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Prevention of Honey Bee Colony Losses (COLOSS)

Article 1: Name

COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee Colony Losses) is a non-profit association governed by the present statutes and, secondarily, by Articles 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code. It is politically neutral and non-denominational. Hereafter, COLOSS is referred to as “the Association”.

Article 2: Headquarter

The Association’s headquarters are located in Bern, Switzerland.

Article 3: Duration

The Association shall be of unlimited duration.

Article 4: Purpose

The Association aims to improve the well-being of bees (in particular the western honey bee Apis mellifera) at a global level by:

  1. Advocating for bees, and their well-being, especially to government legislators and administrators
  2. Coordinating international research, including the development of standard research methods
  3. Disseminating knowledge and training related to improving the well-being of bees d. Promoting youth development and gender balance among those studying, or those actively involved in promoting, the well-being of bees.

Article 5: Organs

The Association’s organs are:

  1. The General Assembly
  2. The Executive Committee
  3. The Auditor

Article 6: Members

  1. The Association is composed of scientific professionals (e.g. researchers, veterinarians, extension agents, etc.) or students that are actively involved in maintaining the well-being of bees. Members may be from any geographic region. Requests to become a member must be addressed to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall admit appropriate individuals as new members.
  2. Ceasing of membership:
    1. Membership ceases on death.
    2. Every member has the right to resign. A written resignation is to be addressed to the Executive Committee.
    3. The Executive Committee can exclude members when good cause is shown. The excluded member may appeal to the General Assembly against the expulsion within thirty days.
  3. In all cases, the membership fee (if applicable according to paragraph 7) for the current financial year remains due. In case of resignation or expulsion the former member has no rights to any part of the Association’s assets.
  4. Every member is entitled to one vote during each decision-making event.
  5. The General Assembly may decide levying a membership fee.

Article 7: Resources

The Association’s resources come from:

  1. Membership fees if determined by the General Assembly
  2. Grants and Donations
  3. Earnings from workshops, conferences and other events (e.g., registration fees) The funds shall be used in conformity with the Association’s aim.

Article 8: General Assembly Composition

  1. The General Assembly is the Association’s supreme organ. It is composed of all members.
  2. The General Assembly is presided over by the president and vice president of the Executive Committee.

Article 9: General Assembly Convocation

  1. The General Assembly shall hold an Ordinary Meeting once per year within six months after the end of the financial year (see Article 18). It does not need to occur in Switzerland. The Executive Committee shall inform the members by any means of communication of the date and place of the General Assembly at least two months in advance. The Executive Committee shall send the proposed agenda to each member at least 21 days prior to the date of meeting.
  2. The General Assembly may meet in extraordinary session whenever necessary, by decision of the Executive Committee or at the request of one-fifth of the members.
  3. Any proposal signed by at least one-twentieth of the members shall also be carried onto the agenda.

Article 10: General Assembly Competences

The General Assembly determines the general policy of the Association. It is in charge exclusively of the following:

  1. Amendment of statutes
  2. Levying annual membership fees
  3. Election and removal of a member of the Executive Committee
  4. Appointment and removal of the auditor
  5. Approval of the annual budget
  6. Acceptance of the annual financial statement and the annual report of the Executive Committee, and acceptance of annual activities program
  7. Supervision of other organs h. Dissolution of the Association

Article 11: General Assembly Mode of Decision

  1. The General Assembly shall be considered valid regardless of the number of members present.
  2. Decisions of the General Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority vote of the members present. Each member has one vote. In the event of a tie, the president (or vice president in the president’s absence) shall cast a second, deciding vote.
  3. The following decisions require a two-thirds majority of the members present:
    1. Amendment of the Statutes
    2. Levying of annual membership fees
    3. Transfer of headquarters
    4. Dissolution of the Association
  4. Amendment of the Association’s goals needs unanimity of the present members.
  5. The General Assembly can only make decisions on topics mentioned on the agenda. See Article 9 for Agenda items.

Article 12: Executive Committee Composition

  1. The Executive Committee is composed of 15 members of the Association, from at least two continents and at least five countries.
  2. The members of the Executive Committee shall be appointed by the General Assembly for the duration of three years. Re-elections are possible.
  3. The Executive Committee shall elect one of its members as president and one or two of its members as vice-president(s) for the duration of three years. Reelections are possible. If the president is unavailable, the vice-president(s) acts as a substitute.
  4. The Executive Committee can set up subcommittees to perform its duties, including appointing a Secretary and Treasurer(s).
  5. The Executive Committee can employ staff to perform duties for the Association.
  6. Any member of the Executive Committee may be removed at any time by the General Assembly.
  7. Any member of the Executive Committee shall be entitled to resign voluntarily by notifying the president of the Executive Committee by registered letter. In such a case, the member concerned is responsible for an orderly handover of functions to the successor. The General Assembly may appoint a new member during its next meeting who shall complete the remaining period of the term.

Article 13: Executive Committee Meetings

The Executive Committee meets as often as required. The president shall convene the meetings. Members shall be notified in writing or electronically at least one month prior to the planned meeting. Every member of the Executive Committee may as well demand a meeting when stating a reason.

Article 14: Executive Committee Competences

The Executive Committee is authorized to carry out all acts that further the purposes of the Association. It is authorized to manage the Association’s business. Furthermore, it is in charge of the following:

  1. Organization and strategic management of the Association
  2. Budgeting
  3. Representing the Association
  4. Accounting
  5. Convocation of the General Assembly, including documentation of meeting minutes
  6. Election of the President and Vice-President(s)
  7. Creation and dissolution of working groups in consultation with the General Assembly
  8. Appointment of two co-chairs of each working group
  9. Annual report for the attention of the General Assembly

Article 15: Executive Committee Mode of Decision

  1. Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be valid and binding if the majority of its members are present.
  2. The decisions shall be made with a simple majority of the present votes. Every member of the Executive Committee has one vote. In the event of a tie, the president (or the vice president in the president’s absence) shall have the casting vote.
  3. Circular resolutions via email are possible if no three members of the Executive Committee demand a meeting.

Article 16: Representation of the Association

The Association shall be validly bound by the joint signature of two members of the Executive Committee, one of which must be from either the president or vice president.

Article 17: Auditor

  1. The auditor(s) appointed by the General Assembly shall audit the Association’s accounts every year. They may not be a member of the Executive Committee.
  2. The auditor(s) shall be appointed for the term of three years. Re-appointments are possible.
  3. The auditor(s) may be removed at any time by the General Assembly.

Article 18: Working groups

  1. Members of the General Assembly can propose working groups on specific Association related topics to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall inform the Association of its decision to back a proposed working group at the following General Assembly meeting.
  2. Members of a working group must be a member of the Association with a special interest in the topic in question.
  3. Members of the working group shall appoint two of its members as its co-chairs in consultation with the EC for a period of up to 3 years. Re-appointments are possible. The co-chairs do not have to be members of the Executive Committee.
  4. Individual working groups can create regulations concerning its own rules of procedure. Such regulations must be approved by the Executive Committee.

Article 19: Financial year

The Association’s financial year shall begin at the time of budget acceptance by the GA and will end 1 month before the next GA.

Article 20: Liability

Only the assets of the Association may be used to meet commitments. Members have no individual responsibility.

Article 21: Dissolution

In the case of the Association being dissolved, the assets must be allotted to a nonprofit organization pursuing goals of public interest similar to those of the organization and benefiting from tax exemption. The goods cannot be returned to the founders or members, nor be used to their own profit.

Article 22: Coming into effect

The present Statutes have been approved by the Constituent General Assembly of COLOSS on 15 October 2021 and are coming into effect with this date.