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Board Meeting Minutes January 2023

Pierce County Beekeeping Association Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2023

Meeting Time: 6:47 pm to 8:30 pm


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


~ Meeting opened at 6:47 pm by Mary Dempsey, seconded by Kathleen Clerc


Minutes from Last Meeting:

~ No minutes from the last meeting to be read or accepted.


Board Meeting Frequency:

~ Mary suggested that the Board Meeting be held monthly. Kathleen agreed and stated there is much work to do to get the club caught up from the period of closure from Covid. When asked, the whole board was in agreement. The meetings will be held monthly. The next date discussed and agreed upon is February 2nd, 2023 at 6 pm. It was also decided to announce the board meeting times and dates at the general meetings and encourage member participation.


~ It was also discussed that the board meetings should be announced clearly at the monthly meeting and members should be encouraged to attend.


Treasurer Report:

~ Report: Sherri explained that due to file corruption she could not give a detailed report but work on getting that together for the next meeting. She stated that the club’s account balance is $15,000 and that our costs have been down during Covid but so has our revenue. This is especially since we didn't have the fundraiser at the fair this year. However, we are doing ok and all our bills were all paid. Since the board doesn't have an updated report, the board agreed to talk about the budget next month and try for approval in March or April.


~ Banking Statements: Sherri said that it would help if the banking statements were itemized with more description details. Right now it is hard to track every item and she has to match up things with dollar amounts after the fact. Kathleen said she gets an itemized email from Paypal on any payments that go through there. She said she would email them to Sherri. Kathleen also brought up the fact that we have Square and that they are very detailed in their itemization and that perhaps we could find a way to use them more. We are currently paying Square $38.50 / month as a Point of Sale (POS). If we use them, we could do away with Stripe as an online POS and streamline the whole process. We could, in fact, use that for people to pay their membership fees instead of stacks of paper that have to be inputted later. Everyone agreed that that would be a good idea and Kathleen said he could check in to that.


~ Membership Renewal and fees: It was brought up that there seemed to be a problem with people getting membership renewal notices. They are not receiving them. It could be due to a problem of trying to manage things through Covid and that people were put on a ‘forever’ list. Mary said this needs to be fixed and would require further checking. Kathleen agreed to get her an updated membership list for cross referencing. For clarity, membership renewals are due on the 1st of October.


~ The Website: We pay about $350 dollars per year to use Wordpress Software on our website hosted by Dreamhost (server). The board would like to switch over to Wix (software) which is easier to use. We need to figure out the renewal date for the contract so that we can cancel and, if applicable, get some money back.


~ Insurance: Sherri explained that we pay about $1700 / year for insurance. Most of the Club’s insurance is for liability. There was a discussion on what measures we were using to mitigate that liability. Kathleen stated that she set up the payment for membership in such a way that you had to agree to the waiver before you could complete your payment for the membership. Katie then suggested we have a sign in on apiary days that also served as a waiver and understanding that working with bees comes with certain risks. The board thought that sounded like a good idea.


~ Advertising: There was a question asked by Mary about how much per year advertisers paid for their adverts in our newsletter and on our website. Sherri replied that it was $25 / year. There was then a discussion about who has paid for their advert for the year. Sherri said she could check on that.


Communications & Social Media:

~ Kathleen mentioned that she no longer has the time to mediate or admin the social media accounts. So in a brief conversation it was decided that SR would help out on the social media accounts. A meeting was scheduled on January 13th, 2023 for SR to meet with Kathleen to get him up to speed about the accounts and what is needed of him. The club has Facebook and Instagram accounts.


Apiary Update:

~ The apiary has 10 hives but there are maybe 2 alive. There was no information on anyone being out there very recently.


~ Spring Replacement: There was a discussion about purchasing bees to replace the hives that didn't make it. The first suggestion was maybe 6 nucs but Katie mentioned leaving space for learning experiences, such as splits and caring for swarms. Mary mentioned that we would need bees for things that decimate hives like queen rearing and the observation hive for the fair. SR said he and Natasha would be happy to go on swarm calls and put those swarms in the learning apiary. The Board eventually agreed to purchase 4 nucs this Spring. The Board discussed a budget of around $1,000 to purchase the bees and some needed beekeeping equipment.


~ Painting Building: It has been discussed that the shed in the learning apiary needs painting. The Board decided to plan on buying paint to complete this task. The Board decided to budget about $250 for the paint and supplies.


~ Apiary Days & Summer: Mary stated that she would like to pick 1 day a month for recurring apiary days so people could plan on that instead of having changing days. It would probably be less confusing for members. Some suggestions were made for possible days such as the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of the month. Nothing was decided yet. It was suggested that the board could put out a survey of the members to find out which days would work better for the most people. Mary suggested that Katie, as the education chairperson, could use SurveyMonkey to make one and then they could send it out with the email list.


~ Mary brought up her hope to find members who were OSU students to volunteer for apiary days with beginning members. She has a list of students and would like to mention it in an upcoming meeting or reach out to them.


~ Katie & Kathleen had concerns that the bees needed more attention than just apiary education days. It was suggested that a sign up sheet could be made for people interested in doing so and that a schedule could be made from that.


~ Kathleen mentioned that there is no current way of recording what was done in the teaching apiary and no way to track that. She put out the idea of a log for the hives to be made up and put in the shed so members could record their activities and members coming in after would know what was already done.



