University of Florida Master Beekeeper Program March 3, Whitney Lab, St. Augustine
Please join us for the 2016 University of Florida Master Beekeeper Program March 3, 2016 at Whitney Labs, St. Augustine, FL
The Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) is a five-year (minimum) beekeeper training and certification program provided by the University of Florida. One must already be a beekeeper to enter the program (please see apprentice requirements, below). Entry into the program is attained by meeting the apprentice requirements and passing the apprentice examinations on exam day. There is no age limit for entry into the program although the examination may be too difficult for children under 12 years of age. All students must enter the program at the Apprentice Beekeeper level and no students are permitted to skip levels.
The program offers four levels of training and advancement: Apprentice Beekeeper, Advanced Beekeeper, Master Beekeeper and Master Craftsman Beekeeper. All ranks take a minimum of 1 full year to complete with the exception of Master Level, which takes 2 years. Opportunities for advancement in the program occur on exam day, upon meeting all the requirements for the level of advancement desired.
The MBP trains and educates beekeepers on new techniques, equipment, potential problems, and tips and tricks to improve their beekeeping skills. Perhaps most importantly, it keeps beekeepers around the state and country connected. MBP participants serve as bee ambassadors to beginning beekeepers, the public, and our community, by teaching and serving as an extension of the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory (HBREL)
About the Examinations
To become Apprentice and Advanced beekeepers, participants must take a written and practical examination (two hours per exam). Candidates for Master Beekeepers only take a written exam. The written tests may consist of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and matching. The practical tests contain multiple choice, true/false, and matching questions, but also include identification of hive parts, tools, and diseases/pests of honey bees. Candidates must receive a 70% or higher on BOTH the practical and written examinations to achieve the next level in the program. Passing candidates will receive their certificate of accomplishment at the respective awards ceremony (fall or spring) or by mail. Generally, the Apprentice test will cover the following subject areas: general beekeeping, honey bee biology, basic bee anatomy, honey production and products, pests and diseases (common names, causes and treatments), beekeeping equipment use and terminology, and important historical facts (especially people who contributed to the development of beekeeping). Advanced level testing will include all of the apprentice level subjects with the addition of scientific names of pests/diseases and honey bee species, pollination, native bee information and identification, pesticides and Africanized bees. Be sure to review the materials in the reading lists provided.
About Training & Exam Day
Examinations are held twice a year and all dates are announced in our quarterly newsletter, the Melitto Files as well as on our website, www.UFhoneybee.com. Our spring examinations are held the Thursday before Bee College, during the University of Florida’s Spring Break (generally, this falls in the first 2 weeks of March). Our fall examinations are held the Thursday before the annual Florida State Beekeepers Association (FSBA) Convention (generally the last two weeks of October).
The training and examination day consists of 2 parts. In the morning (8 am - 12 pm) we hold review lectures on important beekeeping topics and in the afternoon we hold the written and practical examinations (2 pm - 6pm). The exam days are when Advanced, Masters and Master Craftsman have their required documentation of public service work due in the MBP Board. Apprentice Level should be prepared for hive work. A portion of the practical exam will include actual beekeeping. Please dress appropriately. Protective gear, smokers and fuel will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own veil or gloves if you wish.
Additionally, we hold award ceremonies to congratulate all those who have passed the exam at that season’s respective conference; in spring we do this at the Bee College Awards Ceremony on Friday Evening and in the fall we do this at the FSBA’s banquet dinner. These award ceremonies are not required, but are encouraged and do require separate registration from the MBP registration (information is always announced on www.UFhoneybee.com).