Mentor System Guidelines

The aim of the mentoring system is to help beginners in their first season to get established in beekeeping and by using best practice offer them the opportunity for maximum benefit and enjoyment during their beekeeping career.

1. A mentor will normally only be assigned after the beginner has undertaken a beginners course. The beginner must be a member of the Association.

2. It would be expected that the mentor would assist the beginner in the following tasks:

- location of hives within the apiary (it would be expected that the beginner would find her / his own apiary)
- choosing hive stands, hives and all equipment and personal protective clothing
- sourcing bees (see 3 below)
- assisting in the colony manipulations and advising/assisting in other key tasks as required.

3. The sourcing of bees is a critical task, and it would be expected that bees would only be obtained from within our own geographical area. The mentor has a responsibility to ensure that the bees are disease free and are of a suitable temperament. Due to the increasing demand for bees it would be expected that established members would be in a position to provide one nuc of bees each year for beginners. The attendant danger of spreading disease throughout our geographical area makes it essential that only bees that have been properly checked out are provided.
(See Association guideline on Provision of Bees)

4. It is expected that the beginner who receives a starter nuc of bees would in turn make a nuc of bees available (as in 3 above) at the earliest opportunity.

5. The mentor would normally be an experienced beekeeper residing in the same locality as the beginner. Mentors will be allocated by the Committee or as otherwise approved by the Committee. It is important that mentors practice modern beekeeping methods and comply with the policies and guidelines on bee diseases.

6. The mentoring period is for one year and will only be extended in exceptional circumstances.

7. A copy of these guidelines to be given to both the beginner and mentor.

Committee Meeting
Date: 30th April 2009
Amended: 13th May 2010