At the last BCBA board of directors meeting, we discussed lowering the number of grants awarded annually, but increasing the value of the grants. The monetary value of the Charlie Stewart Grant would be increased, and the TBA Grant would include a package of bees. This would decrease the number of mentors needed. Grant recipients would also be required to attend the short-course, woodenware workshop, and new beekeepers course.
One of the reasons for doing all this is to decrease the demand on the number of mentors the association has to provide. It is difficult to get people to agree to become mentors because of the amount of time and effort they believe is involved. Our experience is that people who go through all of the courses and workshops we offer are more likely to stick with their beekeeping even if no mentor is available.