May 29th is National Day of the Honeybee!
Today I called the first Beekeepers meeting for folks that live in Chilliwack, Aggasiz-Harrison, & Hope. Being the very first time for people to meet others present - Circle practice was a great way to 'break the ice'.
I used a hive tool as the talking piece for each person to introduce themselves, share what they love about bees & beekeeping, and talk a bit about what they are hoping to get from a beekeeping community, and what they bring to that community. The hive tool made the perfect talking piece - considering that it is the most held & used object in beekeeping practice - it received several chuckles in agreement.
There were three rounds of sharing:
1. Introduce self, hometown, style of beekeeping, and what you love about bees & beekeeping.
2. What do you hope to get from a beekeeping community, and what do your bring to it (e.g. skills/gifts)
3. Anything you would like to add? And being that it is National Honeybee Day - in celebration of the bees - and what they give to us (diversity & life), in what ways do you honor them, and give back to them.
So much was gleaned from these three rounds; and they served to set the group pace of sharing, and respectful listening & speaking. The conversation then flowed into connected, respectful, freestyle clusters.
What a great way to start a new community - by applying a community-building tool - right from the get-go! I'm so happy this tool was well received. I wonder how many present were experiencing this process for the first time?