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There was an offshoot discussion in which I think turned the wrong way before it ever got started about Master Beekeeper Certifications.

Most industry certifications, be it in computers or automotive or just about any other field in which similar certifications are issued, are usually issued and obtained for a limited set of reasons;

1) To verify that a 'trusted' certifying group recognizes this certificate bearers abilities to be in line with recognized industry standards and abilities. (directly relate-able to a job or business)

2) To indicate said certificate bearer is in line with the thinking and philosophy of a particular group, with social reknown (educational and social use)

3) A discussion piece. (a topic starter or like a vanity plate)

What does one "Do" with a Master Beekeeper Certification?

One can use it to establish some level of credibility and experience in order to obtain employment in a bee related field.

One can use it to convey 'trustworthiness' and knowledge to establish ones own business reputation

One can use it to establish they have a recognized educational and experience background to provide instruction to others.

If you have said certificate, how do you use it? in your job? to help others? a bragging point?

Certificates such as a Master Beekeeper Certificate are often largely scrutinized and viewed with skepticism. Technology in every industry changes over time. "Acceptable" methodologies change over time. Some fields are so vast in terms of approach and type (such as the how many types of honey bees there are, so many different methods of breeding, etc....) That certifications are difficult to cover the entire spectrum and there fore on specialties.

It's difficult for many to accept that without continued study, testing and ongoing demonstration, any 'certification' is truly viable as the information can become easily outdated and practices/techniques must be kept up with.

In the interest of keeping this an objective discussion, please keep derogatory comments out.

If you support such certification, please indicate YOUR support and the reasons FOR YOU only.

If you are skeptical of such certification, please indicate YOUR skepticism and the reasons FOR YOU only.

If you, like many, find yourself somewhere in the middle, please describe your position ONLY as it relates to YOU.

To start off, I will say that as someone who has had to obtain certification in the computer tech and truck driving fields, I know the requirements and obstacles involved in preparing for and obtaining said certifications. I have had to use those certifications in a business/work purpose and even though I am in a position to have need of certifications, I am skeptical about those holding them as I have had plenty of first hand experience of working with others who have the same certifications yet are not able to demonstrate the same capacity to perform as others in similar position.

In the end, to me, holding the certification is not proof of ability, it always falls back to evaluating the individual based on what they demonstrate, not they paper they have.

Big Bear
 

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I would pretty much agree. From what I can tell all certification (whatever form) is usually a bragging right. They usually cost a large amount of money (whether payed for over years or all at once) and the results usually are not what would be expected.

I have been involved in two businesses that like to use "certification" of one form or another. I have found that it is almost always nothing more than a bragging right and that many of those who hold such a certificate will in the real world perform below what the certifications claims are. This is not to say there isn't certified persons that have the real world knowledge that would be expected - but I suspect these people didn't start certified but finally got one because of pressure placed on them.

If certification truely is meant to measure the ability of a person to deal with the real world reality of the particular field they are in I can not understand why the employer does not simply test the individual - it may do away with a lot of the complaints they have about their employees not being qulified though they had such and such.

There is another reason to have a title (whether dr., master, phd, etc.) it is to elevate yourself. Kind of a "I'm a (whatever) who are you?".

But that said just because someone is certified (or even if you feel they use it to "brag") is really no reason to get irritated with them.

Mike
 

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Hi Big bear,
I just wrote a reply in Bio Beekeeping that had some of this in mind, Tradition Vs Science as it applies to my practice of nursing. I, too have had certification. It was hard and expensive to obtain.It was helpful in the area I was working in at the time. It gave me credibility with Drs who had different views on the patient. I changed my aresa of practice 15 years ago. It had no bearing on my current area of practice and so I let it go. As a Nurse, I am required to prove continuing education (CEU's) order to renew my liscense. At best, it causes me to read and keep up with latest information. At wost, many CEU's that are affordable are fluff. Neither my liscense nor the CEU's is a ironcald guarentee of my competence but they are my entrance cards to my Professional Practice. Bragging rights had nothing to do with the the certification process i was involved in.
I think this is pretty representitive of any certification program. There are no guarentees but at least it is a starting point in deciding if a persons advice is worth following. I got into this at the urging of a friend who has keopt bees for over 30 years. As I educate myself here and in classes run by bee clubs and other places, I am questioning his methods. I am not saying his advice is necessarily bad, but he has never heard of things that seem to be common knowlege here. I will continue to sample many opinions before coming to conclusions in my beekeeping.
 

