Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

October 15, 2011

Mentoring Is An Art

Mentoring is teaching. Teaching is an art. Not everyone can be an artist. It takes a special person to teach. I am not a teacher, but I know some things that maybe you don’t. So I will let my fingers do the walking across this keyboard and see what comes up.

Mentoring is like communication. Transferring ideas and knowledge from one person to another. There are ways in which you can do this so the people are receptive, and there are ways in which the people are turned off and will close their minds and not tune into new ideas no matter what you do.

I have been known to use visual aids to get my point across and sometimes, I use only audio aids. The main thing is to be interesting and keep their minds focused on the presentation.

Number one in the countdown of information transference is the volume of the speakers voice. I have fallen asleep more times because I couldn’t hear what was being said.¬† Talking in a conversation setting is alright if you are one or two or even three to one. But if you are in an auditorium or large room with 10 to 50 or 100 people without a PA (Public Address system) then you have to raise the volume of your speech so it will project to the back of the room.

Have you tried to talk or listen to a speaker and someone is talking in the back of the room? It not only takes away from the speaker, but it shows disrespect to the audience also. But if the speaker raises his or her voice, then the noise in the background kind of goes away.

Remember, some in the audience may be hard of hearing. I myself have a hard time understanding the women and children with high voices. That is a range that I seem to have lost. Even hearing aids will not help me. But if the volume is high enough, I can understand what is being said and can follow along.

I think I have started chasing rabbits. Mentoring is what beekeepers do for newbies. The mentor is showing the ropes to the new beekeepers and answering questions to explain what is going on in the hive and how the colony acts to certain situations.

The mentor treats the new wannabees with respect and dignity, just like he would like to be treated. I know that some of the mentors don’t do this, but they should. When I ask a question, it is because I don’t know the answer. I don’t like to be belittled because I don’t know the information I am seeking.

The mentor should remember that he/she was once in the same spot that the student is now. Always try to answer the questions to the best of your ability, but do not make up an answer. If you don’t know, then say so and say that you will try to find the answer in a certain time frame. If you can’t, then ask another experienced beekeeper.

I may joke with the new beekeeper, but I will not give false information about the bees under any circumstance. I try to keep my integrity intact so that my character is not compromised.

You, the mentor, should listen to your young protege and help him to understand what he is concerned about. The mark of a good mentor is to be able to use words that the listener can understand. Have patience. The young one really is more scared of you than you are of him. You should be able to set him at ease so he won’t be afraid that he will show his ignorance and stop listening to you. It tickles me to have a new beekeeper call me at home with questions. It shows that I have bonded¬† with him or her and he feels comfortable with me.

As a mentor, you need to show and tell until the newbie is comfortable with the bees then have him or her start handling the frames and tell you what they see. They will gradually grow proficient with handling bees and equipment then you can let them go so they can continue on by themselves until they hit a snag.

That’s all there is to it boys and girls. It is easy once you know how. Don’t forget to check your own bees. They may need your help too! Have a great day.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Raviranjan | Oct 9, 2015 | Reply

    We must be lucky here. I see honey bees every time I see flowers, it seems. I am wnhcatig a hive in the sign of a local car lot. We walk by it nearly every day. They seem to be going gangbusters and so far no one has decided to have them exterminated. I have reported them to the Backwards Beekeepers but without the approval of the owner, and some tall ladders, they wouldn’t be able to trap them out.

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