MBKA Branch Constitution Document
BRANCH RULES January 2010 – amended and adopted at an SGM on 30th October 2017.
1. MBKA have set up an Apiary the current location of which is at Rowdefield Farm, Rowde, Devizes, SN10 2JE under the control of the Committee. The Committee may appoint one of their number or any other member of the Branch to manage the Apiary on behalf of Branch members (“the Apiary Manager”).
2. The purpose of the Apiary is to have a live practical teaching facility under the control of the Branch where new beekeepers can learn and practice the art of beekeeping and handle hives of different construction under the supervision of experienced members.
3. Any change of location or closure of the Apiary must be ratified by the membership in general meeting in accordance with the Wiltshire Beekeepers Association (“WBKA”) Constitution at paragraph 11.
4. The Committee shall from time to time compile an inventory of the Branch’s hives, colonies and equipment at the Apiary and record this in the minutes (but not include the inventory on the MBKA website).
5. Hives are to be kept in reasonable structural condition.
6. Any buildings on the Apiary site are to be kept, secure at all times, in reasonable structural condition and weatherproof.
7. Good practice of Beekeeping and disease control is to be applied in the use of the Apiary paying particular attention to the requirements of the DEFRA plan ‘Healthy Bees – Protecting and improving the health of honeybees in England and Wales’
8. The hiring out of Apiary equipment to any member at a modest hire fee is by agreement and by placing a deposit with the Apiary Manager and/or the Committee and such equipment must be returned on demand and in good condition. The return of the deposit will be after deduction of the costs of any damage to the item hired.
9. Equipment used in the upkeep/maintenance of the Apiary is only to be operated by members who are competent in such use.
10. Temporary accommodation of member(s) bee stocks in cases of dire emergencies may be permissible by prior arrangement with the Apiary Manager and the Committee at the member’s expense but such member does so at the member’s sole risk and no liability will attach to the Branch in the event of loss, disease or accident.
11. The members may at the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) appoint any full member to form a committee and serve as a chair, secretary, treasurer, education officer and WBKA branch liaison officer for a period not exceeding 3 years unless at the end of such period, the post for renewal cannot be filled during any AGM in which event the person shall continue if willing until the next AGM but for no further period unless re-elected. Every committee member should either be keeping bees or have prior beekeeping experience.
12. The Committee may appoint any other full member to serve on the Committee to assist it with its business.
13. The Committee may appoint one of their number to serve the Branch as the Education officer. Such person is responsible for promoting the education of the branch’s beekeepers at all levels appropriate to the expertise of the members in all matters relevant to the keeping of bees, to include courses and lectures and to assist in the co-ordination and training of beekeepers taking any national exam.
14. A copy of the Minutes of Committee meetings is to be available at MBKA meetings and published on the MBKA website.
15. Where possible the Committee shall actively promote MBKA and its activities and provide support to external groups having an interest in Beekeeping.
16. Membership fees shall be recommended by the Committee for endorsement at the AGM in advance of any fee changes taking effect.
17. The Committee shall approve in advance any Out-of-Pocket expenses incurred by any Committee member or co-opted member in the pursuance of MBKA activities.
18. The Committee shall authorise the Apiary Manager to incur expenditure for the upkeep of the Apiary to a value not exceeding £100 maximum for any one transaction.
19. The members delegate to the Committee the day to day management of its branch activities without specific prior reference to members except such major decisions which may affect the future viability of the branch.
20. The Committee will hold not less than 6 committee meetings each year to manage the business of the branch at which a quorum shall be 4 members including 2 of the officers appointed under paragraph 11. Minutes shall record proceedings and votes carried by simple majority.
21. Committee members and the Apiary Manager must declare if they have a conflict of interest between their personal or business beekeeping activities and those of the MBKA. The Committee shall record in the minutes such conflicts of interest (but not include them on the MBKA website).
22. The Committee shall terminate the MBKA membership of any member or associate member who commits a serious breach of MBKA rules or of the WBKA Constitution. The Committee shall give notice in writing of such action to the member/associate member concerned, giving reasons for membership termination and provide an opportunity for the member concerned to present an appeal for reinstatement should he or she desire.
23. Branch membership fee to be paid within 1 month of the start of the club’s financial year. Non-payment of fee will result in cessation of membership.
24. MBKA policy is to encourage members’ voluntary registration on BeeBase whilst recognizing that registration is not obligatory.
25. MBKA policy is the equality of members irrespective of race, ethnic origin, sex, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, creed, disability, age or political belief.
26. Contravention of any MBKA rules or of the WBKA Constitution, bringing the club into disrepute, acting in a disrespectful manner to fellow members will result in membership termination as deemed by the Committee as above and ratified by a general meeting.
27. An AGM shall be held each year and shall be initiated by notice in accordance with the timings and procedures laid out in the WBKA Constitution at paragraph 8 by the Secretary to the members, chaired by the Chair or in his/her absence by another officer of MBKA as agreed by the meeting, with a quorum of 10 full members including 2 officers of MBKA, provided that references to President, Vice President and Council shall not apply.
28. A Special General Meeting shall be called and held in accordance with the timings and procedures laid out in the WBKA Constitution at paragraph 9 by the Secretary to the members chaired by the Chair or in his/her absence by another officer of MBKA as agreed by the meeting, with a quorum of 10 full members including 2 officers of MBKA, provided that references to President, Vice President and Branch Secretaries shall not apply.
29. Any alteration to these Rules shall require the consent of the membership in General Meeting.
30. The hiring out of the Branch’s books to members is by agreement with the Branch’s library representative and all books must be returned on demand and in good condition. The Branch reserves the right to charge the member of the costs of any damage to any book hired or the cost of a replacement if damaged beyond repair or lost.