Conference Call via http://freeconferencecall.com, January 30, 2007

Elmore Herman, President, called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. Eastern Time.  Those present included:

David Hackenberg

Reno Plenge, Tupelo Association Representative

Nancy Gentry, Northeast Florida Honey Bee Association Representative

Elmore Herman, President

Gary Ranker, Tampa Bay Association Representative

Bert Kelley, Ridge Association Representative (Treasurer)

Bert Gwaltney, Tupelo Alternate Representative

Butch Paterson, Northeast Florida Honey Bee Association Alternate

Bill Merritt

Michael Shreves, Tri-County Association Representative

Malcolm T. Sanford, Executive Secretary

David Webb, Vice-President

Association Representatives in attendance:  Roll call to obtain quorum; 5 associations represented for voting purposes:  Michael Shreves (Tri-County Assn), Nancy Gentry (Northeast Florida Honey Bee Assn), Bert Kelley (Ridge Assn.), Gary Ranker (Tampa Assn), Reno Plenge (Tupelo Assn).

Association Research Money Discussion by Treasurer Bert Kelley….$4,000 sent to DPI last year; returned it went back into treasury.  Association has $31k plus to work with.  There is a $9,000 line item in the budget for research at the present time, the $4K returned being added to $5K for 2007.  Two proposals received, one from Dr. Jamie Ellis, et. at.University of Florida/DPI Concerning establishing economic thresholds for Varroa mite levels in Florida ($7K) and one from Mary Ann Frazier, The Pennsylvania State University for detecting pesticide residues (fluvalinate, coumaphos, amitraz, neonicotinoids and fungicides) in comb and bee colonies.  Discussion that Dr. Ellis should be funded being new to Florida.  Questions arose about the line intems needed, however, particulary infrastructure items (trailer, scale).  Remarks that Dr. Delaplane’s work in Georgia and beekeeper experience in Florida already provided the needed threshold guidelines for beekeepers.  The case for Penn State was stronger in that the work was already underway (re: David Hackenberg) and the university had already invested $1K in a novel research area.  Motion by Bill Merrit to modify the amounts requested, providing $6K to Penn State and $3K to University of Florida.  Passed unanimously (no dissenting votes).  Executive Secretary to write award letters asking that the Association receive quarterly updates on how the funds were spent and results obtained.  In addition, Mary Ann Frazier will be invited to the June 9, 2007 Association meeting to further explain that research and results.

Discussion of Spring Meeting, June 9, 2007 in Clay County.  Nancy Gentry in contact with President Herman.  $1K seed money in 2007 budget for this meeting.  Idea to meld hobbyists and commercial beekeepers interests.  Topics suggested include:  beekeeping as an alternative, bee pasture, marketing honey, not set in stone.  Comments that also should include a session on association membership issues, a beekeeper yard sale and open hive demonsrations.  Ms. Gentry to develop a proposal to send to the leadership for their ideas.  A major consideration would be to invite Mary Ann Frazier down as a featured speaker and note that the Association has paid her way and is supporting her research.

Reimbursement of Expenses discussed.  Secretary Sanford requested reimbursement of expenses for the annual meeting of hotel $238.65 (included room expenses shared but not declared for reimbursement by Vice-President Webb) and registration for convention $60.  This was rejected by the treasurer.  Discussion that there is a line item for expenses for both officers in general and the executive secretary.  .Discussion  emphasized that the Executive Secretary is a professional, paid position with a line item for expenses.  Seems there is no policy on how this might be spent.  Many officers have had line items in the budget, but chosen not to ask for reimbursement; emphasis that this is a “choice” not a policy.  President to work on developing a policy to present at the next meeting.  Executive Secretary will again submit his bills for reimbursement to the Treasurer.  In an allied discussion, ad master Gary Ranker was given $300 for his ad expenses no questions no receipts asked. 

Discussion of membership.  Given that membership is not growing, what will be the Association’s strategy to reach out to perspective and current members, given that almost a quarter of current members are in arrears?  Discussion that bylaws call for the following:

Article III Dues see http://floridabeekeepers.org

3. Any member whose dues are not paid by December 1st, shall be given a written notice by the Exclusive Secretary..
4. If dues are not paid within thirty (30) days from the mailing of said notice, the name shall be dropped from the membership role.

The “written notice” is interpreted by some to be a “first class letter” billing members for dues.  Others believe the recurring discussion of membership in each newsletter with the status line of each member clearly shown on the mailing label qualifies and is sufficient.  This also does not address the pool of folks who are not members.  A letter sent out by President Herman last spring for the meeting held in Polk County netted few if any new members; the meeting was also not well attended and the President fell ill and did not attend.  The President indicated he will again send out a letter to every registered beekeeper concerning the June 9 meeting (estimated cost $600).  Questions concerning the effectiveness of this action remain.  The Executive Secretary will explore the possibility of a billing system; he continues to be very liberal in his judgment on removing those in arrears from his mailing list, currently carrying those who are two years past due. 

Discussion that both the Executive Secretary and Nancy Gentry will approach Jerry Hayes with proposals for mass mailings to registered beekeepers.

Discussion of the effectiveness of conference calling as a way to accomplish Association business.  This first attempt seemed mostly successful.  Remarks that this call (121 minutes) was too costly; one member paid in excess of $12 at $.10/minute.  Others paid nothing (cell phone plan) or less than half calling cards at $.05 minute.  Even the most expensive attendant reported, however, paled in comparison to driving to a meeting and associated costs (room rental, etc.). 

Gary Ranker motioned adjournment, Reno Plenge (seconded), Passed.  Meeting adjourned 9:59 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Malcolm T. Sanford
Executive Secretary