bees, wasps

Bees & Wasps in Your Community Association

The Roles of Bees and Wasps in Community Associations

During the warmer months in the Delaware Valley many residents in Community Associations will notice
the proliferation of bees and wasps in the landscape beds and common areas. What many residents may not
know is that some of these insects, particularly certain species of bees or wasps, can be beneficial for the Community Association. Bees and wasps can help to pollinate plants and flowers in the landscaping beds and sometimes also help to control other insect pests. On another note, certain bees and wasps may also create a nuisance by nesting in the common areas or building structures which may require the services of a professional pest control company. In order to differentiate between these different types of insects, please read on.

Do you know the difference between a Wasp and a Bee?

Bees – Are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants. They are mostly known for their role in pollination and the integral part they play in our ecosystem. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in the world and they are found on every continent except Antarctica. Below are the most common bees found in the Tri-State area:

European Honey Bee is the best known bee species. They have the ability to produce honey and are the most popular bee in North America. The honey bee builds its nest from wax secreted by workers in the colony. Unfortunately there has been a large decline in the honey bee population due to the overuse of pesticides.

Carpenter Bees – Are solitary in the sense that every female is fertile, and typically inhabits a nest she constructs herself by boring into wood. There are no worker bees for these species. Carpenter bees do not produce honey or beeswax. This type of bee can be destructive to your home.

Wasp -The majority of wasp species are solitary, with each adult female living and breeding independently. Many of the solitary wasps raise their young by laying eggs on or in the larvae of other insects. The wasp larvae eat the host larvae, eventually killing them. Solitary wasps parasitize almost every pest insect, making wasps valuable in horticulture for biological pest control.

Yellow Jacket – Is the common name in North America for predatory wasps. Most of these are black and yellow. All females are capable of stinging. Yellow Jackets, like most wasps, can sting repeatedly, and will do so when threatened. A yellow jacket colony can have up to 5,000 members, ruled over by a queen. Yellow jackets build nests in the ground, old tree stumps, wood piles, wall cavities and in sheds. People are often stung while trying to remove a nest or running over a nest with a lawnmower. Despite having a bad reputation, yellow jackets are important predators of pest insects and play an important role in preventing crop damage.

Hornets -Are the largest of the wasps, and are similar in appearance to the yellow jacket. They are distinguished from other wasps by the head and by the rounded abdomen. Hornets build communal nests by chewing wood to make a papery pulp. Each nest has one queen, who lays eggs and is attended by workers who are female. Most hornets make nests in trees and shrubs, but some build their nests underground or in the corner of a building. Hornets are often considered pests and aggressively guard their nest. Like the yellow jacket, hornets can sting repeatedly.

Hopefully this helps you better understand the roles that bees and wasps play in our Community Associations. Please consider this information when trying to identify these types of insects in the outdoors so that we don’t exterminate those insects that are beneficial for all of us.

PENCO Management has the expertise to deal with various issues that your Homeowners or Condominium Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.  Our management team would be happy to schedule a meeting with your Board of Directors to discuss your Communities’ needs, as well as answer these very important questions regarding PENCO’s services.

Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

An Agenda to Keep Your Meeting on Track

Utilizing an Agenda to Keep Your Community Association Meeting on Track

Creating and following an agenda can help keep your Board of Directors meeting for your Community Association on track. A detailed but flexible agenda can keep your meeting productive in order to cover all the items listed in the shortest amount of time. Below are a few tips for creating a productive agenda for your Board of Director’s meetings:

Getting Started:

Starting your agenda early allows you to solicit feedback before the meeting. This can help prevent mistakes and add details that might get overlooked. It is important to distribute the meeting agenda to the Board of Directors Members at least 5-7 days in advance of the meeting so that they have a chance to review the agenda and any relevant information concerning topics on the agenda.

Choose a Title:

The title should contain the word “Agenda” and what subject matter the agenda will cover. “Community Meeting” or simple and direct titles are usually best. Remember, the purpose of the agenda title is to inform readers of what they are viewing.

What to Include:

Include the date, time and location of the meeting. Add a sign in sheet to list the attendees if the meeting is open to the general membership. A proper agenda should start by calling the meeting to order and recognizing a quorum. The conclusion of the meeting should include a proper adjournment and scheduling of the next meeting date.

Next write a brief statement describing the meeting objectives. This statement should only be a few sentences including the goals for the Board of Directors to accomplish at the meeting. Meetings without a clearly defined objective waste precious time deciding what to talk about as opposed to addressing the topics themselves.

