Master Beekeeper Program

What's the difference between the Master Beekeeper Program and the Bee College?

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 2nd 2014

Pine Jog Environmental Center
West Palm Beach, FL

Eventbrite - University of Florida Master Beekeeper Program - Fall Session 2014 

in association with

The Florida State Beekeepers Convention

October 3rd and 4th

Embassy Suites
West Palm Beach, FL

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 jklopchin@ufl.edu with the information requested below and a Master Beekeeper Program Student will be in touch with you.

Date:
Time:
Event:
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)

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Special Needs?

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.

NEWS

Newly Revised Master Beekeeper Program Requirements (MBP MANUAL) available NOW. Please read and look to the addendums for new vresions of printable documentaion forms. Hosted online at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in847

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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.

About the Program

The Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) is a five-year (minimum) beekeeper training and certification program provided by the University of Florida. One must already be a beekeeper to enter the program (please see apprentice requirements, below). 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 trains and educates beekeepers on new techniques, equipment, potential problems, and 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 the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory (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 (8 am - 12 pm) we hold review lectures on important beekeeping topics and in the afternoon we hold the written and practical examinations (2 pm - 6pm). 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.

About Awards/Certification

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.

  1. Apprentice Beekeeper
  2. Advanced Beekeeper
  3. Master Beekeeper
  4. Master Craftsman Beekeeper

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

Master Beekeeper Program Levels

Apprentice Beekeeper
A. must be a Florida registered beekeeper or a registered
beekeeper in home state, registered either individually or
as a member of a family.
B. must own at least one colony of honey bees for at least
one full year.
C. must score 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, information on the Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry
(FDACSDPI) Apiary website
(http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Agriculture-
Industry/Search-by-Industry/Bees-Apiary/Apiary-
Inspection) or the UF Honey Bee Research and
Extension Laboratory (HBREL) website
(www.UFhoneybee.com), and material from 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 describing the physical parts of a beehive (common
terms, not regional nomenclature); lighting and properly
using a smoker; recognizing the various stages of brood,
different castes of bees, and finding or at least describing
the queen; differentiating between brood, pollen, and
capped honey; recognizing propolis and describing its
functions; describing the layout of a brood nest (placement
of honey, pollen, and brood), etc.

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Advanced Beekeeper
A. must have held the Apprentice Beekeeper rank at
least one full calendar year and have been a practicing
beekeeper for at least two years. Also, must be a Florida
registered beekeeper or a registered beekeeper in home
state.
B. must show proof of having passed six computerized
honey bee training modules (with a score of 80% or
higher on each). These will be available at participating
county Extension offices throughout Florida, online (at
www.UFhoneybee.com, click “Extension” then “Master
Beekeeper Program” and scroll down to “modules”), or
by request to the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension
Laboratory. They will include modules on (1) honey
bee pests/parasites/pathogens, (2) honey bee anatomy
and behavior, (3) pollination biology, (4) pesticides
and honey bees, (5) African honey bees, and (6) honey
judging.
C. must score 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, information on the FDACS-DPI
Apiary website (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/
Agriculture-Industry/Search-by-Industry/Bees-Apiary/
Apiary-Inspection), or the HBREL website
(www.UFhoneybee.com), Melitto File articles, and
material from 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.
Florida Master Beekeeper Program Requirements 3
E. must perform and be able to document participation in
five public service credits (see Appendix A). The Public
Service Credit Documentation Form is only a supporting
document and should not be the only evidence of
a completed PSC. Please see Appendices A and G for
documentation guidelines and Addendum 1 for the
form.)

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Master Beekeeper
A. must have held the Apprentice and Advanced Beekeeper
ranks one year each and have been a practicing beekeeper
for at least three years. Must be a Florida registered
beekeeper or a registered beekeeper in home state.
B. must demonstrate/document 10 additional public
service credits beyond that required for the Advanced
Beekeeper level (see Appendix A). Please see Appendices
A and G for documentation guidelines and Addendum 1
for the form.
C. choose and declare major (see Appendix C) and demonstrate/
document expertise in 3 of 10 credits within
the major. We refer to these as “major credits.” Please
see Appendix G for documentation guidelines and
Addendums 2 and 3 for the forms.
D. must demonstrate/document expertise in five credits
outside the major. We refer to these as “core credits.” The
core credits can be chosen from Appendix B or students
may choose non-overlapping credits from other majors
to fulfill core credits. Please see Appendix G for documentation
guidelines and Addendum 3 for the form.
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, information on the FDACS-DPI
Apiary website (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/
Agriculture-Industry/Search-by-Industry/Bees-Apiary/
Apiary-Inspection), the HBREL website
(www.UFhoneybee.com), and material from books/
other literature on the earlier reading lists.

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Master Craftsman Beekeeper
A. must have held the Master Beekeeper rank at least two
years and have been a beekeeper at least five years.
Must be a Florida registered beekeeper or a registered
beekeeper in home state.
B. must have 15 additional public service credits 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. Please see appendices A and G for
documentation guidelines and Addendum 1 for the
form.
C. must satisfy five additional new credits toward declared
major for a total of eight “major credits” (three credits
having been completed in the Master Beekeeper level).
Students changing majors must re-declare the new major
with the MBP board or advisors and still satisfy eight
total credits toward the new major unless previously
acquired credits overlap with the new major. Please see
Appendix G for documentation guidelines and Addendum
3 for the form.
D. must demonstrate expertise in eight additional new
credits outside declared major (for a total of 13 credits
outside major (five credits having been completed in
the Master Beekeeper level). We refer to these as “core
credits.” The core credits can be chosen from Appendix
B, or students may choose non-overlapping credits from
other majors to fulfill core credits. Please see Appendix
Florida Master Beekeeper Program Requirements 4 G
for documentation guidelines and Addendum 3 for the
form.
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 develop and execute a UF (or other university),
FDACS-DPI, or USDA-affiliated research project or
county Extension affiliated Extension program. We
require that you identify an individual within one of
these institutions to advise you throughout the project.
Master Craftsman candidates will spend a minimum of
two years at the Master Level. Please see Appendix I for
project/program guidelines.

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Reading Lists

Apprentice Beekeeper Reading List
The following materials are suggesting reading for preparation for the Apprentice Beekeeper examinations:

Books
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)
Periodicals
1. American Bee Journal
2. Bee Culture
3. Melitto Files Newsletter

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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:

Books
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)
Florida Master Beekeeper Program Requirements 10
Websites
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.freshfromflorida.com/
Agriculture-Industry/Search-by-Industry/Bees-Apiary/
Apiary-Inspection
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/ 

Public Service Credits

MBP students all Public Service Credit documentation forms together and bring them on the day of the 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.

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Major Declaration

Once you have achieved Advanced Status and are moving towards Master you will need to choose and declare a major to the board. You may declare your major early. Please refer to the MBP document for full descriptions of majors.

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Modules

The modules required to attain the Advanced Beekeeper level in the Florida Master Beekeeper Program are now online.
Click here for Modules...
 

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