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...I am questioning his methods. I am not saying his advice is necessarily bad, but he has never heard of things that seem to be common knowlege here. I will continue to sample many opinions before coming to conclusions in my beekeeping.
A good point to make here is that there are a lot of real world "experts" or at least very knowledgeable people who don't use the "lingo" of their profession. Either they simply dislike it or they don't know it because they know what they know and don't have much use to learn the temrs others like to use for it. I would look at his bees not if he has heard of such and such.

Not to change topics but I have met a number of doctors and nurses who used their certificates as an ego - bragging right and to elevate themselves above others. I have also met a few that didn't appear to do this and really wanted to do right. Problem is when you work hard on something all the time - you start to lose reality of it in relation with what is really happening. I think that is how we get a lot of the problems this world has (losing the reality and not stopping stepping back and examining it to be sure we are Right).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're referring to 'perspective' Mike. Being able to continually tell the forest from the trees. I agree, even in computer tech, once someone gets so deeply involved , especially in a 'sub-aspect' or specialty area, a 'niche' if you will, I think that it is easy for anyone, certified and educated or not, to lose perspective, which overall, again in my opinion, makes it harder to keep up to date with other aspects of the field.

For example, Iused to help an old farmer who has worked with bees since he was about 10 years old himself. He retired last year at just over 70 years old. That's at least 60 years of continuous, unbroken bee experience. He has forgotten more about honey bees than most people will ever know. He was a successful honey producer, maintaining between 400 and 500 hives at any given time for over the past 30 years or so. He disdained social activities (he always said his wife called him the original grumpy farmer, lol) so I don't believe he participated much in bee clubs and organizations very much.

He had no certifications, but after working with him side by side, I feel he was able to be trusted as a knowledgeable source of information and support in just about anything I could ask him.

He had the rest of the farm to pull him back and maintain perspective. One of his favorite things to say to me was that if all he did was work bees, he wouldn't know nearly as much about them as he did and as far as he was concerned, the bees still know more than he ever will.

Big Bear
 

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Would you not agree that education is important as it pertains to any art, craft or hobby? I would encourage everyone in bee keeping to take classes and learn different was of doing things. There are always new technologies being developed that we do not understand. This forum is an educational tool that for some is the only tool we may have. It seems that some people are offended that someone has invested their time and effort to learn more about something they love. The Master Beekeeper certification does not make you better than someone else at bee keeping. I am sure everyone will agree with that. I would also say that some of the top beekeeper out there have no certification. I do not have a master beekeeper certification. The University of TN is developing a program. I have taken the beginner course and will take the other courses when offered. Will I be better than someone who does not have a certification? Well the answer is no. I do hope to learn something for my effort and am always happy to share anything here on be source.
 

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I feel like I should chip in here as EAS has considered me certifiable. :)>