After defining the meeting, create an outline of the discussion items. The outline will be the guide to keep everyone on topic and the meeting progress on a productive course. You should always schedule the most important items first just in case the meeting runs out of time. During the meeting keep a record of the amount of time spent on an item and make sure the discussion stays on topic. This will insure an efficient and constructive meeting.

Check for Errors:

Proofread for errors and completeness before distribution. Going through this review reflects in a positive manner on your attention to detail and the respect you have for the attendees.

Meeting Conduct:

The Board President should chair the meeting. Board Members should be formally recognized and issues voted upon or tabled in a formal voting fashion. A timed agenda, which consists of allotting a certain amount of time for each agenda item, can greatly help in keeping both the Board and the audience on topic. Studies have shown
that meetings that have continued for more than one hour often become unproductive as restlessness and inattentiveness set in among the participants. In order to keep everyone cordial and productive, make sure your next agenda is properly prepared by following the tips previously discussed.

PENCO Management has the expertise to deal with various issues that your Homeowners or Condominium Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.  Our management team would be happy to schedule a meeting with your Board of Directors to discuss your Communities’ needs, as well as answer these very important questions regarding PENCO’s services.

Association Board of Directors

Conducting a Positive Association Board of Directors Meeting

 

Conducting a Positive Association Board of Directors Meeting

Preparing for and conducting a monthly Meeting of the Board of Directors for a Homeowners or Condominium Association can be a challenging task. Board Members bring a variety of personalities, educational backgrounds, and business styles to their monthly Association Board of Directors meeting. The main goal for the Association Board of Directors meeting is to discuss and vote on the list of topics on the agenda. Decisions and discussions should be conducted in a timely manner with the Association’s best interest being the end result. Six tips to help facilitate a productive Association Board of Directors meeting with positive outcomes:

  1. Agenda Items: Two weeks before a meeting send out an email asking the Association’s Board of Directors for items they would like put on the agenda. Set a deadline for submission.
  2. Get Prepared: Once you have your topics for the meeting, gather information on those issues so that you are prepared to answer any questions related to the topics. Share information with the Association Board of Directors ahead of time so they can become familiar with the issue and get questions out of the way prior to the meeting. Sometimes topics can be discussed and resolved prior to the meeting via email.
  3. Time stamp your agenda. Meetings should run an Hour and a half to two hours at the most. Any more than that and  decisions are made too quickly.
  4. Board Packet: Send the entire board packet (Agenda, Minutes, Proposals, Contracts, Financial Reports, etc.) out at least 3 days ahead of time so the Board has a chance to review the information. Make sure you remind the Board of the date and time of the meeting.
  5. Follow the agenda. Stay on topic, and watch your time. If members go off topic, gently redirect back. If a topic is taking up a lot of time and going nowhere, that issue can be tabled to the end of the meeting or continued to the next meeting. Take good notes! Use an Action item list and write down what you need to do. Transfer those items onto your task list on the computer the following day and review daily.
  6. If members are talking over each other, arguing, or getting agitated, raise your hand. Once you get their attention, take a break. Have light refreshments available so members get a drink and cool down. This gives you the manager time to process and work on a resolution. When you reconvene, start by reviewing and confirming each member’s position. Offer additional information or suggestions even if that is to table the discussion until more information is obtained. Express your respect for each position. When all else fails, find a way to make them laugh. Humor is a great way to defuse a situation and bring things back into perspective.

A happy Board is a productive Board!

Submitted By:

K.C. Bernardine Property Manager    

 

Pool Safety in Your Association

Pool Safety in Your Association

Summer is just around the corner and swimming is one of the many activities people love to enjoy in their Condominium or Homeowners Association. If you live in an Association with a swimming pool you probably enjoy using it, especially if you have children. While your Homeowners Association wants to make sure all of their residents and guests have fun in and around the water, their top priority is safety. It is important that you review your Association’s pool rules and become familiar with them. In order to help keep everyone safe you need to follow the pool rules for your Homeowners Association.

Pool rules promote safety, but safety is largely up to you: it is important to take precautions, follow the rules and be prepared for emergencies.

  • Make sure you, your family and your guests know how to swim properly. If you do not, there are plenty of swimming classes for people of all ages.
  • Always supervise children while they are around the pool, no matter how well they can swim. It only takes one misstep for someone to get hurt.
  • Take note where the reach pole, emergency phone and life preservers are located in the pool area.
  • Most importantly, consider learning CPR if you haven’t already. This simple life-saving technique could save a life should an accident occur.

There’s plenty of fun to be had at the pool, and knowing how to stay safe in the water will help make this a great summer. For more safety tips, go to www.poolsafely.gov.

PENCO Management has the expertise to deal with various issues that your Homeowners or Condominium Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.