(or "How we got started")
In the winter of 2013, I was just getting started into beekeeping. Which is to say, my wife (Dalene Barnes) wanted a couple of hives, but we knew *nothing* about beekeeping.
The nearest beekeeping club to us was the Central Texas Beekeepers, in Brenham, TX - about a 45 minute drive to their meetings. I went to several, but decided that if I was going to do this thing, we needed a support group closer to home.
I had 1 tiny bit of luck - there is a feed store in our town (Producer's Cooperative) that hosts free, 1-hour classes on some aspect of agriculture every Saturday morning. One week it might be kids raising show pigs, the next the class might be on controlling weeds in a cattle pasture, the next it might talk about back yard gardening. I convinced them to find a speaker who could do a 1-hour class on beekeeping for one of their Saturday morning classes.
Side note: The local TV station has a segment on agriculture called "From the Ground Up", which runs ever Wednesday at their 6:00 news broadcast. The story is sponsored by the feed store, so the story & the class are usually coordinated. Which means, the classes are usually VERY well attended (always over 100, sometimes close to 200 people).
Anyway - at the end of the beekeeping class they held, I stood up in the back of the room and announced "We are going to start a Beekeeping Club in this town. If you are interested, put your name & number on this pad of paper."
Around 40 people signed up. A week later, I called or emailed those people and invited them to an "organizational meeting" at my house. About 10 people showed up. The main subject of that very first organizational meeting was the reasons each of us had for wanting a club - ie. "what should be do and why should we exist?" From this discussion arose what became our club's mission statement - which we codified as “Article II” of our club By-Laws.
- Further the general knowledge and success of member hobbyist beekeepers through educational programs designed for improved promotion, production and marketing of bees and bee products and services for hobbyist beekeepers in the Brazos Valley.
- Cooperate and coordinate with other beekeeping organizations which share similar goals and objectives.
- Encourage and promote Beekeeping and the importance of the honey bees and beekeeping activities to the general public.
So far, I think we’re doing a pretty good job at holding to those goals.