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Author Topic: How many certified Master Beekeepers do we have here?  (Read 3343 times)
Sean Kelly
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« on: February 09, 2008, 08:51:40 AM »

Now that I'm getting close to my first anniversary of keeping bees, I've decided to take the plunge into the Master Beekeeper's program.  I just joined the Pierce County Beekeeper's Association and they offer the "Apprentice" program classes which is my first step.  I hear the Apprentice level is pretty easy, but Journeymen looks like a ton of work!

How many Apprentice level keepers do we have here?  Journeymen?  MASTERS?

Very cool stuff!!!

Sean Kelly
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annette
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 12:32:12 PM »

I have the desire to do this some day. Just want to have a few more years of beekeeping under my belt. Good Luck.

Annette
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 12:35:01 PM »

I dont think we have any programs like that in Ohio that I am aware of  Cry
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 04:10:39 PM »

>How many Apprentice level keepers do we have here?  Journeymen?  MASTERS?

I'm not even an Apprentice...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 09:18:06 PM »

Michael

I am sure you must be a Masters already, just not certified.

Annette
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 12:37:48 AM »

Michael

I am sure you must be a Masters already, just not certified.

Annette

I've been keeping bees since 1959, does that make me a Master Beekeeper?  No!  Neither does a piece of paper from taking a test.
I can't tell you all the scientific names of bees and their maladys nor can I name all the parts of a bee.  That has always seemed a artificial measure of successful beekeeping.  I prefer hands on experience--that I have lots of, but I'm no Master (if there is really any such thing, I have my doubts).  I would venture to say that Michael Bush feels pretty much the same way.  The true measure of a successful beekeeper is told in what he's learned the hard way, how well he understands what goes on inside a beehive, and what his honey production per hive and hive survival rate are.
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 07:32:40 AM »

They are starting a program here in VA. But except for being able to present credentials that you are knowledgeable and able to teach others I don't see the point in pursuing it.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 08:25:51 AM »

Wow Brian, pretty harsh.

I'm not doing this to have a piece of paper that says I'm a "Master".  I'm doing it to further my deep love for these awesome bugs.

Just like going to college to learn a trade doesn't make you an instant expert at that trade.  To become an expert you need experience, but the schooling is a huge step in the right direction.

I see the MBC program as a way to become more involved with beekeeping, instead of selfishly keeping bees to myself.  Its a way to outreach, learn, and have fun.

Thanks for trying to crush my hopes there guys.  Way to be negative!

Sean Kelly
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 08:44:01 AM »

It seems to me that if you are able to walk away from the course having learned usable information it was a wise decision on your part to persue the course. Some people like to learn by hands on experience, others take a more scholarly approach, I say whatever works for you. I think its great you want to learn and share your knowledge with others. They say that beekeepers are a dying breed. By sharing our knowledge with others, especially the non-beekeeping community, we are spreading seeds that may grow into new beekeepers. This is a win, win, situation in my book. Good luck and have fun with the course Sean.

Sincerely, JP
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2008, 10:25:16 AM »

Sean, oh no!!!  I don't think that anyone was trying to burst your bubble, I think that you took it the wrong way.  You must not be so sensitive when people say things, just take it all with a little grain of salt (or lots, I love salt, oops!!!).

Your thread was a great post that you started and it is interesting the comments, look at it that way.  I would love to hear what more people will say about their experience in this field of apiculture.

I have taken courses, seminars, read book upon book, magazine upon magazine, and so on, the list is endless.  I have even taken what is called "The Bee Masters Short Course", which was a 5 day course.  Yep, I got a certificate.  I am proud of that.  But it only shows that I took the course, it really means nothing, other than that pretty little plaque that has my name on it.

I don't think that even after my life is over I would consider myself a beemaster either.  Just ain't workin' that way.  I don't think that anyone would ever be a master of the bees, yet alone to ever say that they know everything about the bees. There are still things that are being researched about this fascinating world of the honeybee.

