|THE WEST VIRGINIA MASTER BEEKEEPER PROGRAM 1/17/2009|
We have entered a new era in beekeeping. Diseases and pests have made it undesirable for beekeepers to keep to themselves in isolation from other beekeepers in their region. Working together to keep all of West Virginia’s honeybee colonies healthy is the only practical way we can insure the health of each of our own colonies.
The purpose of this program is to help the individual improve his or her skills and knowledge of beekeeping by testing on a continuous basis and to increase the effectiveness of the WV Beekeepers Association (WVBA) in providing resources to the general public and the beekeeping community. This program is not a requirement for anyone to have honeybees in the state of West Virginia or any other state.
The West Virginia Master Beekeeper Program is sponsored by the WVBA with the assistance of the West Virginia Bee Specialist and apiary inspector. The program director is appointed by the executive board of the WVBA.
The program consists of three levels, apprentice, certified and master. Each level consists of a written test and a lab test. Applicants should also be members of a local beekeepers association and at least have access to one of the beekeeping journals (Bee Culture or American Bee Journal).
apprenticeThe apprentice applicant must have kept bees for a minimum of two years, have good general beekeeping knowledge and must also demonstrate knowledge of working a hive.
certifiedThe certified applicant must have kept bees a minimum of three years, conduct an oral discussion with the program leader answering questions about beekeeping, have a minimum of six public service credits and earned two blue ribbons at an approved honey/bake show in two different classes.
masterThe master applicant must have kept bees a minimum of five years, obtain 12 public service credits, prepare and present a program at the spring or fall meeting of the WVBA and judge a honey show.
As one would expect each level is more difficult. The apprentice level tests your basic beekeeping knowledge. The certified test adds additional questions for the more advanced beekeeper such as dividing hives, and requeening. The master level tests your knowledge of relating skills and knowledge to a beekeeper on their level. At this level you know several different ways to do things, but can help a beekeeper decide which way is best for them. At the master level you should be able to judge a honey show.
The best ways to prepare for the tests include reading the beekeeping magazines and working your bees. The books that are recommended to further prepare you are ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture, The Hive and the Honeybee, Honey Bee Parasites, Pests, Predators and Diseases.
TestingTests are generally administered on Thursday night prior to the fall WVBA meeting. If enough interest, arrangements can be made for testing at other times.
|For additional information or to reserve your spot for testing at the fall meeting contact Janet Clayton at email@example.com or 304-457-5332.|