GBA Bylaws

2023 Proposed Revisions


An introduction describing the reason for the proposed change, and an overview of the changes.


The following shows only the section of the current GBA Bylaws that is proposed to change. Click here for a copy of the full current GBA Bylaws. Chris: I need a PDF of the current bylaws.

Include only the bylaws section(s) that is(are) being changed.


Text of the current language.

Proposed Updates

Text of the updated language.

Please Vote!

Please use the following form to vote on the proposed changes to the GBA Bylaws.

Please indicate if you approve or disapprove of the proposed changes to the GBA Bylaws detailed above.
If you disapprove or have thoughts for additional changes, please leave a comment.

Mentors and Support

Gilroy Beekeepers Association is an Educational Non-Profit Organization (501c3). Part of our mission is to support folks with beekeeping, and with establishing and maintaining their own hives, or adopting a hive.

We offer a series of introductory classes for fledgling, first year beekeepers (see here). We do not have a program for one-on-one support of beekeepers in their first few years. Many organizations have a “Mentor” program to support people in their beekeeping journey. What would this look like for GBA?

Mentorship could:

  • Involve a formal training and certification process.
  • A more loose “bee-buddy” support network.
  • Something in between the above.
  • Or both of the above.

Bee Buddy

  • Bee-Buddies are not expected to know the answers to all questions, but they know where to find out.
    • They know the nooks and crannies of club knowledge and resources
    • Who’s who in the club
    • GBA Website content
    • Other resources
    • When and how best to escalate an issue
  • They know some beekeeping basics
    • Installing bees
    • Identification: workers, queen, drones
    • Hive health - basic inspections
      • Seams of bees
      • Food stores
      • ELB
    • Basic pest management


At the other end of the spectrum could be a Mentor program. This would involve a formal certification process. This process would likely leverage existing programs offered by UC Davis, Cornell, OSU, etc:

Davis, Texas, and OSU all offer various levels, for example: Apprentice, Journey / Advanced, and Master. GBA might develop adjunct support and assistance for folks enrolled in a formal program. GBA could also consider providing scholarships to a formal program for disadvantaged/deserving applicants.

Other Clubs and Programs

Here are some links to other formal Mentor programs:


We are rapidly coming up on spring, when new beekeepers are entering the club and getting started.

We are very interested in your thoughts, and how everyone can pull together on this! Please take a few minutes and fill out the survey below.




Create and deliver classes. Potential audiences:

  • The general public, to generate interest in honeybees, beekeeping, and pollinators. People are very curious about bees and pollinators, and what is inside those white boxes they see on the side of the road. 
  • People interested in having hives, to help them get started with beekeeping. Spring is the time to jump into beekeeping. How can I do that? What is involved? What is the commitment?


  • Educate the public on honeybees, pollinators, and pollinator-friendly plants.
  • Foster new beekeepers, emphasizing the climate, environment, and unique challenges of South Santa Clara Valley.
  • Income for GBA.



  • Materials (slides and handouts) for previous courses must be reviewed and updated if necessary.
  • New classes will require a significant amount of time to develop.


  • Classes held at Pajaro will require a portable bathroom.
  • The club may choose to charge for some classes to generate income.


Previous Classes

The following classes were given in 2022. Course materials are fully developed.

  • Becoming a Beekeeper - Introductory online class. Covers necessary equipment and financial commitment. Given multiple times in the fall, winter, and early spring.
  • Beginning Beekeeping - Online class and a field class. Necessary equipment, hive setup, and installing bees.   March
  • Helping Your Hives Thrive and Grow - Online class and a field class. Hive health, expected growth, feeding, IPM and pest management, and honey supers.   May
  • Harvesting and Hive Products - Field class only.  Selecting frames to harvest, de-capping, extraction, wax rendering, and products, propolis.   June
  • Reducing Stress On Your Hives - Online class and a field class.  Covers the common stressors for your bees – food, water, heat, and pests, and how to mitigate them.  July

Initiative Process


  • Membership has been declining over the last several years.
  • Most members are minimally involved.
  • A low percentage of members attend either Zoom or in-person events.


  • Communication is key to member engagement. There is no such thing as too much communication.
  • Members want to belong and be part of the club. They want to see where the club is going. Let’s trust our members to have valuable and insightful input.
  • GBA Committees are opaque. There is no visibility of the development and decision processes. The only visibility are fully baked end products, impacting members and the public. There is no visibility or input from either the membership or typically the board, on committee projects.


We currently work like Disneyland. We work hard, unseen behind the curtain, to do a large amount of stuff we think members and the public want… then open the gates, invite them in, and hope they like it. Let’s change that to Burning Man.

