Our members are from a myriad of backgrounds, expertise and motivation. The alignment in all of their paths is their passion for bees.
The Before and After Story of Jamie.....
In our first article this week we talked about 10 interesting things bees do, and then we addressed how I got here, and then a few mistakes that I identified and actually solved for you. Now I think it's time to have the talk about WHO I can and have helped - and are you the ONE!! P.S.: I KNOW YOU ARE - so here we go with a great story about Jamie!!!
First off, let's look at who's the best candidate for our beekeeper mentoring program. I have a lot of people show up looking for "the secrets" of beekeeping. Folks who want easy answers to what they think are simple problems.....only for cats!! First tip - bees are NOT cats!! Although they herd about the same!! :)
Who Are Our Members?
Anyway, back on topic!! Our members are very dedicated beekeepers (a lot of them beginner beekeepers) who need to find very specific solutions to problems they've identified in their journey. The type of problems that don't get sorted with online gurus and single sentence Facebook, "shoot from the hip" answers. They have a set of circumstances that need to be "diagnosed" by an expert, and then they need to be given a learning opportunity, not a slick cookie cutter "go do this" answer. They want to learn, they want to get better, and they want to be confident that their bees are being tended in the best way possible, not half-heartedly!! My mentees all communicate when they're in need of help, not run from the problems - addressing them in a timely manner, so solutions can be implemented before a crisis. That's my goal for everyone here, success.....self-confidence.....unconditional support.
How Our People Find Us?
The usual way our members show up at our doorstep is either from speaking engagements that I've given to clubs or groups, or a class or workshop that I've sponsored. Now they come from seeing our "Roadmap Program" content and finding out there's a structured system to learn by. These learning opportunities are more important now than ever, as we have everyone and their dog producing videos about their personal journey. None of which relate to your journey at all!! Watching all those videos takes time, and your time is valuable. If you watch an hour of YouTube and get 2 minutes of value, was it time well spent?? I don't think so. So with me you get what you need, when you need it, exactly the way you best understand it.....I meet you where you are - without judgment (or snarky FB post replies).
Jamie was one of those in the very first group that I opened my Beekeeping Course to, and it payed off for her. She was a new beekeeper, and had no experience with bees or other livestock, so very green. As we developed a relationship, it was very evident that we’d be looking at every detail in the box of bees, and getting her to “zoom out” and focus on the important details was going to be the main emphasis of her training. She was also going to be prone to walking away if it got too disheartening. She needed very gentle handling, but she was determined, focused, motivated, and had tons of discipline – a perfect beekeeper, a diamond in the rough!!
How We Get the Job Done!!
As time went on in the program, she attended every field day event, all the study hall sessions and communicated issues that she didn’t understand what to do with. All any teacher could ask for. I allow open communication through my discussion threads on the educational platform, as well as texting opportunities and email responses for the entire membership so everyone learns from one individual’s experience. The members learn to use the age old axiom of teaching – “learn one, do one, teach one” and regularly help each other understand a concept as they feel comfortable. We have winter relearning opportunities that review the coursework materials available in the program and really drill down on the big issues - swarm control, overwinter losses and feeding your bees. That way, through repetition, members get more out of the sometimes very technical and dense material by reviewing it, with a coach to guide them, so they garner a bit more content each time.
The results for Jamie were a roller coaster of solid learning that you can only get through trials and guided experience, so you don’t make fatal mistakes that cost you an entire season. She not only managed her colonies well, she got the opportunity to get and install a new queen, and has managed to overwinter her first colonies without a loss!! Huge success story!! When I see losses on the social media sites of 50-100% time after time (considered normal for beginning hobbyists), I remind my peeps what they ARE NOT missing – despair, disappointment, and a yearly “start over” without a clue as to how to make it better in the new season. My membership loves seeing healthy flying bees in the spring, and I get a ton of texts with those messages on them – warms my heart to know we’re winning and not losing OUR bees.
We have a lot of great stories in our membership, tons of successes, and just about every variation on the beekeeping theme.
Here's another story for you to enjoy about how we got here, teaching people about livestock and their management.....
Joining us means you get to be a part of that success story as well. So hit the link to be "in the know" and get more information about how you can be successful and supported!!
Categories: Beekeeper Alignment - Step 2