actually do something with it.


Mary asked about any other business and there wasn’t any.


Motion to adjourn by Kathleen, Natasha seconded. Meeting adjourned at 7:35pm.


The next board meeting will be on Feb. 28th at the same location at 6:00pm.

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