It was a long day yesterday attending the ADM. I think I probably spent as long sat behind a wheel as in the meeting. I got there a little earlier than usual and bagged a seat near the front where I would be able to stretch my legs and where the Chairman would find it hard to avoid my eye!
I was in illustrious company as to my right sat Gerald Moxon MBE from Yorkshire Beekeepers and to my left Tom Salter, Chairman of the BBKA Exam board. I keep mixing him up with Tom Canning from Norn Iron.
The business in the morning covered the finances. In spite of having a third of a million in the bank they want to put the subs up by £1. They got the motion through by a decent majority 49 for, 5 agin and 6 abstentions. We were issued with clever devices with buttons to press to record out votes and when we have done so our Branch name disappears from the screen and then, when all have voted/abstained, the result appears on the screen, there being 60 voters present.
We were asked to vote for members of the Executive Committee. There were 5 candidates and 4 vacancies for 3 years and one for 1 year. That’s where we had some controversy as somebody, I forget whom, objected to Michael Young MBE being allowed to stand as his name appeared on an open letter that was in circulation objecting to the BBKA Exec’s alleged policy with regard to pesticide endorsement. The objection was that he was showing dissent and not being of one voice with the rest of the Exec, (I paraphrase). They seem to think that we have Cabinet Government in the BBKA! Anyway some of the mud stuck but not enough to suit his detractors, as a good majority (memory says 36:24 but I didn’t write it down) wanted him to fill the vacant slot.
For the Exam board there were 3 names for 3 places, Tom Canning, Pam Hunter and Peter Sutcliffe.
Then came the controversy! Motions 2 and 3 covered essentially the same ground: BBKA interaction with pesticide endorsement for money. Motion No 2 was from the Executive itself asking approval for their new policy of dropping endorsements but leaving the door open for taking money for other uses of its ‘intellectual property’. Motion No 3 was from Twickenham and Thames Valley BKA. First there was a vote on the order in which they should be considered, (3 won), then a vote on a change of wording to soften it slightly (won) and then a vote on the amended motion which was carried 56:3:1 abstention. Then a Card Vote was demanded so we all had to vote again on the same motion, but this time the computer showed the numbers of people each vote represented – 16,777:1949:352. Back then to 2nd motion which was carried comfortably 48:7:5. Items 4 and 5 were uncontroversial tweaks to the constitution and were easily carried.
6 was more interesting and I chipped in a couple of times. Cumbria apparently wants to standardise queen rearing and produce standard queens all stamped with the BBKA logo! As the wording of the motion was just to allow the Trustees to consider setting up a committee they got it through. To my mind standard queens is about as desirable and as achievable as standard people!
7 was yet another tweak to the Constitution and got through comfortably.
Then we got controversial again. Cleveland BKA have applied to join as a break away from Durham. They have 106 members which the big boys (Devon and York) consider piddling and an extra branch would cost more money than it’s worth. At the first vote their application was accepted 40:15:5 abstentions. Card vote please! 9478: 7647: 1953 which shows the importance of abstentions!
That result made me a little nervous for the outcome of Dave James’ Instrumented Hive Project application for specialist membership but that was accepted 57:3 and lastly the NDB exam board’s application was accepted unanimously.
Tim Lovett and Norman Carreck were granted Honorary Membership, which will save them paying their annual subs I think.
Thanks to the new voting system, the meeting finished before 4 o’clock, which has to be a record!