Mentors for 2022
The role of a Mentor
- Mentors should read and follow RIBA recommended “Best Practices For New Beekeepers”
- This will reduce the chances of the “ask 10 beekeepers, get 10 answers” issue that tends to be confusing for a new beekeeper.
- If an issue is found in the hive, the mentor should explain what is seen, why it may be occurring, and what some basic remedies are.
- This helps eliminate the “my mentor said I had mites so I had to treat” or, “my mentor told me to do it, but I don’t know why.”
- If a mentor is unable to decipher or diagnose a colony issue they should guide the new beekeeper to an appropriate source.
- The mentor can also aid the new beekeeper in collecting the information needed (photos and notes) to present to another beekeeper for assistance.
- Mentors should not lead an inspection. They should observe the technique of the mentee and provide positive feedback and constructive criticism.
- Things that should be evaluated are how a mentee handles a frame from start to finish. For example: Were they slow, deliberate and gentle? Did they fully assess the frame accurately?
- The mentor should not be bringing their personal tools to a mentee’s hive, to reduce chance of spreading disease. Gloves should be newly washed; disposable gloves are preferable.
The role of the Mentee
- Mentees should read and follow RIBA recommended “Best Practices for New Beekeepers” in order to ensure they will be in agreement with the mentor.
- Understand that your mentor is volunteering their time and is not a private tutor. Effort and research should be done to try to solve your issue first.
- Prior to the arrival of your mentor you should have your hive notes available, all your equipment in order for the inspection, and a plan (what you need help with or are concerned about).
- You should have your smoker and combustible materials ready to light when your mentor arrives. You should always have a lit smoker when opening a hive.
- The mentee should be receptive to feedback from the mentor and ask for additional feedback if needed.
- After the session the mentee should spend additional time following up by doing additional research and reviewing sources regarding topics that were discussed in the meeting.