Beekeeper Education
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Syllabuses for Beekeeping Examinations conducted in UK and Ireland

 FIBKA Syllabuses 
Exam Details
 BBKA Syllabuses 
General Cert. Beekeeping Husbandry
Advanced Cert. Beekeeping Husbandry
Master Beekeeper
Show Judge

 NDB Syllabus 
NDB Exam
 Other Syllabuses 
UBKA Preliminary


There are seven levels of examinations for The Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations (FIBKA) proficiency certificates, these listed below with their entry requirements.

Preliminary... intended for beginners - no previous qualifications required.

Intermediate... FIBKA Preliminary or the BBKA Basic Certificate to have been held for at least a year.

Senior... At least five years beekeeping experience and hold the Intermediate Certificate.

Intermediate Apiary Practical... At least three years beekeeping experience. It is less academic with no written papers. The exam will take place in the candidates apiary.

Practical Beemaster... At least five years beekeeping experience, of a standard that the examining board accept and hold the Preliminary Certificate.

Honey Judge... Intermediate and Practical Beemaster Certificates, a record of 200 or more pints won in major honey shows and stewarding under at least four different FIBKA Honey Judges.

Lecturer... The candidate must hold the FIBKA or BBKA Senior Certificate.

The British Beekeepers' Association have a slightly different structure to their examinations. See... Framework diagram.

Junior... A very simple level for those under 18 y/o, no pre-requisites other than a diary.

Basic... Open to candidates who have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months.  

Intermediate and Advanced Theory... Applicants need to have kept bees for at least two seasons and hold the basic certificate. This consists of seven modules that may be taken in any order, apart from Module 8 being last. The Intermediate certificate being issued when modules one, two and three plus one other have been passed. The advanced theory certificate will be awarded when all modules have been passed. There is a twelve year limit for passing all modules.

General Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry... Applicants must hold the basic certificate and have kept and managed bees for at least three years. This qualification is essentially a practical exercise with no theory papers.

Advanced Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry... Requires the General Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry

Master Beekeeper... Awarded to those achieving both the advanced certificate in beekeeping husbandry and advanced theory certificates (equivalent to the senior certificate previously awarded).

Microscopy... Requires the basic certificate and one year's beekeeping experience

Show Judge... Beekeepers that wish to judge at small and regional shows, must hold the basic certificate and submit a record book of stewarding and judging achievements and have won thirty or more prizes of 1st 2nd or 3rd, A five year limit applies.

National Diploma in Beekeeping (NDB) Applicants for the NDB Examination are required to hold the Senior Certificate of their National Beekeeping Association, although there are limited exceptions to that rule that may be invoked at the Chairman's discretion. It is a very intense and high standard course, involving full time attendance. It is the most prestigious beekeeping qualification.

In addition to the examinations organised by FIBKA, BBKA and NDB a great deal of tuition is done by local associations, some of which also host BBKA examination sessions or issue their own certificates.

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