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The BBKA Examination structure runs from Junior Certificate, Basic Assessment, General & Advanced Certificates in Beekeeping Husbandry, through to Master Beekeeper and National Diploma in Beekeeping. In addition there are 7 theory Modules, Show Judging and Beekeeping Microscopy. Below are details of the some of the exams.

Basic Assessment
To take the Basic Assessment you should have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months.

As a branch we would like to see as many people as possible take their Basic Assessment. Over the past few years we have had quite a few new members who will now be in a position to study for this assessment but anybody who meets the requirement is encouraged to take this exam.

The Basic Assessment is the starting point and entry requirement for all other examinations and assessments in Beekeeping. It is a practical test which assesses the basic skills and knowledge of the craft. To take the Basic Assessment you should have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months.

At first glance the syllabus seems daunting, 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 and lasts for about an hour.

A short training course run by East Devon Beekeepers helps to prepare you for Assessment with the exam in June or July. If you are interested, please contact either Richard Simpson or John Badley by the end of April (see Contacts).

General Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry

Have you been beekeeping for 5 years and passed your Basic Assessment? Then this is the next practical step.

This assessment is designed for beekeepers who prefer the practical approach rather than the written examinations. On the day, your assessment is conducted by two BBKA Assessors and consists of:

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

You will need to keep records of your hives for a year as these may be used by the Assessors. Your application form and cheque need to be sent off to the DBKA Examinations Officer by the closing date of 28th February.
More information may be obtained from education@edbk.co.uk or the BBKA website.

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

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

Module 1 – Honey bee Management

Module 2 – Honey bee Products and Forage

Module 3 – Honey bee Pests, Diseases and Poisoning

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

Module 8 must be the last module to be taken, otherwise they can be tackled in any order.

After passing modules 1, 2, 3 and one other from 5, 6 and 7 you are awarded the Intermediate Theory Certificate and after passing all modules you are awarded the Advanced Theory Certificate.

The entry requirements to sit the modules are the Basic Certificate and at least 2 years beekeeping experience.

More information may be obtained from education@edbk.co.uk or the BBKA website.


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News & Events

Nosema Testing at Hunthay Apiary
Please note that on Thursday 12th April between 1000 & 1230 there will be an opportunity for you to test your bees for Nosema.
Members should bring samples (c.30 bees) from each hive.
Calling Notice for the rescheduled Devon Beekeepers’ Association Annual General Meeting
Download details: DBKA Calling Notice 2018
Please note that the Raffle Draw for the cedar wood hive donated by National Bee Supplies will take place on 7th April, so still time to buy tickets if you wish.
BBKA documents fyi
Spring Convention
Note: Now rescheduled for April 7th at Meldon Village Hall
Devon Beekeepers Day Raffle Prize!
Dear Member,
You will recall I gave details of the Devon Beekeepers Day in your February Buzz. We now have the raffle tickets available for the National hive kindly being donated by National Bee Supplies. Tickets can only be purchased by members and are priced at £2 each. See your emails for details of how to purchase raffle tickets.Proceeds from the raffle go to the Presidents Fund which in turn helps to support bee related projects throughout the county.The beekeepers day on March 3rd promises to be an interesting event (your February Beekeeping magazine has all the details) – so come along if you can. Regards, Val

Gove – UK will back total ban on bee harming pesticides Click link to see details

Asian Hornet in North Devon
The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in North Devon which was spotted by a beekeeper in their apiary on the 18th September 2017. The contingency response has been initiated and a press release has been issued by Defra.