FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who may participate in the program?
Any individual with an interest in honeybees and beekeeping is invited to participate in this program. All examinations will be given within the state. You must have worked with honey bees for a minimum of 4 months to take the Apprentice test.
Is beekeeping experience necessary to apply?
Yes. At the Apprentice level, you do not need to own a hive but are required to have 4 months of beekeeping experience.
Will I learn about top bar hives, Warre hives, and other alternative hives?
You can learn about alternative hives at the Certified level. You can keep whatever style of hive you wish but training at the Apprentice level will be with Langstroth hives only.
What are the requirements to be certified at the Apprentice, Certified, or Master level? Is there a time limit to complete each certification level?
A list of the certification requirements for each level are provided here. At this time there is no time limit to complete each.
What is the cost for participating in the program?
Apprentice: $5 to take the test, $3 to re-take test, $2 on passing you will receive a certificate. Certified: $5 to take the test, $3 to re-take the test, $6 on passing you will receive a certificate and a WV Certified Beekeeper pin. Master: $5 to take the test, $3 to re-take the test, $10 on passing you will receive a certificate, a WV Master Beekeeper pin, and a plaque.
Do I have to start at the Apprentice level if I am an experienced beekeeper?
Yes, everyone must start at the Apprentice level. The certifications are sequential, so you must have the Apprentice certification to be accepted into the Certified level program.
Is it necessary to take all certification levels to participate in the program?
No. It is up to the individual how many certification levels they pursue in the WV Master Beekeeper Program.
How old can public service credits be and still count?
Credits are no longer valid afer two years.
How do I document my public service credits?
Use the public service credit form found on the forms page. Additional information can be found here.
Can I do the same public service credit more than once?
What resources are good to study for the test?
The Apprentice level test is based on Beekeeping Basics published by the Penn State Cooperative Extension. Questions for the Certified level test are taken from Beekeeping Basics as well as The Beekeeper's Handbook by Diana Sammataro. The Master level test references the Certified book list as well as Honey Bee Parasites, Pests, Predators, and Diseases; Labeling Requirements for Marketing Your Honey; and the WV Apiary Law. Refer to the Reading Lists for complete titles, sources, and suggested supplemental reading.
What kind of questions are on each test?
The Apprentice and Certified levels are primarily true/false, fill in the blank, and multiple choice questions. The Master level test also contains some short essay questions. The lab questions ask you to identify an item and explain how/why it is used.
What is the difference between each level?
The Apprentice level tests your basic beekeeping knowledge. The Certified level goes into more advanced skills like re-queening, dividing hives, and entering honey shows. The master level focuses more on the different ways to do things and how you can help a beekeeper decide which way is best for them. You can find more information here.
Can I help judge a honey show and take a part in the beekeeping exam at the same time?
Absolutely! Each exam will take you approximately 1 to 2 hours to complete.