Have you ever been "****ed with faint praise?" It's a funny feeling. That's what the initiating post does here. I've been a master beek for five years or so and this is the first time I've had a chance to "Brag" about it. Even the dozen or so Bee Culture articles I've written do not have the byline "Master Beek." (2 0n this site) While I was offered a job with a nationally known package producer, I don't think it had anything to do with the certification.
I'm responding here because, as I usually do, I want the newer beeks to get the full story. The certification is NOT a phone it in event. At EAS you don't get to apply unless you have at least 5 years experience, a master beek to recommend you, and have already done some outreach/education in beekeeping.
Then you take the test, at an EAS meeting. It's an all day event. In the four areas of: 100 question written exam. A lab exam with 15 or so stations where you get some microscope time, ID diseased comb, ID bee sounds; ID from pictures various aspects of beekeeping. Don't take it if you have never been to a commercial operation.
Then there is the Oral test. You get to respond to 3 master beeks firing questions at you in an attempt to ascertain how you stand up under fire, general knowlege and the likelihood you will be a decent voice for beekeeping. It's how you answer the question that's important.
Then there is the apiary trip. At EAS they truck in a dozen hives or so. One gets to perform, one on one, with another Master beek demonstrating proficiency in the bee yard.

Many fail at their first attempt. I failed it twice. One needs at least 80% correct answers on the written. Once I got 79. Clarence Collison and the committee had no mercy.
Yes, I'm bragging. To get here I listened to 80 invited experts to our club and attended 6 EAS meeetings (30 days of classes/seminars.)I go to schools. I teach 100 hours of classes in beekeeping a year as well as participate in other workshops. For 4 years I spent the winters in FL hanging/working with commercial beeks.

I have to admit, having someone equate this with a truck-driving certificate rankled a little.
There are Master Beeks on this forum who won't speak up lest they be belittled. Let's stop that.

Gee. It feels good to finally brag. Thanks for the opportunity.

dickm
 

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Well stated, Marty. If I had known the title of my post was going to cause such turmoil, I would have captioned it differently. But the point I was trying to make is that everyone is still learning and will continue to learn. Of course, there are lots of beeks without certification who are smarter--or more learned I should say--than I am. My point was not one of superiority, but the fact that there's always more to learn. I don't know why anyone would get their panties in a bunch just because a beek says they're certified. Who cares?

dickm, just read your post. Wow! That is definitely some test. And I couldn't pass it. . .I've never been to a commercial operation. I will endeavor to get the knowledge to do so in the future, however. I will be at the EAS meeting this year and am so looking forward to becoming totally immersed in beekeeping workshops. Hopefully, I will meet you there. You've absolutely earned the right to brag.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dick, you are not following the rules. I asked that you only post your reasons to support your position. to Belittle truck driving certifications as required by the DOT, which govern safe tractor-trailer operation on the highways is not something to put down.

The education and testing requirements for Master beekeeping certification are no more difficult than those required for Computer network and administration, which I have also earned.

If you choose to be competitive, please start your own thread to do it.


Same goes for you Tia, this is not a thread to complain about your thread. please stick to the discussion and rules as set in the first post. Otherwise, please make use of your own thread.

Big Bear
 

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Here is what I know. I spent 1000's of hours in a classroom learning electronics for airplanes...literally 1000's of hours. As we were taking each test, i was failing...not because i didn't know the electronics, but because i have a testing disability that noone ever knew about. Anyway, 1.5 years....8 hrs a day 5 days a week learning electronics in airplanes and in helicopters. After I hit the fleet, i was able to get more certifications, was qualified to co-pilot both the F/A-18 and the UH1 Cobra....was certified to either make them fly or keep them on the ground. 6 years of learning and certifications......and when i got out, those certs meant nothing to anyone other than i knew the heck outta some electronics....

I do NOT degrade the EAS Master Beek certification at all, please do not feel like I do. BUT someone like me will never go for the test...because there is a test. It took the USMC over 6 months to finally believe me about my testing problems....so I would never pass. There is a lot of work involved in those tests and passing. I am activly involvedin reading, talking things out, learning from other beeks, asking questions...but schooling is not for me.

"Society" has said you need that 4 year degree....when i was employing people, most of your "4 yr degreeers never got the job because they felt that it was owed to them.....because they went to college. Funny thing was that if i asked them basic questions, they couldn't answer them. Even had one "guy" not a kid, ask me why i was aking him questions that pertained to electronics because we were ina board replacement world now....which he was wrong....ummmm...anyway.

