Mentor Program

The SABA Mentorship Program is designed to match beginning beekeepers with our more seasoned beekeepers.  Beekeeping offers all of us (new and experienced beekeepers) challenges.  If you are just starting out in the craft of beekeeping, having a mentor to call upon from time to time may be all that is needed to build your confidence and expertise.  If you are interested in being matched with a mentor, please print out and mail in the following form, or bring it to a SABA meeting.

Request a Mentor Form:        PDF format        Word format

Goal: To increase the knowledge of bees and beekeeping for the Hobby/Sideliner beekeeper and to establish new relationships that help build community around honeybees.

Acting Mentor Chairperson: CHRIS CRIPPS, chris@betterbee.com

Mentor Guidelines

If mentors have questions, they can contact the Mentor Chairperson. Mentors can also contact the Treasurer, Kirt Coonradt, at treasurer@adirondackbees.org, to confirm that a potential mentee is a paid member of SABA.

Kirt Coonradt treasurer@adirondackbees.org

  1. Mentors may choose to visit Mentees 3‐4 times a year to address seasonal changes and needs, as agreed upon with their Mentee.
  2. Mentors should respond to calls/emails, etc., from mentees as soon as possible and not keep them waiting.
  3. Mentors will not charge for their services, but nominal gratuities or gifts from your Mentee are acceptable (e.g., gas money).
  4. Mentors will respond to as many emails or phone calls as they choose or have previously agreed upon with their Mentees. Suggested amounts of time should be agreed upon by both parties at beginning.
  5. Mentors must verify Mentees have joined SABA and have also filled out the “Mentee” Application before mentoring begins.
  6. If any problems should arise with your Mentee, contact the Mentor Program Chairperson immediately.
  7. When a Mentee is a youth (age XX or under), a parent or adult guardian should be present when the Mentor meets with and works with the Mentee.

Mentors are SABA members who volunteer to assist new beekeepers. Each mentor has a unique style and specific talents. By accepting a mentor, the Mentee acknowledges that SABA is not responsible for the actions of the Mentor.

Mentee Guidelines

  1. Mentees must join SABA and complete the “Mentee Application”, to participate in the program.
  2. Mentees should do their own research (including but not limited to reading, The Beekeeper’s Handbook), before asking for help. Some resources: SABA’s website (adirondackbees.org), Beehackers.com, Beesource.com, www.BeeKind.com; Anne Frey’s classes at SABA; hands-on workshops offered by SABA for members, in addition to other clubs programs and conferences.
  3. Be respectful of your Mentor’s time they are probably helping others also.
  4. Working with two mentors is acceptable. Don’t be a mentor “hog” or a mentor “hopper”, and keep everyone in the loop.
  5. Mentees are encouraged to help your Mentor with their beekeeping tasks like cleaning frames/supers, assembling frames/supers, cutting the grass around hives, moving hives, etc. They should be available to work the Mentors hives with him/her and learn from the experience at the Mentor’s yard/s.
  6. Save time and be prepared before your Mentor arrives. Get everything ready that you will need for that day’s visit (e.g., hive boxes, extra frames, work site and whatever else will be needed that day including but not limited to a list of questions). Don’t expect your Mentor to bring the equipment/tools for the day’s work.
  7. Work on your hives in a continuous, timely manner throughout the season based on suggestions from your Mentor, rather than always wait for your Mentor to be there.
  8. If any problems should arise with your Mentor, contact the Mentor Program Chairperson immediately.
  9. If you cannot find a mentor to work with, you can “mentor” yourself! This means taking a pro-active approach of asking questions, by making phone calls and/or writing emails with questions, attending meetings, classes, workshops, reading the past and current issues of The Beeline newsletter. You can ask experienced beekeepers for advice or information at meetings and even volunteer to help them when they work their hives. Even if you have a mentor, there may be times they are not available. We all need a support network that is broader than relying on one person. Honeybees help and support each other. This is why they are successful! Whether you are a beginning beekeeper or an intermediate beekeeper, taking the initiative to find good answers from many sources will add to your pleasure and long‐term success in working with your bees and your peers!