~ The membership numbers were discussed and it was asked if Kathleen had an updated list. Kathleen did have a list but had forgotten it and could email it to Mary. Mary said that we need an updated, current list for possibly having a drawing each month for a small door prize. Current (paid) membership would be a prerequisite for being able to enter for the door prize. The rest of the board members agreed this would be a fun idea and would pull in new possible members.




~ WASBA: Mary was contacted by the president of the WASBA so he could discuss the new ideas and projects they had going on. He wanted to ascertain whether or not the PCBA would be interested in joining them. If our club wanted to join it would cost $1 per member per year. The WASBA plans on having speakers available and activities to offer clubs. They plan to have a booth at the fair. He informed Mary that they & WSU are planning on having a curriculum of their own and student beekeepers like OSU. Sherri mentioned that our relationship with OSU costs us money and time and doesn't benefit the club directly. Mary said that we may want to consider it then when they have a clearer picture of what their certification program looks like. The Board is awaiting more information to make a decision on this.


(these were ideas from past meeting minutes)

~ Bob Stump Award: There was some clarification needed on this as this was something Mary found in old minutes from board meetings in the past. Sherri went on to explain that it was an award that was given out on a needed basis (not yearly) of recognition of someone who made a significant contribution or difference to the club or beekeeping in general. The board decided to continue this tradition.


~ Scholarship Award: Sherri explained that this scholarship was open for youths 12 to 18 years of age who applied in a specific time period. The club would decide on a winner. The winner would then be provided with 5 classes of beginning beekeeping at no cost and once they met the learning criteria the winner was given everything, including the bees, that they would need to begin beekeeping. This was advertised to the schools and the application period was in the Spring. This was not awarded yearly. It had been discontinued due to a lack of interest. After a short discussion the board thought it would be good to consider trying this again. There were suggestions made to try advertising with public and homeschool programs.


~ PCBA Logo: Apparently the club had once had discussions on having a new logo made up. Sherri said it was decided on and they had paid for a new design. No one was sure who may have it or know where it may be. Kathleen suggested that Larry Golden may know and that she would reach out to him.


~ Door Prizes: Mary asked what kind of prizes the club used to offer for the door prize drawings. Sherri said it had a $10 cap and would be things like a new hive tool, jar of honey, and coffee cards. As specified earlier it was open to current members at the meetings. The board agreed unanimously to bring this back.


~ Picnic: There was clarification needed on the different events the club has done in the past pre-Covid. Sherri explained that the Picnic is in July. We typically used to have 2 meetings in August (due to the fair) and no meeting in September because of people volunteering for the fair booth. In December there was a Holiday party instead of a meeting. In the Spring the club used to hold an Annual Spring Silent Auction


~ Annual Spring Raffle (Silent Auction):In the past the club held this event at a meeting instead of having a speaker. There were items placed for viewing and the club sold tickets for $5 each or $20 for 5. The tickets were placed in baskets next to the item you wanted and then each item had a drawing. Members must be present to win. At the end, all the tickets that weren’t drawn, were dumped into a “second chance” drawing for random things that were left from the auction. When asked what kind of things were offered as prizes, Sherri said that it was beekeeping equipment, and other random donated things. One item in the past that was particularly popular was a candy bar bouquet. People who donated to the auction got one ticket for their donation.


Still Vacant Chair Positions:

~ There are 4 positions that still need filling for the PCBA Board. These positions are:

  • Treasurer- Sherri would like to step down.

  • Member Services

  • Fundraising Chair

  • Apiary Chair

It was decided that we should actively search for volunteers to fill these positions. Hopefully, by advertising the board meetings, members that are interested and come would be keen to volunteer.



~ Classes: Betty is currently teaching the beginner classes. Mary suggested asking her to teach a questions and answer class because of her knowledge and experience. Katie Marler could then take over the beginner class as our education chair. Andy is teaching the sustainability class and it is going very well. It was suggested by Katie that we may want to consider recording video sessions of the classes for members to watch again or later. They could be made available on a members only page with a code. Mary said that there would have to be a plan on how we could get that done as we don’t have the equipment. Kathleen brought up the fact that classes are open to paid members and it will be easier for members to pay their fees if we used Square POS and it would help towards our goal of going paperless.


~ Speakers: Mary said she had someone set to speak at at least 2 meetings.


~ State Conference: The State Beekeeping conference should be advertised at meetings to encourage members to go. It’s over a weekend in the fall in Centralia.


~ Workshop Classes: It was suggested that it may be a good fundraiser to offer a day of workshops. Something that had maybe 5 stations, attendees could do 2 or 3 in the morning, then 1 hour for lunch, and then maybe 1 more in the afternoon. We could also consider a special speaker for the afternoon session. It could be a Saturday event. We could charge like $75 / person for the day, plus fees for workshops that have a make and take option. Mary said we could check with The Fruitland Grange to see what they would charge to let us use their building. It might be more cost effective than the WSU campus where we pay $350 for each event. We could have some volunteers put together a lunch. It was suggested we could advertise the Workshop day at the fair but others felt that with the small-ish group that workshops work for members should get first pick before the public. We could brainstorm ideas for workshops at a meeting and we could get ideas from what other clubs are doing. The workshop day could be held in November when the bees slow down. If the event is really popular we could hold another in early spring.


~ Motion to adjourn the meeting by Kathleen, seconded by Natasha. Meeting closed at 8:30 pm

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