Annual Delegates Meeting 2008 by John Brooksbank

On Saturday 12 Jan this year I represented the Herts BKA at the annual Delegates meeting of the BBKA at Stoneleigh.

The quality of the meeting has risen slowly over the years that I have been the HBKA representative, as has the quality of the BBKA executive committee. The propositions were clearly put, and the executive responses published before the meeting. The discussions were well considered and there was no nit picking or “dog in the manger” attitudes as there has been before, it was very refreshing.

As the meeting progressed several salient points emerged, I will list them in the order they appeared:
  • Sir Edmund Hilary of Everest fame who died this year was a well known beekeeper.
  • The constitutions of each of the associations should be sent to the BBKA so that they have a copy.
  • A leaflet on the code of practice of dealing with abandoned hives is to be produced and will be on the website.
  • The VMD situation regarding the use of Oxalic acid is unchanged. Bees are food producing animals, and as such are covered by the appropriate legislature. Discussions are on-going with the VMD to re-classify bees or the use of chemicals on these animals.
  • Research needs. Tim Lovett outlined the following research needs:
- Varroa
- Nosema related to CCD
- Foul Broods
- Small hive beetle
- Husbandry- Queen rearing, mesh floors, hive cleansing, swarming.
- Bee breeding – improvement, resistance, bee genome.
  • The government (Lord Rooker) recognises that there is a problem with funding for bee research, but the government is not prepared to fund any additional research.
  • It was pointed out that many lectures and study courses can be re-funded by running them under local education schemes. Somerset have rec’d considerable funding.
  • The accountants advise that the liquid reserves of a society should cover two years expenditure.

The voting for the delegates was completely uneventful as the number of candidates matched the positions available.

Applications for membership.

There were four association applications for membership, which I assumed would be straightforward on the basis of the more the merrier, but not so, since two had broken away from Berkshire 17 years ago and some felt that they should rejoin. In the case of Sedbergh they maybe too small, and in the case of Northern Irish beekeepers they should join Ulster. At the vote all were welcomed into the BBKA.


All the propositions are listed in full in the Dec. BBKA News.
  • 01/08 That the BBKA membership be maintained on line.
There is variability in the ease of updating the database. HBKA have had difficulty. After some discussion an amendment was proposed and accepted that the executive resolve the problem.
  • 02/08 That a new category of “junior” membership be introduced.
The argument against this is that divisions set the rules for junior membership, and regardless of age you become a member of the BBKA. In the end it was agreed that the executive look into the motion.
  • 03/08 that the constitution be amended to allow Junior members.
This was quickly rejected.
  • 04/08 that DEFRA should introduce Small Hive Beetle traps.
After modifying the proposal to include “other fruit distribution areas” as well as ports. The motion was strongly passed.
  • 05/08 that the draft ADM minutes be issued by Feb
Passed unanimously.
  • 06/08 that the BBKA strengthens its policy regarding working with children and the vulnerable.
The rule is that the member associations are responsible in law for their actions and policies. After some discussion it was referred to the executive for consideration.
  • 07/08 that positive and active approach be taken towards research
This was well supported and agreed. It was suggested that associations with excess funds use some to prime research work.
  • 08/08 that the BBKA produce a pamphlet on the identification of bees for the public
All agreed on this and suggested that it go on the web site as well. A volunteer was requested for this task.
  • 09/08 that the capitation rate from 1 Oct 08 be increased to £14
This was agreed speedily, there was some consternation about the speed in which the vote was taken but not in the outcome.
  • 10/08 that the BBKA be authorised to continue pursuing Apimondia 2013
The risks and benefits were outlined. The risk at this stage being £5000 to cover cost of proceeding. The benefits are the prestige and any profits over the entire costs. The Ukraine are the other main runners at present. Tim Lovett offered to project lead the venture. On this basis I decided to support the proposal and it was carried.
In summary, Herts BKA got the results that the Herts exec committee preferred.

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