The AGM season began with a very constructive bang last Friday evening with the Southern Beekeepers’ Association Meeting at the Viking in Castletown.

With 43 attendees, more than double those who turned out last year, there was a vibrant buzz in the room when Cilla Platt, the Fed Education Officer gained approval to take the Chair from outgoing Chairman Keith Osborn and from the members.

Significant issues discussed included the good news that long standing member David Roberts had accepted nomination as the Southern’s President Elect, and will expect to assume the Chain of Office at the 2018 Fed AGM.  This nomination, a year in advance, is a sensible convention which, combined with being a delegate to the Fed Council, allows the nominee to attend Fed meetings for at least a year prior to taking office, ensuring he or she fully understands the workings of the Fed and can ensure a smooth takeover when the time comes.

Also of great significance for the Southern was the approval of a new Constitution. The old Constitution, consisting of bits and pieces tacked together since the Second World War, some not even signed or dated, included a number of clauses that were far out of line with current thinking and also contained very obvious gaps.

As the new Constitution had been on the Agenda for the 2016 AGM but was not discussed then through the effluxion of time, the Chairman was very keen that consideration of this year’s Constitution didn’t get bogged down in minutiae and gained approval of the meeting that all proposed amendments be brought to an EGM within 3 months.

So, sometime before 17 June, the SDBKA will hold a members’ extraordinary general meeting to consider proposals for amendments that may come forward. (And this important ability of members to be able to call an EGM is one of the welcome enhancements to the Constitution!)

The incoming Committee consists of Cilla Platt, Chair, Gwen Kelly, Secretary, Johnny Kipps, Treasurer assisted by David Roberts and new committee members Pauline Stewart, Andy Finch and Liz Brand. Each of the new additions to the committee introduced themselves and were greeted with rousing applause, which shows great promise for the year ahead.

The three Fed delegates are Cilla, Gwen and David; if a reserve is required, the Committee will co-opt as necessary.

Three fulsome reports were tabled – including the Treasurer’s which had been circulated with the Agenda the week before.

Gwen’s Secretary’s report summarised the frankly amazing level of meetings and events that the Southern had either organised or been involved in over the past year whilst Cilla, in her Chairman’s report, rightly gave credit to Keith for his leadership over the year. Cilla especially thanked Keith and others for helping to make the 2016 BIBBA Conference the wonderful success that it was, bringing  a huge amount of new beekeeping knowledge to the Isle of Man and enabling many of the local attendees to make new beekeeping friends.  Cilla especially noted the two lectures given by BBKA President Margaret Murdin as one of her personal highlights.

When the Treasurer rose to take questions on the 2017 Accounts and Treasurer’s Report – which this year included an Examiner’s Report for the first time the Chairman, with an eye on the time, proposed that the list of queries from one member be submitted in writing to enable the Treasurer to consider them with the Committee and respond to the questioner following their next meeting. The Chairman then asked the meeting if they were happy that the Committee, after consideration of the queries, were given authority to approve – or disapprove – the Accounts on their behalf?

The members readily accepted this suggestion.

Overall, the meeting was conducted in very positive and constructive manner, entirely befitting the gentle hobby of beekeeping. Most appeared to enjoy both the meeting and the fellowship, before, during and after the meeting was closed. The business side was handled in a professional manner that was leavened with good humour; and that’s how it should be!

The rest of the AGM season is as follows:

  • Western Beekeepers’ Association: Sailors’ Shelter, East Quay, Peel, Sat 25 March, 2.00 p.m.
  • Ramsey & District Beekeepers Association: the Mitre Hotel, Ramsey, Thurs 30 March, 7.00pm.
  • Isle of Man Beekeepers’ Federation: St Johns Methodists Hall, Sat 22 April, 2.00 pm.

Beekeepers are encouraged to support their fellows and attend other AGMs, provided of course that you are at least Associate members. If you’d like to apply for Associate membership of any of the three local Associations (only £2) please contact the relevant Secretary, being

And of course, all members of the three local associations are very welcome – and very much encouraged – to show your support by attending the Fed AGM, to be held on Saturday 22 April at2pm in St Johns. Please do make every effort to come along and contribute to the business and enjoy the fellowship.

And if the next three AGM’s are anywhere near as enjoyable as the Southern’s, 2017 will be a great year for beekeeping in the Isle of Man!



Featured Image – courtesy of The Truth

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