Sean, take the course, become that Beemaster......in short.  You know that you (nor any of us) will ever be a real beemaster, but to show that you have the love to have taken the time to learn as much as you can, shows that you are a master, of your own life, and your quest for knowledge makes you this master.....it is good.....so good.  I encourage everyone, if they ever get a chance, to take as many courses as they can, to learn about this world that they have chosen to enter, this secret world of the honeybee, to be captive under the spell of the honeybee, we all are....we know this...we accept this.  And Sean, have a wonderful day, you must not think that your bubble has been burst, it has not, if you still feel that way, blow it back up again and start over.  Beautiful day, love our life we live.  Cindi
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Ken
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2008, 10:35:36 AM »

Sean,
Don't let anyone pee in your Cheerios. Any time somebody wants to further their education,I would hope they pursue it,no matter what it is.
 I'm a little disappointed abut the guys giving you the impression that it is not worth the effort.
I'm sure Bryans profession as a police officer included formal training ,not just a desire to carry a badge and gun and make sure justice is served.
Grab that golden ring and learn all that you can.Not everything is learned by the school of hard knocks. I know a lot of electricians that have never been shocked to learn how to run electrical circuits.Some one taught them better.I also know plumbers that didn't flood a basement to learn how to plumb.
I guess the best thing to be said is what you do with that education,not what education you get!
        Cheer up and go for it! Smiley Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2008, 10:43:59 AM »

Obviously what makes a "master" is widely open to interpretation and, of course, every Master Beekeepers certification is different as well.

I think Brian's point was that some people have kept bees for fifty years and never really learned much about them while others have paid attention and learned a lot in a short period of time.  Granted years of paying attention certainly pays off.

I think the thing about bees that is so fascinating is that you never even scratch the surface of what there is to know, no matter how hard you work at it.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2008, 10:44:55 AM »

Ken, yep, yep, yep, smiling,  Smiley Smiley Smiley  Have the best of this great, wonderful day, you too Sean.  Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2008, 11:21:43 AM »

The book 'What do you know?' by Clarence H. Collison might be a good study guide to those master's programs. It's 17 chapters of multiple choice quiz questions like the monthly quiz he does in 'Bee Culture' magazine.

I am not a certified Master Beekeeper, but like Cindi, I am a certified Bee Master. Smiley We both, at separate times, went through the Simon Fraser University program. Most of those master beekeeper programs are more detailed though.

Go for it.
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2008, 01:56:20 PM »

You should hear my grand kids everytime that I take a new course on somthing. But they are all smarter than I will ever "bee" Take the course.  Tony
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2008, 05:58:24 PM »

I'm sorry guys, I took this all wrong.  When I wrote that I had just finished a 12 hour shift at work driving a double fuel tanker in the rain to four of the worst gas stations we deliver to.  I was tired and just a little sensitive.

However, I feel that this program will be a lot of fun and will help me get really involved with the community in beekeeping.  As for experience, I can't even START the Master level until I have at least 5 successful years of keeping bees under my belt.  Most of the program involves hands on stuff, things I wanted to do down the road anyway.  This program not only gives me a pathway of acheaving my beekeeping goals, but I get a certificate too when I'm finished.  I just think some of you are stuck on the "Master" word.  It's just a title of the course and doesn't make you an Instant Master of all beekeepers!  lol.  They probably should have come up with a better word for the top level.  Oh well.

Just so you guys understand what's involved here and don't think I'm just gunna take a short class and I'm going to instantly think I'm a "Master"

Here's the Journeyman and Master programs broken down:

Journeyman:
  • the applicant to be a member of a local and/or state beekeepers association
  • and a minimum of two years experience
  • A field test at the applicant's apiary
  • Knowledge of colony management, public relations, state and federal laws, honey judging, sanitation, economics
  • obtaining 30 public service points
  • Students are expected to acquire information from beekeeping books and journals and other sources.
  • A series of exams are required covering each section of the course.

Master
  • five years of accumulated experience
  • thirty additional public service points
  • laboratory experience, or other efforts appropriate to the course of study and approved by the MBC.
  • A workbook containing notes, photos, sketches and references of the student’s work will be graded to certify completion of the course

For both, the public service points are the tuff ones and are broken down like this:

A. Presentations on beekeeping and related topics to non-beekeeping groups.
B. Programs on beekeeping and related topics to school groups.
C. Presentation of WSBA or WA State approved programs to beekeeping groups.
D. Publication of beekeeping and related topic articles in journals, newsletters, etc.
E. Serving as an officer/director/trustee of a local beekeeping organization.
F. Working at a beekeeping exhibit open to the public.
G. Assisting 4-H or FFA members, and other youths with beekeeping projects.
H. Serving as an officer/board member/regional representative of the WSBA.
I. Programs/lectures/demonstrations on specific beekeeping topics to beekeeping groups.
J. Judging honey and/or beekeeping products at fairs and other competitions.
K. Conducting courses for advanced beekeepers.
L. Provide one to one instruction to beginning beekeepers.
M. Give courses to beginning beekeepers.
N. Perform special programs, work, courses, exhibits, or other efforts approved by the WSBA MBC.

