While beekeeping is a practical activity, the more you know about it, the more enjoyable it becomes, and the better results you will get from your hobby, whether this is obtaining honey, or keeping strong healthy colonies of bees.
The British Beekeeping Association has recognised this and provides British beekeepers with two routes to obtaining educationally recognised qualifications.
1) If you are academically inclined you may want to consider studying for the 7 Modular exams.
These modules cover all aspects of beekeeping from the management of colonies, bee biology and behaviour and disease through to more specialized aspects like queen rearing and breeding which are covered in some depth.
2) If you prefer a more practically based approach you could consider taking the General Husbandry Certificate leading on to the Advanced Husbandry Certificate.
To undertake these qualifications you need to have kept bees for at least 5 years and to have your Basic Assessment Certificate.
To obtain the General Husbandry Certificate you will need to demonstrate to a high level your beekeeping skills, your approach to honey production and queen rearing in your own apiary. You are assessed on site by two experienced beekeepers appointed by BBKA.
Details of this qualification can be found on the BBKA website.
Once you have obtained both the Advanced Theory Cetificate and the Advanced Husbandry Certificate you are now a Master Beekeeper.
The next stage (if you still have the energy! ) is to take the National Diploma in Beekeeping.