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Committee Role Descriptions

For now this page just covers the roles with vacancies coming up in 2023-24.  All descriptions will be added in time.


  • Preferably will have experience of beekeeping

  • Chairing the various meetings of the Association (Committee/AGM/EGM as specified in the ABKA Constitution)

  • Checking that meeting agendas cover the necessary items for discussion/decision-making

  • Ensuring meetings are run efficiently, and discussion and decision-making is democratic and fully participative        

  • Holding the casting vote in the event of a split decision

  • The Chair may also represent the organisation at external events and meetings, act as a cheque-signatory, and take part in recruitment to other organisational posts

  • Liaising with the Vice Chair to provide cover if unable to attend a meeting

Vice Chair

  • Deputise for the Chair at any meeting of the Association (Committee/AGM/EGM) that he/she is unable to attend.

  • Lead the agenda for any such meeting

  • Have a casting vote in the event of a split decision, when deputising for the Chair

  • Be aware of the Constitution and be able to advise on points of order should the need arise

  • May be a counter-signatory to cheques for the Association account 

General Secretary

  • Liaise with Membership Secretary for access to and approval to use eR2

  • Prepare and circulate agendas for Committee Meetings in advance for additions/amendments to be made

  • Take an accurate record of Committee Meetings and circulate for amendments/additions

  • Check that Minutes are available on the “members only” section of the website and liaise with the website manager to achieve this

  • Prepare and circulate the agenda for the ABKA AGM to all members, with Minutes of the last AGM/ voting slips/any relevant documents to be considered at the meeting - 3 weeks in advance of the meeting date. These communications to be sent as a hard copy to members without internet access

  • Convene an EGM, as outlined in the ABKA Constitution, when needed, at the request of members.

  • Remind the Chair, Treasurer (and self) that formal written reports are needed for the AGM record. Brief, written updates can be provided as appropriate by other committee members and those with a key role in Association business (e.g. apiary manager, equipment manager, social events co-ordinator, education co-ordinator etc)

  • Communications from BBKA are circulated to ABKA members by the YBKA Secretary – no need to deal with these

  • Circulate other communications from members of the public and bona fide organisations to Committee or membership as appropriate. Consult with the Committee on more questionable items at Committee Meetings

  • Maintain a record of important documents (Minutes, Constitution, Association Apiary Lease, changes to ABKA logo etc) to pass to successor

  • Liaise with neighbouring associations in respect of invites to talks/events and the incidence of confirmed notifiable diseases within the ABKA district as appropriate

Events Co-ordinator

The Events Co-ordinator liaises between the ABKA Committee, current membership, individuals and other organisations (e.g. Cliffe Castle staff) to organise events to promote the objectives of ABKA and BBKA and provide opportunities for ABKA beekeepers to meet for social and educational benefits.

  • Liaise with the Committee to set up Winter Meetings for ABKA members.

  • Organise talks, workshops etc by contacting and booking hall space e.g. at Riddlesden Institute. Contact members and presenters arranging date and time. Arrange for release of details for website, Facebook. Inform Treasurer of expense details. Ensure keys and refreshments are available.

  • Encourage members to take part.

  • Facilitate outside events where the public attends.

  • Keep an inventory of equipment/ materials available for events and make appropriate replacement and renewals as needed.

  •  Help to organise the annual Honey Show.

Apiary Manager

The apiary manager is responsible for the overall day to day management of the ABKA apiary in a manner consistent with good beekeeping husbandry and the aims of the ABKA and BBKA.  The apiary will be managed in an economical manner. The apiary will be open to all members in so far as all members may attend routine management and special educational activities.  In consideration of the manager’s responsibilities, all visits to the apiary will only be by prior agreement with or at the invitation of the manager.

  • Disease control and treatment of the colonies. To include liaison with the National Bee Unit and the Bee Inspector assigned to the apiary

  • Maintaining a reasonable number of honeybee colonies to assure the healthy continuance of the apiary and with a view to producing a honey surplus

  • Maintenance of detailed husbandry records for each colony and queen.

