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Beekeeper Training

Beekeeper Training starts with your local branch and hopefully a cup of Tea!

Tavistock Beekeepers runs a winter basic Beekeeping course and you can find out the details by e-mailing for the latest training news.

Then if you want to you can progress to the national BBKA National Training Scheme

The BBKA (British Beekeepers Association) offers a series of structured examinations and assessments leading to a series of certificates (see BBKA link). Devon BKA achieves the highest pass rate nationally in examinations beyond the Basic, and has a consistently high rate of members passing the Basic Assessment.

In our branch we support anyone who wishes to study the syllabus for one or more examinations, whether or not they choose to sit the exam or take the Husbandry assessments.

Although some people are happy to study on the their own, many find the BBKA Correspondence Courses a valuable support. Any of the Tavistock Beekeepers training team will be happy to talk about these matters and can offer practical advice and support about setting up self-managed study groups, or accessing other courses that may be available in the locality.

There are seven BBKA Modules:The Modules are written examinations held at Buckfast Abbey 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(Module 4 – Intermediate Honey Bee Biology – withdrawn)

Module 5 – Honey Bee Biology

Module 6 – Honey Bee Behavior

Module 7 – Selection & Breeding of Honey bees

Module 8 – Honey Bee Management, Health and History

Module 8 must normally 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.

If you prefer a more practical, less academic approach, then you might wish to take the General Bee Husbandry assessment. This will take place either in your own apiary, or at an approved teaching apiary in the region.  Finally, the Advanced Bee Husbandry certificate is the highest level of attainment in the practical beekeeping assessments. If you are successful in this – and have also passed all the modules, you will become a Master Beekeeper.