For those of you who can go out there and get the education, please do, i think it's worth it if you have tthe time.....we all can still learn. I personally won't go for the schooling because it would take me longer to explain that they would have to give me the tests orally if I had a chance to pass....but PLEASE do me a favor...please please please.....to whomever reads this. Do not think just because you have a certificate of any kind that it makes you better than anyone else.....it does not. Its the person that makes yo better...not the paper...
 

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Sheesh! Now I remember why I stopped posting and coming to this site. Too many egos (or lack thereof) out there. Count me out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, Tia, I don't run this forum, but this is my thread, just as your thread was yours.

I made a concerted effort to post discussion rules to keep this an objective discussion to which you did not follow. Plain and simple.


Big Bear
 

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>>>Dick, you are not following the rules. <<<<
Last I knew, you don't make the rules

>>> I asked that you only post your reasons to support your position.<<<<
My position is that the certification deserves respect. I supported that.

>>>>> to Belittle truck driving certifications as required by the DOT, which govern safe tractor-trailer operation on the highways is not something to put down.<<<<<<
You have me there. I was wrong. Thank you for the guidance. I've logged thousands of RV miles and have the greatedt respect for DOT drivers. I apologize to you and other drivers.

dickm
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For anyone one else, please read the first post before replying. Not I or anyone else has suggested that continuing education is not a good thing. It has not been suggested that a master Beekeepers Certification is a 'bad' thing. But the topic of getting and possessing such certificate has come up in enough topics as to further my looking into discussing why people support a master beekeeping certification or not.

I have listed many pros and cons of having one in the first post, if one will take the time to actually read it.

Big Bear
 

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>>>Dick, you are not following the rules. <<<<
Last I knew, you don't make the rules

dickm
Last I knew Dick, a thread i start is subject to my own direction within the rules of the forum, just as any thread you start, or anyone else starts. if you don't like this thread or topic, you are always welcome to not read it, as you have suggested to others in similar situations.


To keep this thread on track though, Ilook at certifications, my point of view, as something related to what ones 'does' I get truck driving certifications to get a job driving a truck, it is a requirement to get and do that job. Would I have obtained said certifications otherwise, no. not really.

I obtained computer network and administration certifications in order to get jobs and keep jobs. Would I have done so if not job related or expected/required by employers? not likely.

who in the beekeeping industry insists upon one having a master beekeeping certificate before keeping bees? commercial beek employers I would presume. Educational institutes as well perhaps?


Big Bear
 

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1) To verify that a 'trusted' certifying group recognizes this certificate bearers abilities to be in line with recognized industry standards and abilities. (directly relate-able to a job or business)

2) To indicate said certificate bearer is in line with the thinking and philosophy of a particular group, with social reknown (educational and social use)

3) A discussion piece. (a topic starter or like a vanity plate)
In todays society, 1 and 2 are primarily the reason for certs. First one being the main driving force as schools tend to churn out kids that have book learning and no real practical experience. Someones gotta weed out the wannabes.




What does one "Do" with a Master Beekeeper Certification?
Me? I would toss it onthe large pile of other certs i have. just because you have a cert doesn't mean you know what your doing and doesn't make you successful at what your doing. Anyone can pass a test. its not hard at all.
Knowlege is easy to aquire, but application of that knowlege is rare to find. AKA wisdom

One can use it to establish some level of credibility and experience in order to obtain employment in a bee related field.
Well i suppose it can be but i honestly think its used more for getting more money.


One can use it to convey 'trustworthiness' and knowledge to establish ones own business reputation
???? Trustworthiness?? Sorry but i dont' see that. The cert doesn't magically give character to the individual.

One can use it to establish they have a recognized educational and experience background to provide instruction to others.
True on educational, but not true on experience. Like i said, anyone can pass tests, and be a booklearned expert. Experience only comes from getting out there and doing it and quite frankly most book learned experts have none that i have met.


