Entry into the program is attained by meeting the minimum requirements for Apprentice Level and passing the Apprentice examinations on exam day.
MBP Training & Exams
MBP events are biannual.
The Fall MBP Training/Exams will be held:
Thursday October 31st 2013
Washington County Extension Office, East Wing
1424 Jackson Ave, Suite A (US Hwy 90)
Chipley, FL 32428
Registration is OPEN
Click on the image for a full-color flyer with event details.
The Spring MBP Training/Exams will be held:
March 6th 2014
The Whitney Laboratory
for Marine Bioscience
9505 Ocean Shore Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32080-8610
Spring registraion will open winter 2013.
MBP Students helping the public
Would you like a Master Beekeeper Program Student to assist your youth group, school, club, or organization? With nearly 300 active participants all over Florida, our Master Beekeepers are available to do lectures, activites, demonstrations and more on honey bees, beekeeping, native pollinators, honey, and other related topics. They earn credit for each activity and and the MBP has reached over 3 million people in Florida.
Please send your request to email@example.com with the information requested below and a Master Beekeeper Program Student will be in touch with you.
Location: (school, town, county)
Audience: (group, grade and # of students)
Focus: (for example: General honey bee presentation, youth orientated, props, demos encouraged, booth style with Q & A)
Contact: (name, email, phone)
Native Bee & Wasp Study Guide
Click here for the Advanced level Native Bee & Wasp Study Guide. Prepared for Advanced Level, but helpful for all. No slide control at the moment, but will be added soon. Right Click and hit play to activate slideshow.
Do you have a physical or learning disability and may need assistance taking the examination? Please contact us ahead of time so that we can accommodate your needs.
NEW Core/Major Credit Documentation form: this form is to be used when collecting credits for teh Advanced Level and higher.
NEW MAJORS: The MPB board has approved two new majors; Native Bee Apiculture and Apiculture Education. The Program and Requirements Document has been updated to include these additions as well as clarify some credit requirements.
NEW CORE CREDITS: (20)International beekeeping experience whereby clear benefits to the group and to Florida are documented.
(21) Maintaining a public blog, public journal or public forum on honey bees. Must be informational, resource based in nature, easily accessible and advertised and must be able to show number of site visits during the year.
COVER SHEETS: Now required for the Advanced, Master and Master Craftsman Levels to accompany documentation materials to be handed in on exam day. These cover sheets should help keep your PSC's, core credits, and major credits clear and organized.
About the Program
The Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) is a five year beekeeper training and certification provided by the University of Florida. One must already be a beekeeper to enter the program (please see Apprentice requirements). 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 program is designed to train and educate beekeepers to new techniques, equipment, potential problems, 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 UF/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 (8am-12pm) we hold review lectures on important beekeeping topics and in the afternoon we hold the written and practical examinations (1:30pm-5:30pm). 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).
Program Level Requirements
Below is a list of requirements necessary for a candidate to fulfill in order to achieve each level in the Master Beekeeper Program. It is important that candidates read the requirements closely and make certain that that all requirements are met in order to advance in the program.
- Apprentice Beekeeper Exam Reading List
- Advanced Beekeeper Exam Reading List
- Download Public Service Credits Form
Florida Master Beekeeper Program Board
- Dr. Jamie Ellis, University of Florida, Associate Professor of Entomology
- Dr. Bill Kern, University of Florida, Associate Professor of Entomology
- Mr. Ray Zerba, Horticulture Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension, Clay County
- Ms. Jeanette Klopchin, University of Florida, HBREL Extension Technician
Public Service Credits
Candidates for Advanced Beekeeper should keep all Public Service Credit documentation forms together and bring them on the day of the Advanced Beekeeper exam. All Public Service Credit forms MUST be turned in to the Master Beekeeper Program Board on the day of exam. Please do not send them to the lab in Gainesville. However, it is advisable to contact us with questions regarding credits, especially when they are not pre-approved. REMEMBER, adequate documentation of the event is key. The PSC forms should not be your only proof of each PSC.
Once you have achieved Advanced Status and are moving towards Master you will need to choose and declare a major to the board. Please fill out this electronic document and submit. You may declare your major early. Please refer to the MBP document for full descriptions of majors.
Master Beekeeper Program Levels
A: must be a Florida registered beekeeper or a registered beekeeper in home state (name must be on registration list or the name must “umbrella” an individual – ie. “Ellis Family” on the registration list would cover husband, wife, and children). Special exceptions to this rule will be considered.
B: must own at least 1 colony of honey bees for at least 1 year. Special exceptions to this rule will be considered.
C: must score a 70% or higher on a written examination. The written test can include but is not limited to materials covered during previous UF Bee College lectures and labs, on the FDACS-DPI Apiary website , on the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory website, Melitto File Articles, and books/other literature on the Apprentice Beekeeper reading list (see Appendix E).
D: must score 70% or higher on a practical examination. The practical examination can include but is not limited to being able to describe the physical parts of a beehive (common terms, not regional nomenclature); light and properly use a smoker; recognize the various stages of brood, different castes of bees, and find or at least describe the queen; differentiate between brood, pollen, capped honey; recognize propolis and describe its functions; describe the layout of a brood nest (placement of honey, pollen, and brood), etc.
A: must have held the Apprentice Beekeeper rank at least 1 year and have been a practicing beekeeper for at least 2 years. Also, must be a Florida registered beekeeper or a registered beekeeper in home state. Special exceptions to this rule will be considered.
