What have we done for the BBKA
I was asked this question a while ago and had to think about it because every day we are active with one thing or another and it all seems to blend in with the office staff and outside agencies. We have achieved some developments this year and to name a few here is my initial list, forgive me if I have missed mentioning some items.
One of the important things is the development and publication of the Special Issue books, many branches use then for their beginners and throughout the learning process for beekeeping. They are easy to read and concentrate on a single subject and not expensive at all.
We have also during the last few years reduced our costs, on professional services and Insurances and we have maintained those savings and improved them slightly again this year.
There are improved communications in place, all calls are now recorded and the telephone system is now helping to direct calls to the correct person rather than waiting to be transferred.
The new School Visitors pack was completed by Sue Webster and was available at a discounted price at the Spring Convention.
Educational material has been improved, the Healthy Hive Guide, Bees in the Curriculum, concentrated courses for General Husbandry and Advanced Husbandry over the past two years and we are planning to make Queen Rearing one subject for concentrated efforts to pass on this knowledge.
There are more training courses and we believe that we have managed to give a better content to each course.
The offices have been redeveloped so that the staff are not overcrowded and they now have their own space in which to work, this has resulted in a much better atmosphere in the offices much to everyone’s delight.
The redevelopment of the Apiary at Stoneleigh is still in the planning stage, but work is going on as I write, we are hoping that in Summer 2019 work on the project will start. There is the additional build to the office building to include Disabled toilets and a cloakroom for when we are able to invite visitors to the site.
We also have an improved accounting process, it is still in development and Sarah Laidler who is now our Management Accountant, a full time position that is proving to be a great asset and we hope to be up and running with better reporting processes in place by the end of 2018.
Research has been given a shot in the arm with Pam Hunter, she already has five scientists working on our behalf and she keeps an eye one every development to make sure we are getting the best out of our contributions.
Then we come to the important news for members, Capitation, we have managed to maintain a surplus again this year so there will be no need to ask for an increase in Capitation again. I am sure you will all appreciate that small piece of news and the effort that has gone into keeping costs down.
On to Donations etc., George Brown has done a wonderful job this year and has exceeded his target, I have to say he is not sitting on his laurels, he is after more funding to maintain the BBKA and to fund research into all things important to Bees and Beekeepers.
Finally, Adopt a Beehive is a very popular, commodity it is the gift one can give when the recipient seems to have everything they need and you are struggling for ideas for Birthdays or Christmas. Thanks to the work of Margaret Murdin and George Brown, Suttons Seeds who now sponsor us will also offer the Adopt a Beehive through their shop for us.
Well that’s the end of the things I can remember at the moment, but we are always looking to improve our services to members, in education and involvement in research.
If you have any ideas where you think we can make a difference, please let me know.