BBKA Assessments

The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) offer both written and practical assessments for those beekeepers who would like to improve their knowledge of both bees and beekeeping.

The BBKA Modules

A chance to test your knowledge on all aspects of apiculture.

The Modules are written examinations held at a local centre with each paper taking 1½hrs. You can take up to 4 modules in each session. There are seven modules to be studied:

  1. Honey bee Management
  2. Products and Forage
  3. Honey bee Pests, Diseases and Poisoning
  4. There is no Module 4
  5. Honey bee Biology
  6. Honey bee Behaviour
  7. Selection & Breeding of Honey bees
  8. Honey bee Management, Health and History

Module 8 must be taken last. The other modules can be tackled in any order.
After passing modules 1, 2, 3 and one other you are awarded the Intermediate Theory Certificate. After passing all modules you are awarded the Advanced Theory Certificate.

The BBKA website has more information regarding the Modules

The Practical Assessments

Junior Certificate

Under 18 and want to test your beekeeping knowledge? Then this could be the one for you. The Junior certificate consists of 4 elements

  • 10 minutes of oral questions
  • A short written paper
  • Making a frame
  • Present your beekeeping diary

This examination is intended to meet the requirements of schools, Scout and Guide groups together with those not qualified to enter for the Basic Assessment. Additionally, it is intended that the examination will reflect the candidates interest of apiculture and encourage them to go forward to the next examination, the Basic Assessment.

Basic Assessment

To take the Basic Assessment you should have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months.
The Basic Assessment syllabus can appear daunting at first glance but closer inspection will show that it merely lists the basic things which all beekeepers should know.
The assessment is completely practical/oral and takes place mainly at the hive in a local apiary.

Bee Health Certificate

more to go here

General Husbandry Certificate

Have you been beekeeping for 5 years and passed your Basic Assessment? Then this is the next practical step
This assessment is for beekeepers who prefer the practical approach rather than written examinations. On the day, the assessment is conducted by two BBKA Assessors and consists of:

  • inspection of the candidate’s apiary, equipment and honey handling equipment.
  • manipulation of one or more colonies of the candidate’s bees
  • demonstration of a method of selective queen rearing

Advanced Husbandry Certificate

So, you have the General Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry and want to pass on your knowledge. The Advanced Certificate is only open to those who have passed the General Certificate. This assessment is designed for beekeepers aspiring to lecture and demonstrate the craft of beekeeping to others. The Assessment, conducted at a suitable location, consists of the following tasks:

  • Manipulation of one or more colonies as required by the Assessor
  • Short presentation on a practical topic to a small audience
  • Demonstration of dissection for acarine and nosema analysis
  • Discussion and practical on methods of queen rearing
  • Discussion on other aspects of beekeeping as given in the syllabus

Microscopy Certificate

Never has bee health and disease diagnosis been more important!
This assessment provides a qualification and measure of achievement for those beekeepers with an interest in pollen, anatomy, and disease relevant to the honey bee. A candidate’s knowledge and skills are tested through practical tasks and oral questioning. The candidate will need to prepare 6 pollen slides and 3 anatomy slides during the year prior to the assessment. For the assessment, which lasts between 2 and 2 ½ hours, the candidate will need to provide 2 suitable microscopes and equipment necessary to carry out dissections and make slides. Full details are in the syllabus.
Prospective candidates should have passed the Basic Certificate.
A pass in the Microscopy Certificate gives exemption from the Adult Bee Diseases section of the Advanced Husbandry Assessment.

Cheshire Beekeepers offer training courses to help prepare members for all of these assessments.

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