top of page

Board Meeting Minutes

August 21, 2023


Apiary Update:

~  Kathleen gave us an update. The Learning Apiary has 7 hives and the Resource (Mating) Apiary has 3 hives. The hives were fed on the last apiary day. They wePierce County Beekeeping Association Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, August 21st, 2023

Meeting Time: 7:22 pm to 8:44 pm


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


~ Meeting opened at 7:22 pm by Kathleen, seconded by Mary & Katie


Last Meeting Minutes:

~ Minutes from the last meeting reviewed and posted


Honey House: 

~ Foobar update: After the honey house was reportedly filled with bees, Mary & Kathleen spoke to the people who reported it and it was apparently dirty too. Kathleen went to check it out. She did work to seal it up so no more bees could enter. SR went to the honey house and opened one window close to sunset so the remaining 3,000 bees could find their way out.  Unfortunately, they didn't leave without encouragement. After the bees were mostly out, SR closed the window and got to work cleaning what he could find.  The honey house should now be in working order.


~ There was some discussion about having a talk at the meeting about honey house etiquette. Based on what SR saw in the honey house people may need to be reminded that they must clean up after themselves and that wax should be taken care of in the specific wax sink so the drains of the wash sinks won’t become clogged. 


~ Honey Spinning Class: There will be two apiary dates this month and there was discussion about which day the honey extraction class should be held. The first will be Friday, September 1st. The second day will be Saturday, September 16th. It was decided after discussion that the class will be held on Saturday the 16th, 8 am before the apiary day.  


Treasurer Report: 

~ The Audit of the treasury paperwork from the past two years went well. Kathleen & Natasha handled the audit. There was a discrepancy of $70 but it may have been caused when the account’s information was changed over from Quickbooks and about half of the information was lost. 


~ Mary is sorting out the Quickbooks and will have a treasury report for next time. 

re all Queen right. The decision was made that the Resource Apiary will not be used for apiary teaching days but just for specific classes to guard the integrity of the hives for production and resources. Mary will be in charge of the Resource apiary and Kathleen will be in charge of the Learning Apiary. 


~ There was extra landscaping cloth left over from the Resource Apiary set up. Kathleen would like to lay down some of the landscaping cloth in the apiary to make it easier to keep landscaped. This could be done in the winter when the bees are dormant. The hives could be strapped and moved. The landscaping cloth laid down with holes for the hives and their stands. At the same time foundation repairs could be done for the hives, like replenishing the gravel underneath and repairing the pallets or replacing them as needed. 


~ Kathleen would like to try putting moss in the hives as a part of their winter prep. Especially since Dr. Nijera spoke of the benefits of moss to bees, though she was unsure how to do it.  Mary said that she had seen it in her friend John’s hives. In the Quilt boxes moss was placed on the bottom, burlap in the middle, with wood chips on top. Mary said his bees were all over the moss and have consistently over-wintered well. Katie asked where Kathleen may want to source the moss and Kathleen said she intended to forage for it. Mary suggested we do this in half the hives and use the other half as a control group and compare. She also thought the Learning Apiary should have bananas put in them as other board members have done in their own hives. 


Pollinator Land Plan update:

~ Kathleen is waiting to hear back from Todd about the water situation for the Pollinator Garden land. Mary was asked by the WSU maintenance if we would like them to rototill the land for planting. Katie and the rest of the board agreed that that would be a good idea. So Mary will give them the go ahead. Natasha asked if we intended to get the soil tested to see if it was ready or needed anything. Katie said she would talk to Mary Kline because she has some experience in this area.  


~ Kathleen says she would like to approach the club at the next general meeting on August 28th and see if we could raise money through donations for the garden area and for new screened bottom boards for the club's apiary (which are desperately needed). The board agreed to it. 

Education Plan: 

~ Mary asked how we see the classes going for the future. It appears that more people are staying in the Apprentice class instead of attending Sustainability. Katie said she was considering the idea of graduating apprentices that have a year’s experience in the class up to Sustainability. Kathleen said her concern is whether or not these apprentices have bees and actual experience for that year. She is concerned about pushing people forward before they have practical experience citing her own experiences knowing she learned the basics of the class the first year but learned more in depth on those subjects the second year. Mary and Katie agreed.  Mary said that Kathleen and Katie should work on this idea and make a plan to facilitate the idea of having clear parameters for the class levels.


