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Master Beekeepers

2613 Views 16 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Andrew Dewey
What's peoples opinions? I only know one Master beekeeper and he is a specious ass who has read a lot of books and has little real experience and invariably passes on the book answer applying best to someplace where a lot of books are written. Add that to a local county agent who gives terrible advice probably form the same books; and a new beekeeper has the deck stacked squarely against them. Is this program just self worship or a legitimate training?
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Probably a little of both.

I know a couple master beekeepers over here & doubt either one of them could live off of bees if they had to. On the other hand nothing wrong with getting a little education.

Beesource is the best place to come for info. We get not only the book answer, but all permutations of things like local perspective, etc are discussed, by a big enough pool of people to have between them, enormous knowledge, and then there are specialist experts in various fields such as chemistry, genetics, and just about anything. No book could match.
I could have used a master beekeeper diploma this morning. Had a dickens of a time finding something dry to light my smoker with. :D.
What was the question again Vance?
I wanted to get my Master Gardening certificate for a while. Then I figured out that a piece of paper doesn't mean much. I suspect I would feel the same with a Master beekeeping certificate.
IMHO, more education is a great thing and the certifications are just proof that the level of knowledge required has been achieved.
The Master Beekeeper program available in Georgia through the University of Georgia requires 4 years of experience and 3 years of accumulated classes and dozens of hours of outreach. Sure, you don't need a piece of paper to be a good beekeeper but based on what I learned from the classes on the first level of certification, it would take years of experience to achieve that knowledge.
As far as the Master Beek you know, the world is made up with all kinds of people. A person who is a jerk with a piece of paper will most likely be a jerk without one.
The internet has totally changed the game. Less meaning I think.
I only know one and he is very knowledgeable and goes far out of his way to help. I understand that there are only 17 Master Beekeepers in Pennsylvania, so that makes them a pretty rare breed. They are probably just like everyone else, some A-holes, some really great and the rest decent folks.
Just cause you got a PhD in music doesn't mean you know how to perform to a crowd.

Just cause you know how to perform to a crowd doesn't mean you know as much about music as a PhD in music.

Either one is better than nothing.

Having both would be best.

Having neither means your in no position to criticize.
Well said shinbone! I love learning new stuff, just never got very excited about certificates.:)
I would love to be a master bee keeper.
What's peoples opinions? I only know one Master beekeeper and he is a specious ass who has read a lot of books and has little real experience and invariably passes on the book answer applying best to someplace where a lot of books are written.
This is just a bunch of lies, folks. Vance has never even met me.
I know a few. one is probably the same one paulemar knows. Those I know are certified with the eastern agriculture society. Their mandates require a master beekeeper to be not only well educated in bees, but well rounded with experience, they require that all master beekeepers be stewards of beekeeping. and must be able to convey information in a concise well presented manner depicting beekeeping in a friendly positive way. Paul Krepeck of the Pittsburgh region is a prime example of this, as well as other master bee keepers I know.
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This is just a bunch of lies, folks. Vance has never even met me.
Good one.
Good one.
A man that can laugh at himself is way up my ladder. You're correct LaFerney, melliferal posted a funny (notice he doesn't capitalize his name).
No Melliferal it is most certainly not you. I mean no offense to those undeserving of it. I suppose it is indeed like everything else. Mileage may vary.
Oh no offense taken - I have no idea who you're talking about; I just saw a great opportunity for a joke. I am quite fond of book larnin' and am prone to giving my own opinion more credit than it's often worth, but a "Master Beekeeper" I am not - literally nor figuratively. :)

I think there's more than one "master beekeeper" certification out there, but the only one I know much about is the EAS's program, which they go over in some detail on their website. I believe they give both written and field tests and have certain other requirements that you can't meet just by reading "ABC & XYZ" cover to cover. At least, I got the impression from what I read that it was a pretty well-thought-out thing. Humans being humans, there are without doubt a few who will let such a title go to their head - but there's also plenty people who are just as haughty without even needing the title.

I would say - just ignore the title; if he's a jerk, find someone else to learn from. I don't think anyone should be thinking that just because the Certified Lord High Wisest Master of Beekeeping lives nearby they -have- to go to him if they want to break into the hobby or need advice about something.
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Any "Master" certification program indicates that you've done some learning, celebrates that, but counter to the name of the program, reminds you that you have a lifetime of learning ahead of you. The EAS program consists of 4 exams - field, oral, lab and written - and by the end of it last summer, I was overwhelmed with the variety of information sought and humbled knowing in how much more detail the exams could have gone.

I think the primary benefit is to provide credibility - esp. among people who don't know you or your beekeeping. As an example, we are seeing a rise in intermediate bee schools in this part of the country. I for one, am suspicious of intermediate schools that are not taught by a Master Beekeeper. Then again, I take time to check out the teachers - some very good beekeepers see no value in the MB programs - but they are still very good beekeepers.

I passed 3 of the 4 MB exams last summer and will retake the one that got away from me this summer.

The MB program works for me - my wife has the skills to be a Master Knitter but has elected not to go down that path. I completed the Master Gardener program this spring; in part because I am curious about bee forage, have a veg. garden for my family, and appreciate the educational programs put together by Cooperative Extension.
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