See Candidate Statements Below

Elections will be held during the November PBG meeting.  The Board of the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild consists of 10 individuals including the offices of:

president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and communications coordinator.   Along with five Member Representatives, these folks set the meeting programs (topics and speakers), plan special events (symposium, short course, honey festival), and steer the Guild in activities that further the mission of the Guild.  Learn more about the positions in our By-Laws.

Some of the Member Representatives may take on special roles such as Membership Coordinator, Website Maintenance, Social Media Out-Reach, and Committee Leads.  Other Member Representatives simply add their voice and perspective to the activities described above.  Entry onto the Board is often as a Member Representative, which allows a person to see what the Board is about, how it works, and whether one wishes to hold a future office on the Board.
Any member of the Guild may serve on the Board. The Board is stronger when new and diverse perspectives are added.   The expectation is that Board members attend at least 75% of the Board meetings, which are held once a month.  Further, those who hold office are expected to fulfill the normal duties of that office with the aid and guidance from the rest.
Elections are held during the November business meeting each year.  While the officer positions are elected annually, it is expected that the President serve for at least the by-law maximum of two years and that the Vice President succeed the president (enabling a smooth transition).

Guild members interested in joining our Board should inform any current Board member or email the Board at . Letters of interest should be submitted no later than November 1st  and subsequently will be posted on the website for member review prior to elections on November 16, 2017.

Board Candidate Statements:

Laura Hart – Treasurer

I have been interested in bees for as long as I can remember but when I was introduced to an observation hive during an event at a local plant nursery, it sealed the deal.  I took all of their literature, read the books and ordered my equipment and bees stat. After my first year of beekeeping on my own, I realized that beekeeping was a team sport. That’s when I signed up for classes and then soon found the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild. There is no price you can put on the collective knowledge that is provided by our organization.  I have now been keeping bees for the last 5 years and have never looked back.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve on the PBG board as your treasurer.  I enjoy the people and comradery as much as I do the bees!

Laura Hart

Randy Frederick – Member Representative

So a little bit about myself. I had always wanted to keep bees and then around this time last year I couldn’t think of a reason why I couldn’t or shouldn’t. I had the means, the space and the desire so off I went. I started reading, took the classes, got three packages and 2 nucs and started the spring off with 5 hives. Before I knew it I was staring at frames for hours and often not realizing how long I had been there. I’d feel it in my back the next morning to. It’s a lot of physical labor, which is likely not lost on anyone reading this. Spring turns into summer. One of my packages never really took and despite my best efforts I couldn’t save it. I lost some of the comb to beetles and then combined the rest. Then both nucs swarmed which I was in no way prepared for. One raised a queen and one didn’t. The one that failed developed into laying workers and here I am taking 3 into winter.
I had the opportunity to volunteer at Wyck and did the open hive talk there with my wife (whose interest is developing rapidly). I ended up having a really great time and almost ran into the second hive talk. We were there for almost 3 hours. I took several really interested kids and parents through one hive frame by frame which was a lot of fun. Kids are really foolhardy. I found myself having to caution them not to stick their faces into the box, several times over. I also discovered I like to talk about bees. A lot.
My interest in bees morphed into all consuming obsession sometime along the way and now I’ve found myself securing 3 outyards for an expansion next spring. One of the landowners has expressed interest in starting one of her own hives and I told her that I’d be happy to help her out with it. So I find myself at a point in life where all I want to do is talk to people about bees (I’m convinced all beekeepers are like this) and I guess that’s why I’m writing this.


Sarah Plonski – Member Representative

My name is Sarah Plonski. I have been keeping bees for five years, and a member of the Philadelphia Beekeeper’s Guild nearly as long. In that time I have helped with outreach and education, and provided photography services for guild events. I also helped to organize the queen rearing sub-committee earlier this year.

The Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild has benefited me so much throughout the years. I would be grateful for the opportunity to take on a larger role keeping it the wonderful resource for beekeepers that it has been, and contribute to it’s continued improvement.

Thank you for considering my candidacy for the board.

Kathy May- Communication Coordinator

When I decided to keep bees three years ago, I knew I was totally enthralled with learning about one of nature’s most intriguing creatures.  What I didn’t know, was that becoming a Guild board member would be equally engaging.  Leading our communications and marketing efforts has been a pleasure.  Project management skills I acquired in a prior life have enabled me to contribute to Honey Festival planning, Symposium organization, and website/social media messaging.  It would be an honor to continue to participate on the board and to learn even more from so many great beekeeping Philadelphians.

Kirk Wattles – Member Representative

Kirk Wattles grew up in Philadelphia, returned thirty years ago and settled in West Philadelphia with his family. A long-time gardener and student of natural history, Kirk took up beekeeping seven years ago and currently has upwards of 6-8 colonies of bees.  For two years, he has been investigating with others in the Guild what we can do together to boost bee forage and improve the natural habitat for honey bees and related species in our area.  On the board of the Bee Guild, Kirk would like to develop ways of working with other organizations in the Philadelphia area that are working on habitat issues, including with pollinator gardens and tree-planting. A current concern is the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, which is likely to cause a huge increase in the amounts of neonicotinoid pesticides used in this area to try to protect trees in the Philadelphia area, which in turn will be detrimental for our bees and many other insect species.

Michael Gonzales – Member Representative

Greeting fellow beekeepers!  Welcome to the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild.  Your membership is much appreciated.  My name is Michael Gonzales and I am a candidate for Member Representative of the Board.  I am a long time Philadelphia resident and have been keeping bees for 5 years in the Philadelphia area known as the “Ereaserhood” (12th and Green).  Becoming a member of the Philadelphia Beekeepers guild was instrumental in my success as an urban beekeeper.  I have been a member representative of The Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild for 3 years and author the monthly newsletter.  As your humble member representative, I believe the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild should be operated in a manner that provides maximum benefit to our members first.

James Romanchek – Secretary:

My name is James Romanchek and I have been keeping my own bees for 5 years, although I’ve been active in the beekeeping world since College, first working on research projects and second on my inlaw’s farm. When the position for Secretary opened up unexpectedly last year I filled in to help organize the board, and I would like to continue to do so. Since becoming active with the Guild I have volunteered for many of our outreach events, a number of the teaching events, and have actively worked on organizing the Nuc Colony Yard.  Last year, I took over managing the Yard and will continue to do so as we strive to have a sustainable source of local queens for our member and our area.
Thank you all for the opportunity to serve on the board.

Dave Harrod – President

It has been an honor to serve as the president of the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild for the last year and as the Vice-President for two years before that. I would like to submit my name as candidate for president for one more year in 2018.

I’ve been keeping bees since 2006 and currently have several apiaries throughout the city. My long term goal as a beekeeper is to be able to ‘retire’ and develop beekeeping as a source of engagement with the community and income.

As President I hope to help continue the amazing work that the Guild has done in terms of outreach and education. The Guild a recognized participant in the beekeeping, food and horticultural communities of Philadelphia and beyond.

I want to build on this success by making the foundations of our organization stronger and by seeking new opportunities to promote beekeeping and partner with like minded community organizations.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this great organization.

Dave Harrod

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