I'm curious to know of others that will be taking the Master Beekeeping Exam in Kentucky at the EAS event? I'll be there coming from New England. Should have taken it the year it was in Vermont, but just not ready. going to finally give it a go.
There are a few seasoned beekeepers in our community that think it a waste of effort, but just getting ready for it has taught me so much. One comment was since there is no re-certification process it is not a very valid certification. I do get discouraged hearing these things and wouldn't mind finding someone to study with. there are oral, written, lab, and field exams. At the very least I'll find out what I don't know.
I've also found that some of the "old-timers" look down on pretty much everybody and everything that disagrees with their "knowledge" in the local clubs here. They think classes are a waste of time and find fault with them. Don't let them corrupt your learning experience.
I agree with you and I can understand the seasoned beekeepers point as well. Do what's best for you though. If your learning through studying then that's all that matters. I'm the same way and for some reason it does matter to me on getting "certified", which is a point that you make to yourself. I suspect that the future might hold some level of certification process needed for certain job functions (just like everything else in life), but then again "equivalent experience" or "grandfathered in" aka: seasoned beekeepers will foot the bill for this requirement as well. Just my 3 cents. I have notes from the class that I took on certain specifics that I wouldn't mind sharing with you or doing any type of remote study as well.
I'll be retaking the written exam - note passing for all exams has gone from 80 to 85%. Good luck. Prep for the exams is something you live and build experience for and not something acquired exclusively from books. It is asking questions that go deeper.
For example I was in a hive today (well yesterday now) that may be queenless (note absence of absolute.) There was a solid patch of brood but all of the capped brood around it was drone. 3 open queen cells. So I started looking for eggs to see where they were in the cells - couldn't find any so I'll have to wait and see what the bees do with the brood. Oh - there was much nectar in the brood frames making it hard for anything to get laid in a decent pattern. So I moved empty but drawn frames next to the 1 frame with brood on it.
A queen was not seen but not searched for either. I was in this hive without smoke and wanted to be as fast and gentle as I could.
Thanks all for the input. I found a good resource for pasts tests and talked to a local who knows something of what to expect.
Now if i can just find a ride from the airport in Lexington! I'm flying in on Sunday afternoon...
I agree on the experience in the hives being the most important thing, and also feel deep gratitude to those ol' time beekeepers who continue to support our efforts tirelessly... but learning about bee anatomy from a good text book like Dewey Caron's helps me evaluate what I'm seeing, for sure. As a beginner I did not pay much attention to that. Now it is an obsession.
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