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Resources to support stronger bee clubs

How are bee clubs important for helping pollinators?

Beekeeping clubs are not only important for beekeeping education, they are also important to advocate for bee and pollinator supportive policy. A lot of policy changes are driven by industry needs, and it is important that your group is prepared to discuss and advocate for changes that support the beekeeping industry in your state.

Find your local bee club - http://www.michiganbees.org/michigan-bee-clubs/

Get involved with your bee club

Most bee clubs are made up entirely of volunteers, many without official leadership or policy training. You can help the bees by either getting more involved in your local or state bee organization, or by helping your club become more efficient.

Resources for building a better bee club

The Pollinator Stewardship Council has many resources for those of us who want to serve the bees by serving on clubs. Program Director Michele Colopy has put together a series of great articles about bee club organization, available on the Pollinator Stewardship website:

http://pollinatorstewardship.org/index.php/bee-club-leadership-information/

These articles by Michelle Colopy were originally published as a series in Bee Culture:

Run meetings effectively

It is essential to have good meetings of your club or board. If meetings are efficient, volunteer members will feel that they are a good use of their time, and are more likely to stay involved. A well-run meeting will be well documented with conclusions and action items, so all members will know what was decided, and what the next steps will be.

Many groups use Robert’s Rules of Order to lead a good meeting. Robert’s Rules is a procedure that provides an order to the meetings

Leadership

The Michigan State University Extension Leadership and Community Engagement team offers training for improved effectiveness in several areas, including volunteer board development, meeting management, communicating through conflict and facilitation skills development, and organizational strategic visioning and planning. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu/ or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

For individuals wanting to develop their leadership skills, there are a lot of resources at MSU Extension Leadership page. You can sign up for their newsletter, or ask questions of an expert

MSU Extension Articles

MSU has a series of articles that reviews the differences between boards of large and small organizations:

Board Advocacy

Nonprofit boards can advocate for pollinator policies.To review advocacy resources and understand legal considerations for boards, visit https://pollinators.msu.edu/help-the-bees/advocate/