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PURPOSE AND GOALS: There has been a growing interest in beekeeping in North America, particularly in the past decade among hobbyists. Because of the continuing growth in this interest, there is a need for competent bee masters to provide education and assistance to beginning beekeepers and serve in other capacities in the community as experts in beekeeping. The Master Beekeeper program has been developed to certify qualified beekeepers to serve this need. Initially, this program was developed by Dr. Roger A. Morse at Cornell University. The program has now been expanded by the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America to other areas.
The purpose of the Master Beekeeper certification program is to identify and certify people who have a detailed knowledge of honey bee biology, expertise in the proper practices of beekeeping, and can present this information to the beekeeping and non-beekeeping public in a detailed, accurate, clear and authoritative manner. The goal of this program is to certify that those who are awarded the Master Beekeepers Certificate are competent at a college level in the three areas where they are tested.
The certification program will be conducted in conjunction with the annual EAS Conference. Certification will be coordinated by personnel who are designated by EAS.
ELIGIBILITY: Any experienced beekeeper is eligible to apply for certification as a Master Beekeeper. Persons interested in applying should have a minimum of 5 years as a serious beekeeper in some aspect of apiary management such as a very dedicated hobbyist, a commercial beekeeper, working for a commercial beekeeper or as an apiary inspector. Also, it is recommended that applicants have completed the equivalent of a college level course in beekeeping. An applicant should be well read in apicultural literature. In addition, a letter of nomination in support of the individuals seeking Master Beekeeper Certification must be submitted by the application deadline. This letter may be supplied by a current master beekeeper, professional beekeeping specialist or current president of a local, state or regional beekeeping organization. The letter can be submitted with the application or can be sent separately but must be received by the application deadline.
APPLICATION: Persons wishing to apply for certification should send a letter to the Secretary of EAS, Loretta M. Surprenant, PO Box 300, Essex, N.Y. 12936, stating his/her intention and request an application form for the Master Beekeeper Program. (Note: The application is also available as a PDF file from this web site) The application should be completed and mailed back to the EAS Secretary. The deadline for application is the same date as the conference deadline. All applications and letters of nomination must be received by the Master Beekeeper coordinator by the conference deadline. The number of applicants accepted may be governed by the facilities available for testing. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
REFERENCES: Master Beekeeper applicants will be provided an outline of examination subjects and a list of references to study in preparation for the examination.
FEES: Applicants who are accepted as candidates for certification are charged a fee which cover the cost of a Master Beekeepers manual, other supplies and expenses for testing. The certification program costs a total of $50.00 Twenty-five dollars will be paid when the written and laboratory exam is taken and the rest will be paid upon successful completion of all three exams. As each individual exam is passed, it will not have to be repeated. If an individual fails an exam, they are charged $15 for each take.
TESTING: Tests for certification will be conducted in conjunction with the annual EAS Conference. Testing will consist of 1) a written examination on knowledge of all aspects of beekeeping; 2) a laboratory practice examination on recognition of diseases, equipment and proper practices and; 3) an apiary performance test on the proper explanation of beekeeping practices and on handling of bee colonies.
CERTIFICATE: Each candidate who is qualified and passes the EAS Master Beekeeper test will receive a certificate suitable for framing and a lapel pin showing certification as a Master Beekeeper.