  • Facilitating honey extraction and jarring.

  • Liaison with the Cliffe Castle observation hive manager and over-Wintering of the Cliffe Castle colony at the apiary.

  • Maintaining the equipment in working condition.

  • Maintaining the shed, grounds and equipment in a safe, tidy, workmanlike manner.

  • Ordering replacement or reasonable additional equipment, stores and medicine and making timely claims for expenses thereof.

  • Making regular reports on the condition of the apiary to meetings of the ABKA committee. Delivery of a yearly summary of apiary status and activities at the AGM of the ABKA.

  • Liaison with the apiary landlord.

  • Maintain an up to date risk assessment and ensure that visitors are aware of its contents

  • Maintaining an annual, priced equipment inventory.

  • Encouragement of good relations with landlord, neighbours and the general public.

Education Officer

Time required for this role I hour/week.  This is seasonal work with quiet times.  At intake ties and training times the time requirements will be greater, but much of the year there is very little commitment required.


Requires an organised mind, good record keeping abilities and willingness to communicate with committee and students on an ad hoc but timely basis.

No teaching skills or beekeeping skills required but it would be an advantage to the role.


  • To liaise with new beekeeping students and follow ABKA's educational programme

  • To organise training and site visits to apiary for beginners

  • To organise premises for training

  • To liaise with established beekeepers for their mentorship and training offers

  • To follow through on all training with all students within ABKA

  • To mediate any issues resulting form ABKA edu programme/personalities

  • to report to ABKA committee on regular basis or as requested

  • To liaise with YBKA Edu officer for ongoing external training

  • To encourage and organise Bee Basic opportunities for members

  • to propose and then amend and update educational programme as appropriate

  • To maintain database of students, their progress, relevant requirements and payments

Swarm Co-ordinator

  • Contact membership in March for volunteer Swarm Team members

  • Liaise with Education Co-Ordinator for details of second year Beginners Course students who will need swarms and give them priority on the list

  • Contact wider membership in March for anyone needing a swarm and chase up those on the list in May to clarify they are still needing bees

  • Make sure there are some volunteers in each sector of the ABKA area

  • Liaise with Membership Secretary to provide a name and approximate postcode for each sector of the ABKA area, to populate the BBKA Swarm Collectors map. Use your own telephone/e-mail contact address for each sector

  • Liaise with the website manager to provide your telephone/e-mail contact details as Swarm Co-Ordinator for the ABKA website

  • Set up a WhatsApp group for all the Swarm Team to allow speedy notifications of swarms needing collecting and volunteers able to deal with them

  • Provide volunteers with the BBKA Swarm Collector’s Protocol and insurance cover information

  • Familiarise yourself with helpful websites eg Bumble Bee Conservation Trust and Buzz about Bees.Net to advise and signpost callers about other insects

  • Field all initial contacts about swarms from the public, to weed out those involving bumble bees, solitary bees and wasps. Ask for photos of insects being reported, to clarify that Swarm Team members are only asked to visit genuine honeybee incidents

  • Provide volunteers with the details of the address, postcode, height and circumstances of the swarm (how long it’s been there, whether steps will be needed to reach it, confirmation that tenant’s permission to enter the property has been obtained) the name and contact number of the referrer and the tenant, if different

Publicity Officer

  • Help facilitate good communication with ABKA members and manage the profile of ABKA.  Maintain a positive and professional impression for ABKA’s stakeholders and outside audiences. 

  • Manage ABKA’s online presence online, e.g. through website, Facebook page etc.

  • Support and manage ABKA’s use of technical platforms including website, web hosting, email client, video conferencing etc. 

  • Exploit opportunities for positive publicity, e.g. by publicising ABKA events through any appropriate channels.

  • Produce publicity materials as required to support ABKA activities.

  • Deal with the local media where necessary on ABKA’s behalf.

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