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South African Bee Journal


This issue reports mostly on Beecon 2004. It was a rejuvenating experience for all of us and an event you should most certainly not miss in the future.

An important milestone was reached at the SABIO Annual General Meeting, which was held as part of the Beecon 2004 programme. A new, up-to-date Bee Industry Constitution and Bylaws were adopted at the AGM. This marked the end of more than 5 years of negotiation and consultation. The three Chairpersons and other members of SABIO during these troubled times must be satisfied with the conclusion thereof. But now that we have reached this milestone the very people that SABIO wants to include have not yet registered. SABIO was historically an organisation representing its member Associations in a Federal system. This has now changed and beekeepers have direct representation and no longer via some Association. This was the main reason for change, as Associations became more and more city based with the result that SABIO was representing no more than 200 beekeepers through the Associations. With more than 2500 beekeepers on the SABIO database, SABIO could no longer claim to be the voice of the Industry.

The required Constitutional changes were adopted, but sadly we have to report that SABIO is still only presenting the 200 city based beekeepers. What are the reasons for this? Poor marketing or lack of commitment by SABIO management? No! The SABIO management last year undertook to publish the minimum of four Bee Journal issues. A further commitment was that these would be posted directly to all known beekeeper's addresses in South Africa. This was done and more than 1800 copies of each issue were disseminated. Unfortunately the costs of such an exercise prevent the SABIO management from continuing in this way. The four issues published during 2003 cost between R18,000-00 and R24,000-00 each to produce and distribute, while advertising revenue ranged between R7,000-00 and R12,000-00. The result of this was that the paying members were carrying the journal at a cost of R42-00 per issue (R168-00 per year), while they had contributed only R150-00 as registration fees. The first issue of 2004 cost a total of R 19,000-00 and was distributed to 660 members of which only 200 are paid-up. The cost of that issue alone translated into R95-00 per member against his R 150-00 membership.

Why did I find it necessary to share these costs to you? Not to motivate for an increase in membership fees, but to motivate for a genuine support base. I have confidence that the SABIO management team (including previous members) have nothing but the interest of Industry at heart. They know Industry's strengths and its weaknesses but can make no progress without a support base and it looks ominous that the new Constitution (with all its good intentions) is not going to provide that support.


Contents page for July 2004
Vol 76, No. 2
Editorial            34 
Letters to the Editor


Beecon 2004 38
SABIO Financial Statements 41
Beeplants of South Africa - Eucalyptus 44
Beekeeping development - Mondi projects 56
Bee-Bodies 64

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