BeeTreat 2013

During the last weekend of October, SR’s Beekeeping Collective held the first annual BeeTreat in Saint-Damien, QC. The goal of the BeeTreat was to reflect on the past beekeeping season, make plans for the upcoming season, discuss the Collective’s vision/mandate/and mission, and build camaraderie. IMG_3676

After a one-hour drive to Saint-Damien, the BeeTreat was kicked off by a team-building exercise, where we learned a little bit more about one another while playing “Two Truths and a Lie”. Then Noémie led a session on defining the guidelines for the BeeTreat, which we will also consider as general guiding principles for future Collective meetings. These guidelines include ways to respectfully listen to one another, methods of timekeeping, and learning to be open to disagreement. IMG_3654

This session was followed by a session (led by Heather) where we reflected upon the highlights and lowlights of the past year’s beekeeping season.

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After a break, we dove into a consensus-building exercise (led by Bree) to determine what a collective means. We individually brainstormed words and phrases that defined collective, and then we came together to see what areas overlapped and what areas served as their own distinct aspect of the definition of a collective. This activity helped us to collective make decisions as to what we see as the goals of a collective. The process allowed for dynamic discussions about how we envision our collective in the future.

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IMG_3647IMG_3652At the end of the first day, we shared a massive pot of chili and cornbread, followed by a brief dance party.

The second day of the BeeTreat started with a leisurely breakfast and another team-building exercise called “Pass the Stone”, which Simon, Stephanie, and Noémie won.

IMG_3667Noémie then led a practical discussion about the next steps for the hive, especially as we plan to get the honeybees ready for the impending winter.

The bulk of the morning was spent on an activity led by Simon where we explored possible decision-making processes for the collective. We reflected upon how we have made decisions in the past and what decision-making processes have worked and not worked and why. Simon helped us identify other possible ways to make decisions within the collective for the future.

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After a really great discussion, we took a brief break for lunch and participated in another team-building exercise called “The Human Spring”. Simon and Alex easily won this activity.

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The final BeeTreat activity (led by Simon) was to define membership roles. During this activity, we discussed who is a member of the collective, what does being a member actually mean, and how members should contribute.

The BeeTreat ended on a happy note on Sunday afternoon, as we all drove back to Montréal glad to have participated in a productive and fun weekend.

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