The following general rules apply:
 - A maximum of 50% of accumulated units may be obtained in one category.
 - 1 unit equals 1 hour, with a maximum of 3 units per presentation in categories A, B, C, I, K and M.
 - 1 unit equals 2 hours with a maximum of 3 units per recipient in categories G and L.
 - 5 units for an article published in a national magazine or publishing one state or local association newsletter. 2 units for an article published in a local or state newsletter as specified in category D.
 - 15 units for serving as an elected officer for one year, and 5 units for serving as a trustee/executive board member for one year as specified in categories E & H.
 - 1 unit equals 2 hours in category F.
 - 1 unit equals 1 hour in category J.
 - A passing grade of 75 percent on examinations is required.

So there you have it.  I'm gunna do it whether you old timers think it's a waste of time or not.  smiley  Plus, it's not like I'm going to try and become a professional at this.  I'm a truck driver and keep bees as a hobby.  I just want to further my knowledge of these cute painful bugs.

Thanks guys and sorry again for coming off a little harsh,

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2008, 08:46:32 AM »

Wow Sean, I WISH there were something such as that around here. In addition, the program DOES, if you ask me, make your rather master-ish. The public service part alone is something I bet a lot of "real" beeks never have bothered with.
Take the course and I, for one, will refer to you as a master!
I have taken a number of various courses and they were NOTHING such as what you describe. Pretty stupid in fact.
After you go through all that you describe, what the heck else do you need to become a master in the eyes of other beeks? A pint of freshly drawn blood(your own, of course) for them to feast on?


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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2008, 09:03:01 AM »

Sorry No Master Beekeepers here.

I had a phone call with Don (fatbeeman) where he told me he got frustrated with a beekeeper who had been through a master's beekeeping course. He would critize Don's methods and then call Don and ask him how to deal with this situation or that situation. Don eventually said, I have no idea what to do about your problem, maybe you should ask a master beekeeper.  Smiley

I have been floating the idea of throwing together a conference next year and having Don(fatbeeman), Michael Bush, and Dee L. come to Florida in January or February for a round table disscussion. With the idea of inviting all the entomolgy experts and Drs and Phd's to it.

I had pictured the questions in my head. Of going over and asking them all about their serious Varroa problems because they aren't doing what this book or that book says. How the bees must be miserable because they don't use this method described by this "expert."

I can see the "experts" squirming in their seats. Michael however was much more realistic about it. He said the experts wouldn't even bother to come.

With the three of them at a table you have over a 100 years of beekeeping experience and not one decent piece of paper between them. It is sad how miserable their hives must be. Wink

On that note however. I am also in favor of education. The thing with education is when they get pigeonholed into what is taught in the classroom (this applies for kids in school also).

I tend to look at this way. You can go to a vocational program and come out with a certificate that says you are an electrician but no contractor will put you near a panel because while the education is nice, the experience with it makes the difference. Sometimes it is very hard to correct all those things they teach in class.

I was offered a chance to go the Florida Beekeepers College Dr. Jamie Ellis is putting together. I would have liked to gone (schedule issues) but as a instructor not a student. I was going to have a class called renegade beekeeping 101.  afro

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2008, 10:48:09 AM »

NJ does not have a masters neek program yet! They are on verge of hiring new professor to start a program from scartch. They are down to three finalists. People applied from all over world are said to be amazingly qualified. Nothing beats experience, but you can certainly accelerate your learning curve w/ books and classes. I wish I could take a masters program or any course on beekeeping. I also wish I could follow the MB's and Bri' Brays of the world through their apiaries a few times too. That also would accelerate the learning curve.
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2008, 11:29:53 AM »

NJ does not have a masters neek program yet! They are on verge of hiring new professor to start a program from scartch. They are down to three finalists. People applied from all over world are said to be amazingly qualified. Nothing beats experience, but you can certainly accelerate your learning curve w/ books and classes. I wish I could take a masters program or any course on beekeeping. I also wish I could follow the MB's and Bri' Brays of the world through their apiaries a few times too. That also would accelerate the learning curve.

I am totally with you on this one Konasdad!!!

Annette
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