  • Communicate meetings
    • All Committees and Working Groups will keep meeting notes, always kept up to date and published on the web.
  • Communicate ideas before making decisions or plans.
    • All Committee and club initiatives, projects, and proposals (hereafter called “Initiatives”) will be published for member review and input before decisions are finalized and plans are made. This could be on the website, Google Docs, etc.
  • Communicate!
    • Continually reinforce Communication. Working Groups and Committees must always publish their current thoughts, notes, etc.
    • The Education Committee and BOD should devote a substantial amount of time to enabling and supporting communication.
    • Members can always see the current status of all the Initiatives, making it easy for them to jump into an Initiatives’ Working Group.
  • Prioritize Member feedback
    • We want members to feel a part of GBA - its direction, and where time and resources are being invested. 
    • Member feedback on Initiatives will be aggressively and actively solicited. 
    • Members should always have full visibility of the current status, thoughts, and direction of Working Groups.
    • A primary objective of all Working Groups is to inform the membership of their thoughts and ideas and encourage participation and input.
    • A generous amount of time (months if needed) will always be allocated for member comments, feedback, and recommendations on Initiatives. 
    • Member feedback will always be strongly considered. 
      • If a member's feedback is dismissed, a reason will be given in the Initiative document.
      • Member feedback is never ignored.
    • Member questions will be published and always answered, and clarifications made to the Initiative document. 
  • Initiatives are for a single item. 
    • Disparate projects are never conflated into one Initiative. Initiative examples: 
      • 2023 Classes
      • Fund Raising
      • SCC Fair
      • Apiary Maintenance 
  • Initiatives are from Members.
    • Initiatives are not necessarily from GBA BOD or Committees. Any member can publish and advocate an Initiative.
  • Initiatives are born ideas, not plans. 
    • Ideas spark creativity and more ideas. Plans freeze ideas.
    • Ideas are fluffy, malleable, and flexible. Plans are concrete, rigid, and resistant to change.
    • Ideas inspire. Ideas create more ideas.
    • People are attached to and feel ownership of their plans. One feels defensive when one’s plans are questioned or criticized. Plans are resistant to creativity and change.
    • Initiatives should always start as skeletons, and encourage input from anyone interested to build out the flesh. 
    • Converting an Initiative into a Plan is the last step, after aggressively lobbying members for input and related ideas.
  • Initiative documents are clear and concise.
    • Outline
      • Description
      • Benefit. Why are we proposing to do this? How does this Initiative benefit the club, the community, and the environment?
      • Resource Requirements
        • Labor
        • Financial
      • Finalization (added as the Initiative morphs into a Plan)
        • Plan outline
        • Schedule
    • Emphasize
      • Why
        • Why is this being proposed?
        • How does it benefit GBA, its members, the public, and the environment?
        • What problem is it addressing?
      • What
        • An Initiative is an attempt to address a perceived problem or challenge. What is that?
        • What exactly are we trying to accomplish? What is the goal? Who does it benefit? How?
    • All current projects should be clarified.
  • The Board and Education Committee become Service Organizations.
    • Their primary mission is:
      • Support Communication.
      • Support the Financial needs of Initiative Working Groups.
      • Encourage new ideas for Initiatives.
    • All Members, and perhaps the general public, are encouraged to propose ideas for Initiatives.
  • Now is a great time to embrace this change, as we are many months before spring activities.



  • Clear is kind.
    • Be clear and concise in your communications.


  • Fosters member involvement, commitment, and support of the club.
  • It forces us to plan ahead, be forthright, and think deeply about where and how we are allocating club resources.
  • It will require planning, patience, and thoughtful development of our Initiatives.


  • This significantly slows down GBA projects.
  • It will require planning, patience, and thoughtful development of our Initiatives.


  • Initiative List.
  • This requires a large increase in the time invested in communicating. If people do not communicate, it will fail. 
  • Contributions - feedback, suggestions, thoughts - can be written, but they could also be brief videos, reels, or any other form of communication that is web friendly.
  • If you aren’t good at typing or writing, try something like this: Chrome Speech to Text (Voice Recognition). There are numerous Speech to Text tools available on the internet.
  • Facebook groups could be used for each Initiative. 
    • There is a WordPress plugin that appends Facebook posts onto a WP web page.
  • Each Initiative would have it’s own web page. 
    • If the webpage for an Initiative starts feeling too large or difficult to follow, that may be a sign the Initiative should be divided into smaller, more easily tracked and comprehended Initiatives.