The goal of the SCBA Beekeeping Program is to foster the practice of sustainable beekeeping in Sonoma County. We do this through:
Educating ourselves about the honey bee.
Staying at the forefront of news and research.
Continually honing our craft in the apiary.
Much like the workings of the colony, our strength is our collective knowledge and willingness to learn and share. The Beekeeping Program stands as the central pillar of the organization, informing and guiding broader activities while continually striving to reaffirm its central tenant: love of the bees and the community they help cultivate.
The Sonoma County Beekeepers Association has entertaining and educational monthly meetings that are open to the public---you don't have to be a member to attend. Attending a meeting as a guest can be a great way to become familiar with our organization, the work we do in the community, and what we can offer you as a beekeeper.
***Note: Due to COVID-19 our monthly general membership meetings are being held over Zoom until further notice. See below for calendar link and more info.***
When in person, meetings begin with a social hour with tables for each of our programs and clusters, the SCBA library, plant sales, and snacks. This is followed by club business and announcements. There is time for questions and answers, where members help each other solve or prevent apiary problems, followed by guest speakers whose presentations cover a wide variety of topics. The presentations are designed to help all levels of beekeepers, including new folks interested in bees and beekeeping. Our meetings are a great place to make new friends, network, and learn all about honey bees.
SCBA General Meetings are on our Events Calendar, and are held the second Monday of every month, except July.
6 pm - 7 pm
Social Hour - Come in early and talk with board members and experienced beekeepers, cookies & tea - BYOC (bring your own cup)
Learning about beekeeping is best done in person, hands-on, and over time, however even the life-long beekeeper needs to be aware of the broader dialogue. Both intimidating and exciting, the number of books on the topic of bees and beekeeping seems to grow massively each year. From backyard beekeeping to mead making to the science of swarms, the SCBA library has members covered. We maintain a wonderful library of books and other media available to the membership for continued education. Furthermore, if there's a book or resource out there that is not reflected in our current inventory, we will often purchase it to add to our collection!
In addition to monthly general meetings which are open to the public, members meet monthly in their respective regions. These 'cluster' meetings are smaller in size, usually under twenty people, and involve discussions on a topic of relevance to the group.
Cluster meetings are in many ways the backbone of the organization, and each regional cluster is led by an experienced and friendly group of coordinators who volunteer to facilitate dialogue and guide beekeepers to appropriate resources.
Throughout the year the regional clusters will offer a variety of activities available to SCBA members.
Hive-dives are an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal education in the hive. Members join an experienced volunteer to travel to another member's local apiary and together they inspect and diagnose the status of the hive. Without fail, the issues present in the hive are often found in others, and being able to troubleshoot these items in real time is an extraordinary experience for any beekeeper. Members can then take what they've learned home to their apiary and share what they've learned.
Workshops are another fantastic resource to our membership. As we continue learning about different beekeeping practices, we come to appreciate certain methods over others. Regional clusters engage in on-going dialogue on these topics and it often happens that members want to learn more about a particular topic. They then form a workshop and teach each other the item at hand, later checking in to see how things have developed over time.
While SCBA provides many organizational functions to its members, ultimately it is our membership that provides the most important function: mentorship.
Learning from others is the best way to improve one's craft and SCBA is nothing if not a supportive, engaging, community of beekeepers. Come join us and find out!
Copyright (c) 2023, Sonoma County Beekeepers Association. All rights reserved.