B: must show proof of passing 6 computerized honey bee training modules (must score 80% or higher on each module). These will be available at participating county extension offices throughout Florida, online (at ufhoneybee.com), or by request to the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. They will include modules on (1) African honey bees, (2) Pesticides (3) Pests and Diseases, (4) Pollination, (5) Honey Judging, and (6) Social wasps and bees.
C: must score a 70% or higher on a written examination. The written test can include but is not limited to materials covered during previous UF Bee College lectures and labs, on the FDACS-DPI Apiary website, on the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory website (ufhoneybee.com), and books/other literature on the Advanced Beekeeper reading list (see Appendix E). This examination will cover more information than that required at the Apprentice Beekeeper level. The testable material will closely adhere to information taught in the computerized honey bee training modules (“B” above).
D: must score 70% or higher on a practical examination. The practical examination can include but is not limited to: identifying pests, parasites and pathogens; reading pesticide labels and determining which is the safest to use around bees; identifying several beekeeping items; examining honey labels for errors; distinguishing between bees, wasps, hornets, etc.; and identifying anatomical structures of a bee, flower, etc.
E: must perform and be able to document participation in 5 public service credits (see Appendix A)
A: must have held the Apprentice and Advanced Beekeeper ranks 1 year each and have been a practicing beekeeper for at least 3 years. Also, must be a Florida registered beekeeper or a registered beekeeper in home state. Special exceptions to this rule will be considered.
B: must demonstrate/document 10 additional public service credits beyond that required for the Advanced Beekeeper level (see Appendix A).
C: choose and declare major (see Appendix C) and demonstrate/document expertise in 3 of 10 subcategories within the major. We refer to these as “major credits”.
D: must document completion of 5 of 18 credits OUTSIDE the chosen major (see Appendix B). We refer to these as “core credits”.
E: must score 70% or higher on a written examination. The written examination can include but is not limited to materials covered during previous UF Bee College lectures and labs, on the FDACS-DPI Apiary website, on the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory website, and books/other literature on the Master Beekeeper reading list.
Master Craftsman Beekeeper
A: must have held the Master Beekeeper rank at least 2 years and have been a beekeeper at least 5 years. Also, must be a Florida registered beekeeper or a registered beekeeper in home state. Special exceptions to this rule will be considered.
B: must have 15 units of public service work beyond that required for a Master Beekeeper (see Appendix A). “Extra” public service credits obtained while certifying for the Master Beekeeper Level cannot be applied to the
15 total public service credits needed to achieve Master Craftsman Status.
C: must satisfy 5 additional new credits toward your declared major (for a total of 8 credits toward major – 3
credits were completed in the Master Beekeeper level). We refer to these as “major credits”. If student changes
major, he/she must re‐declare new major with the MBP board or advisors, and still satisfy 8 total credits toward
new major unless previously acquired credits overlap with new major.
D: must demonstrate expertise in 8 additional new credits outside your major (for a total of 13 credits outside
major – 5 credits were completed in the Master Beekeeper level). We refer to these as “core credits”. Firstly,
these credits can be chosen from Appendix B. In addition to this, you may choose credits from other majors to
fulfill your core credits.
E: must demonstrate communication skills (see Appendix D)
F: must pass an oral examination. Nominee is tested by at least three individuals on the review board. The candidate is tested on one specific area of his or her choice (major) as well as on general knowledge of those areas related to honey bees and beekeeping.
G: must participate substantially in a UF (or other university), FDACS-DPI, or USDA sponsored research or extension project
Resources: Master Craftsman Level Cover Sheet
Apprentice Beekeeper Reading List
The following materials are suggesting reading for preparation for the Apprentice Beekeeper examinations:
1) Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary, 3rd Edition – Keith Delaplane (2007)
2) The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition – Diana Sammataro, Alphonse Avitabile, Dewey M. Caron (2011)
3) First Lessons in Beekeeping – Keith Delaplane (2007)
4) The Backyard Beekeeper, Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden. – Kim Flottum (2010)
5) Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping – Dewey Caron (2013)
1) American Bee Journal
2) Bee Culture
Advanced Beekeeper Reading List (in addition to those listed for the Apprentice Level Examination)
The following materials are suggesting reading for preparation for the Advanced Beekeeper examinations:
1) The Hive and the Honey Bee – Dadant and Sons, Inc. (1992)
2) ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture – A.I. Root, (2007)
3) Honey Bee Pests, Predators, and Diseases, 3rd Edition – A.I. Root (Morse and Flottum, eds.) (1998)
4) The Biology of the Honey Bee – Mark Winston (1991)
5) Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems – Rosalind James and Theresa L. Pitts-Singer (2008)
1) All “honey bee” entries (search for “honey bee”) at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/
2) Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory website: www.UFhoneybee.com
3) Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Division of Plan Industry, Apiary Section Website: http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/plantinsp/apiary/apiary.html
4) The University of Florida AFBEE website: www.AFBEE.com
5) Honey Bee Parasites, Pests, Predators and Diseases Website https://agdev.anr.udel.edu/maarec/honey-bee-biology/honey-bee-parasites-pests-predators-and-diseases/
The modules required to attain the Advanced Beekeeper level in the Florida Master Beekeeper Program are now online.
Click here for Modules...
Jeanette Klopchin firstname.lastname@example.org
- Florida Master Beekeeper Program Requirements & General Information
- (UPDATED Sept. 2013)
Credit and Major Doc's
- Documentation of Public Service Credits (PSC) Form
- Documentation of Core/Major Credits Form
- Major Declaration Form