If you have said certificate, how do you use it? in your job? to help others? a bragging point?
To use as a tool to get more money.

Certificates such as a Master Beekeeper Certificate are often largely scrutinized and viewed with skepticism. Technology in every industry changes over time. "Acceptable" methodologies change over time. Some fields are so vast in terms of approach and type (such as the how many types of honey bees there are, so many different methods of breeding, etc....) That certifications are difficult to cover the entire spectrum and there fore on specialties.
Good, you see the fallacy in certs. They only certify your basic abilities.


If you support such certification, please indicate YOUR support and the reasons FOR YOU only.
I don't support or support them. Their a piece of paper. A cert would make absolutely no difference in any decision i might make in hiring or not hiring a individual. ONLY application of their knowledge in a live situation can do that. Then and only then can one make a intelligent decision on hiring.


If you are skeptical of such certification, please indicate YOUR skepticism and the reasons FOR YOU only.
Certs are given in a pre canned situation. It basically says, yeah that guy knows what a honeybee is and what race it might be and some of the diseases that might be encounterd. Specifically, I have a pesticide applicators license. It follows the same reaasoning and testing of a bee cert. Disease control, types of bees, sanitation, ect ect ect....
The test for applicators license is around 200 questions long and you go through the same thing of scenario questioning. Its basically logic and common sense


I have had to use those certifications in a business/work purpose and even though I am in a position to have need of certifications, I am skeptical about those holding them as I have had plenty of first hand experience of working with others who have the same certifications yet are not able to demonstrate the same capacity to perform as others in similar position.
I too have truckdriving and IT background. Never got a certification for driving a truck. Just passed the DOT physical, got my DL and started driving. They came up with the certs after i started. Now i have all the qualifications to handle hazmat, explosives, oxidizers, and a half a dozen other "certifications" I've driving doubles, trips and other various forms. Certs most certainly do not invoke higher safety or excellence in the industry. I've seen idiots driving every day that have certs and they are absolute Jerks on the road with no regard for safety.
On the IT certs. They started those because graduates with degrees were coming out and couldn't even identify the on off switch on a computer.
First one that really came out was the A++ cert. Its a joke. I don't have one, and will never have one. waste of my time in it. I do have Sun certs 2.5 - 11 and the ONLY reason i got them was to get more money. I would get my cert and ask for a raise, or go to another company and with the cert they increased my pay by 5 a hour or so.
I never needed any certs in the IT. My experience was that of no one had a certification for the experience i have and had. BTW don't have anything higher than a AS degree either, and i can walk in and land a Sr. Unix admin job making 120 -150 k a year if i so desire. Just can't physically handle the stress anymore after 6 heart attacks and 2 bypasses caused by the industry stress.


In the end, to me, holding the certification is not proof of ability, it always falls back to evaluating the individual based on what they demonstrate, not they paper they have.

Big Bear
AMEN To that. I have in the past, interviewed guys with all kinds of certs, and degrees and no common sense. In my hiring process i would require all applicants to fix a computer problem in the computer room.

It would be a server that i had setup to do failures. They might fix one thing and it would go to another failure, and so on and so on. I would have probably gone through 100 applications or so and then whittle them down to 10 that i would interview, and out of those 10, the one who found the problems, fixed them, and offered a suggestion to increase stability or security got the job. Oh and one thing i would test every applicant that got an interview on was, I would invite them for a interview, and tell them casual shirt pants, no ties or suits cause they would most likely be getting dirty or something. IF they showed up in a suit, or tie, they got the standard 15 min interview and on their way. If they couldn't follow instructions for the first meet, then i didn't need them on my team.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
wolfpenfarm, I listed all those possibilities and options to try and produce a 'fair' list of pros and cons as to why one would seek out/obtain a master beekeeper certification. just for starting the discussion.

As you point out, in the IT industry, you have many who don't pay so much attention to certs as much as demonstrable skills, but many others, especially those with insured/bonded service programs, which demand those certs.

Big Bear
 
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