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Entomology: UGA Honey Bee Program

Georgia Master Beekeeper Program:
Certification Levels & related Requirements

Certified Beekeeper

Individual should be familiar with the basic skills and knowledge necessary for the beginning hobby beekeeper.

Requirements:

  • Must have had beekeeping experience prior to the Institute.
  • Must pass a written and practical test.
  • The practical test includes being able to:
    • describe the parts of a beehive;
    • light and properly use a smoker;
    • recognize the various stages of brood, different castes of bees, and find or at least describe the queen;
    • differentiate between brood, pollen, capped honey;
    • recognize propolis and describe its functions; and
    • describe the layout of a brood nest, i.e., placement of honey, pollen and brood.
  • The written test includes materials covered during Institute lectures and labs, as well as outside readings.

Official text for the program is the 2007 edition of First Lessons in Beekeeping, Dadant & Sons.

2014 CERTIFIED CANDIDATES:Certified Outdoor Practical

If your schedule will allow it, there is a wonderful opportunity to satisfy the outdoor portion of your two-part*, Practical Exam on Thursday afternoon, 15-May-2014, from 1 PM to 5 PM. You can sign up for a time slot at the welcome table in Maxwell Center on the campus of Young Harris College anytime after 12 noon; please do NOT arrive before noon. Taking advantage of this opportunity will allow you to avoid missing a lecture on Friday afternoon (before the written exam at 5 PM), and be one step ahead of those who wait until the last minute on Saturday morning (traditionally, a real bottleneck).

Certified Exam schedule:

Thursday, 15-May, 1PM to 5PM - Outdoor Practical Exam administrations
Friday, 16-May, 1PM to 5PM - Outdoor & Indoor Practical Exam administrations
Friday, 16-May, 5PM to 6PM - Written exam administration (Rooms 113 & 116, Maxwell Center)
Saturday, 17-May, 8AM to 12 Noon - Outdoor & Indoor Practical Exam administrations

* - The Practical portion of the Certified Beekeeper Exam has two parts - each takes approximately 15 minutes: [1] an outdoor exam (behind Maxwell Center), where you will demonstrate your skills lighting (and keeping lit) a smoker and working a beehive, and [2] an indoor exam (Room 110, Maxwell Center), where you will identify certain beekeeping tools & equipment.

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Journeyman Beekeeper

Individual should be functioning as a competent hobby beekeeper with the skills and knowledge for moving into sideline beekeeping if desired.

Requirements:

  • Must have two years of beekeeping experience.
  • Must have held Certified rank at least one year.
  • Must pass a written and practical test.
  • The practical test includes:
    • identifying bee diseases (zero fail standard);
    • distinguishing between bees, wasps, hornets, and other non-bee insects
      (zero fail standard);
    • reading pesticide labels and determining which is the safest to use around bees;
    • identifying several beekeeping items;
    • examining a honey label for errors; and
    • identifying anatomical structures of a bee and a flower
  • Must have 5 public service credits (see public service requirements).
  • The written test includes materials covered during Institute lectures as well as outside readings.
  • For more information, see our Study Guide.

Official text for the program is the 2007 edition of First Lessons in Beekeeping, Dadant & Sons.

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Master Beekeeper

Individual shoud be able to function as a sideline or commercial beekeeper, demonstrate competence in peripheral knowledge areas, such as bee botany, business management, judging bee hive products, bee behavior or other specialty areas, and demonstrate skills in public ambassadorship for the cause of honey bees and beekeeping. Holders of the rank of Master Beekeeper are publicized on our website as a lecturers' pool and public resource for all matters pertaining to honey bees.

