Beekeeping Mentorship Program
Are you looking for one-on-one support? Our mentorship program is a growing part CBA and will continue to serve as a resource for beginning beekeepers. Its goal is the continued health of bees and to provide backyard beekeepers with the skills needed to operate sustainable apiaries. Beekeeping is best learned with assistance from another experienced beekeeper - so join and begin improving your skills!
Guidelines & Program Availability
We’ve established guidelines for both mentors and mentees below. We are always looking for mentors so please don’t hesitate to volunteer.
Join & Apply
Mentees must Join CBA and complete the Mentorship Application in order to participate in the program.
Do Your Research
Mentees should do their own research including, but not limited to, reading The Beekeeper’s Handbook, Sammataro and Avitabile, 4th Edition, before asking for help. Some resources: CBA website www.ctbees.org; www.scientificbeekeeping.com; Q&A sessions or hands-on workshops offered by CBA members, in addition to other club programs & conferences.
Be respectful of your Mentor’s time; they are probably assisting others also.
Working with multiple Mentors is acceptable as long as all parties agree. One issue we want to avoid is Mentee confusion by different techniques which have the same results.
If invited, Mentees are encouraged to visit their Mentor’s bee yard during hive management and maintenance operations. Mentees can lend a hand with general yard tasks and learn from actual involvement with the Mentor’s colonies.
Save time and be prepared before your Mentor arrives. Get everything ready that you will need for the visit including all the equipment and preparation of the yard. Have your yard prepared for easy access and the area around the colonies trimmed and clear. Your Mentor may have many other tasks that day so the most respectful use of their time will result in the best outcome for you both and also will enhance the relationship.
Work on your hives in a continuous, timely manner throughout the season based on suggestions from your Mentor, rather than waiting for your Mentor to be there.
Contact CBA with Problems
If any problems should arise with your Mentor, contact the Mentor Program Chairperson immediately.
If you cannot find a Mentor to work with, you can ‘Mentor’ yourself! This means taking a pro-active approach by asking questions, by making phone calls and/or writing emails with questions, attending classes, workshops and meetings, including our monthly Bee Talks, led by EAS-certified Master Beekeeper Bill Hesbach.
Ask for Advice and Volunteer
You can ask experienced beekeepers for advice or information at meetings and even volunteer to help them when they work their hives. Even if you have a Mentor, there may be times you need more support.
Reach Out and Explore Your Options
We all need a support network that is broader than just one person. Whether you are a beginning beekeeper or an intermediate beekeeper, taking the initiative to find good answers from many sources will add to your pleasure and long – term success in working with your bees and your peers!