The Mountain High Beekeepers Cooperative (MHBC), was formed in 2004 out of a series of classes on beekeeping offered through the Boulder Life Long Learning Program. The members of those classes as well as a number of other beekeepers wanted to develop their beekeeping skills and knowledge in order to deal with the numerous problems that beekeepers face nowadays. Then as now there is a scarcity of good information and practical help directly available to beekeepers, especially newer ones, and in support of successful beekeeping. It was from those sincere and practical concerns that we formed the MHBC and continue to emphasize among our membership.
Nowadays, there has been a great deal of concern and emphasis on suspected causes for honey bee problems and in some cases, honey bee decline. And while the MHBC does not refute that some problems for beekeepers and honey bees exist, at the same time we try to emphasize that the way to deal with these problems is through better education, understanding and practical application. Our general view is that we are not facing a “Bee-pocalypse” nor are we on a mission to “Save the Bees”. But as beekeepers we have to continually educate and apply ourselves to the problems and successes we have as beekeepers.
MHBC members include those with a lifetime of beekeeping experience (of over fifty years), as well as members who are relatively new to the craft. Our main way of communication and exchanging of information (as well as planning group events) is via our Google group email community, where members can ask questions of fellow members and exchange information. New beekeeper members are asked to find a mentor in the Co-op who can help them with keeping sustainable honey bee colonies.
The vision of MHBC is and always has been to promote practical, informed and sustainable methods and approaches to beekeeping. We are now in our thirteenth year of operation and most of our members continue to be active and involved in MHBC activities. We continue to show an interest and participation level with our membership, which exceeds the average of 50% drop-out from beekeeping within 5 years. MHBC strives to be a positive and constructive voice for beekeepers in today’s problematic and sometimes controversial beekeeping world.