Requirements:

  • Must have three years of beekeeping experience.
  • Must have held Journeyman rank at least one year.
  • Must pass a written test (over Institute lectures) and practical documentation.
  • Complete 10 units of public service work beyond that required for Journeyman (see public service requirements).
  • Practical documentation must include subspecialty #1, plus four others from this list for a total of five. Evidence for each must be presented in a portfolio as with the Public Service Credits (see public service requirements).
    1. Demonstrating theoretic knowledge of Integrated Pest Management, practical competence in its application, and personal commitment to its precepts.
    2. Winning 1st or 2nd place in any class in an authorized honey show (not to exceed 2 subspecialty credits).
    3. Winning 1st or 2nd place in an authorized competition in beeswax.
    4. Publishing article in beekeeping publication (excluding newsletters).
    5. Publishing article in a non-beekeeping publication (with at least state-wide distribution).
    6. Being recognized as a beekeeping authority in your local area by appearing on radio or TV.
    7. Documenting training in life-saving treatment of persons suffering
      from allergic reactions to insect stings from a recognized certifying
      entity such as the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
    8. Attending at least three regional (multi-state), national or international beekeeping meetings.
    9. Conducting a program or workshop at a state, regional, national or international meeting or convention.
    10. Demonstrating competence in small-scale queen rearing.
    11. Completing a course on queen artificial insemination.
    12. Acquiring private pesticide applicator’s license.
    13. Documenting legally-licensed honey processing facility.
    14. Participating in a beekeeping research or extension project at an approved institution.
    15. Acquiring other certified bee-related training as approved by Review Board.
    16. Serving two or more years as officer of regional, national or international bee organization (need not be consecutive nor in the same organization).
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Master Craftsman Beekeeper

In addition to meeting all expectations for the earlier grades, individuals at the Master Craftsman level must demonstrate general and substantial knowledge of bee biology, bee management, and the broader impact of honey bees in ecosystems and agriculture. The successful candidate will demonstrate theoretic knowledge as well as particular expertise in one or more selected topics. Level is comparable to a graduate program in apiculture at a major U.S. university. All bullets listed below under Requirements, Communication skills, and Practical sub-specialties must be plainly and thoroughly documented in a portfolio.  The portfolio section on research requirement must include a description of the research, a clear description of the candidate's role in it, its outcomes, and its relevance to bee science or beekeeping. There is a premium placed on direct involvement of the candidate in the research effort. Sub-specialties 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 11 are heavily portfolio-dependent. Items 1, 2, 7, 9 are more oral exam-dependent. There is a zero fail tolerance on sub-specialties 1 and 2. Candidates are asked to advise program directors of their intentions to sit for the exam at least one month in advance, as arrangements must be made for external examiners.

Requirements:

  • Must have at least two years experience at the Master Beekeeper Level.
  • Must complete 15 units of public service work beyond that required for Master Beekeeper (see public service requirements).
  • Must present program at YHC / UGA Beekeeping Institute.
  • Demonstrate communication skills.
  • Demonstrate practical experience in a minimum of seven subspecialties. Evidence for each must be presented in a portfolio as with the Public Service Credits (see public service requirements).
  • Participate substantially in a university sponsored research project.
  • Pass an oral test.

Communication skills:

  • Nominee must present program at state beekeeper conference. Program may be in the form of a general presentation, workshop, or similar activity.
  • Nominee must complete two of the following activities:
    1. Prepare and publish article in beekeeping journal.
    2. Prepare and publish article on bees or beekeeping in non-beekeeping publication.
    3. Be interviewed on radio or TV program regarding honey bees and/or beekeeping.
    4. Be featured in a newspaper article regarding honey bees and/or beekeeping

Practical subspecialties:

Nominee must complete items 1-4 and at least an additional three from items 5-11 of the following:

  1. Ability to diagnose and treat various bee diseases.
  2. Ability to diagnose and treat various bee pests.
  3. Be trained in emergency treatment of insect stings.
  4. Organize and conduct a training program for beekeepers.
  5. Competency in queen rearing.
  6. Competency in producing and packaging honey for sale.
  7. Competency in the use of honey bees in crop pollination.
  8. Competency in removing bees from a structure.
  9. General knowledge of Africanized honey bees.
  10. Competency in another pre-approved area.
  11. Service as an officer of a bee organization at national level or higher (need not be consecutive nor in the same organization).

Oral examination

Nominee is tested by at least three individuals, including Extension apiculturist.

Candidate is tested on one specific area of his or her choice as well as on general knowledge bee biology and beekeeping. Candidate is encouraged to read the 2007 edition of First Lessons in Beekeeping; Winston, M.L. 1987. The Biology of the Honey Bee; and Seeley, T.D. 1995. the Wisdom of the Hive.

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