If you are academically inclined you may want to consider studying for the 7 Modular exams.

  • Module 1 - Honey bee Management
  • Module 2 - Honey bee Products and Forage
  • Module 3 - Honey bee Pests, Diseases and Poisoning
  • Module 4 - Not currently Active
  • Module 5 - Honey bee Biology
  • Module 6 - Honey Bee Behaviour
  • Module 7 Selection & Breeding of Honey bees
  • Module 8 - Honey bee Management, Health and History

If you undertake Modules 1,2, 3 and one other, you are given an ‘Intermediate Theory Certificate’ and when you have completed all 7 you qualify for the ‘Advanced Theory Certificate’.

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.

In order to undertake the modular study you will have to have successfully completed the Basic Assessment. Details of how to undertake this can be found under ‘Training’ on this website.

Exams take place in mid March and November every year and applications and fees need to be sent to the local Warwickshire Exam Secretary, or the BBKA head office at Stoneleigh at least 6 weeks before the exam date ie at the beginning of February and October.

Details of the syllabus and reading lists can be found on the BBKA website.

Forming a Study Group to work together on a module can be helpful as a way of sharing and discussing difficulties and exploring things you are unsure of. In Rugby we have used the distance learning correspondence courses provided by BBKA as the basis for structuring the study group, but you can use this form of study on your own. If you form a study group Warwickshire will refund half the cost of the correspondence course. The correspondence course will supplement your modular study but does not cover all aspects of the syllabus.

For those who would prefer to gain a practical qualification in Beekeeping, this is the route to take. You may also choose to undertake the Assessment after completing BBKA’s Modular study which would be helpful, but not essential.

To qualify for the Assessment you need to have kept bees for at least 5 years and have at least 3 hives and need to be proposed by a Competent Person who is familiar with your beekeeping.

Applications need to be submitted to BBKA by the 28th February in the year you want to be assessed, and the Assessment will take place from May to July in your Apiary by two approved Assessors who are experienced beekeepers .

The Assessment will cover your practical skills in handling bees and also your knowledge of important aspects of beekeeping and bee products, and your record keeping over the previous year.

Information about the Assessment and the Syllabus to cover can be found on the BBKA website.

 

BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Social science study on how best to support beekeepers and bee farmers through education, information and advice
    20 January 2021
    Understanding how turnover (“churn”) among beekeepers can be managed and review information sources, learning methods and use of social media, to develop resources to support the beekeeping sector.

    Defra and Welsh Government have commissioned a social science study to gather information about different aspects of education and training. This includes getting a better understanding of how the turnover of beekeepers can be managed. It will also review information sources, learning methods and use of social media. The third part of the project will evaluate current continuous professional development schemes and resources to support bee farmers. The study which has just begun, has been contracted to ICF Consulting who have carried out a number of research projects in other areas for Defra. We are hoping that many beekeepers will participate in the project which will include a survey and further details will be announced soon.

    This work links into the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, working together to improve honey bee health and husbandry in England & Wales.
  • COVID-19 and Beekeeping update
    11 January 2021
    This is a re-issue of the guidance provided in October 2020:

    Please find the latest Covid-19 beekeeping guidance. The update includes separate links to the current Public Health Guidance for England, Wales and Scotland.

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v3

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3

    If you have any queries please contact:

    For England: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.uk
    For Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymru
    For Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot
  • Starvation and Varroa Alert
    04 December 2020
    Observations from beekeepers and Bee Inspectors across the UK suggest that some colonies of bees are becoming short of food.

    Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter. If they need feeding at this time then fondant should be used. This should be placed above the brood nest so that the bees are able to access it easily.

    For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

    It has also been observed that Varroa levels in some hives are starting to increase again. This may be due to a number of factors, but the exceptionally mild weather this autumn has encouraged some colonies to produce more brood than usual which has allowed an increase in mite reproduction.

    Please monitor mite levels and treat accordingly.

    For further information, please see the’ Managing Varroa’ Advisory leaflet on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167