In the laboratory examination, applicants will move from station to station where a variety of items, specimens and equipment associated with beekeeping will be displayed. Questions might include identification, context of use, relevant information about what is displayed (control for a disease, for example), and other pertinent information about the item. For example you might be asked what time of year a particular item would be used. Some stations may have only a photo or computer image. There is a four-hour time limit to take the laboratory exam. Passing grade is 85.
Candidates should be familiar with common diseases, pests, unhealthy bees, and unhealthy colony conditions and know about emerging disease/pest issues. You might shadow a bee inspector, if one is available in your area, or a commercial beekeeper for a day to see diseases and unhealthy conditions or arrange for some special tutoring in their office/lab. Examples of disease on the test may be 'fresh' (taken from a colony within the last couple of days) or may be removed from a freezer. You should know characteristics of both. In five years (minimum of experience required of a candidate for EAS Master Beekeeper), you will not likely see all the diseases bees may contract so you have to be sure you do see and experience them.
Another major test emphasis is on bee equipment. You should review carefully one or more of the free bee supply catalogues to get an idea of what is available, specialty equipment uses and how much items cost in a general sense (It may have been awhile since you have purchased equipment of your own.) Cruise the vendors at a major meeting and ask questions about equipment. Building your own equipment is a great way to gain understanding of equipment. Questions are not merely on identification but might also include use (where, when, how and why). Do not neglect the specialty items that some beekeepers like to use and the 'newest,' most practical gadgets being used by some (feeder/winter moisture reducer rims, feeders, shims and spacers, top bar & Warré hives, queen rearing implements, propolis collectors, etc).
The honey bee is but one social insect. Master beekeepers must know and be able to differentiate/recognize the other bees and close wasp relatives and insect look-alikes sometimes confused for a bee (such as flower fly) or sometimes found in a beehive. Know basics of honey bees' and related insects' nests and diseases. Know distinguishing characteristics of the other honey bees (i.e major species of Apis) and how to differentiate them from Apis mellifera. Know the basic bee races, where they were originally found and the major pro and cons of bee races in common use today.
We harvest a number of products from honey bees, not just honey. For the principal product honey, know what constitutes quality and how beekeepers may negatively influence final preparation for sale or home use. Know and recognize preparation and uses of the other products and services of honey bees, such as propolis or pollination. An opportunity to judge a honey show or shadow a honey show judge could be a useful preparation.
Our Mission Is:
Education and Conferences,
Master Beekeeper Certification,
Honey Bee Research Grants