~ It was discussed that the Apprentice class should be a full year such as OSU and WSU require. We should continue to use one of their curricula for it. Mary and Katie both like the idea of a beginner class starting in October to coincide with beekeeping seasons. Katie suggested an idea for an extremely new beginner class taking place in enough time for people to consider getting their bees in time for the new season. Mary said it could be called ‘You Think You Want to be a Beekeeper?’ Katie said it would ideally take place in really early Spring or January. 


~ There was discussion about how much these classes should cost. Mary said we could look around and see what other clubs are charging for classes to keep things comparable. It seems from what Mary has seen from other clubs the price is about $100 including the materials. 


~ Mary brought up her goal of eventually wanting to record the classes. Everyone agreed that it would be a good idea. 



~ Mary stated that there were not nearly enough volunteers to man the booth at this year’s State Fair. It was suggested that we bring this up again at the next meeting to drum up volunteers. Mary said she also sent out letters to other club presidents across the state and said we would happily welcome their members at the booth for inter-club cooperation. She only received a couple of replies. There maybe a few people who join us. 


~ The set up dates for the fair is August 28th - 30th. Mary said she would probably go on the 28th. Kathleen volunteered to help. Mary said Andy also volunteered. Mary said she is still waiting for Andy to get the tickets to her. 


~ The club would like to have a raffle to raise funds for the club. According to the rules we cannot make more than $5,000 dollars. Mary suggested we sell the tickets for $5 a piece and people can choose whether to put their tickets in the basket drawing or in the complete hive drawing. Everyone agreed. 


~ Mary said Cookie and Andy are putting together baskets for the raffle. The club has a full hive to raffle off and Harvard Robbins donated a bee suit, gloves, bee brush, smoker, hive tool, and uncapping fork (around $90 value). Alisa Shorey is donating a full package of bees with a mated queen toward this raffle as well. 


~ A tv was purchased to show the life cycle of a bee at the fair. Mary said it was a possibility that the club could raffle off the tv too instead of storing it. Kathleen said it would be nice to be able to use it again. SR suggested that if the club wanted to store it that the library would probably work.


 Neighborhood Team Leaders update: 

~ Kathleen said there was nothing new to report since it is a busy time of year for everyone. Tabled for next meeting.


 Banners and boxes for fairs / classes: 

~ Mary is continuing her work on the banners and boxes for fairs. Natasha said she is doing the same for the classes. 


Amending Bylaws for Bank accounts: 

~ Mary reviewed the bylaws to see what needed to be done to add Kathleen to the bank accounts. There were no bylaws against it. It was agreed by the board that having the vice president, Kathleen, on the accounts was a good idea. 


~ Micheal has stepped down as treasurer due to personal reasons. Natasha motioned for Kathleen to be interim treasurer. Katie seconded, the board voted unanimously in agreement. 



~ Nominations are coming up in October for board positions. A committee of two people appointed by the president may make or recommend nominations. November will be the elections. 


End of August Speaker:

~ Danny Najera will be the speaker for the August 28th meeting. The board will take him out to dinner before the meeting. It was agreed that the board and guest will meet at the South Hill Fiesta Taqueria at 4pm. 


Other Business: 

~ Press Release: It was asked that if we hosted the Honey Princess we would try to get her some interviews. Mary has written up a press release with pictures announcing the Honey Princess’ visit. Kathleen told her to send it to her and she would send it out and see what she could do. The Honey Princess arrives on the 1st of September. Sherri may pick her up, if not Mary will, and Sherri will be hosting her. 


~ Electric fencing (Bear proofing): With no new bear sightings it is assumed the bear has left the area. So this was tabled for now hoping that this is something the club can invest in next year. Mary has already priced this out and it will be in the ballpark of $500.


~ The board discussed ways to recognize Sherri’s tenure as treasurer for 7 or 8 years. Some ideas were voted on and the board voted unanimously. 


Meeting Adjourned: 8:44 pm

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

bottom of page