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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On the Road to Master Beekeeper

At the Young Harris Beekeeping Institute each year, there's an opportunity to earn various levels of certification in beekeeping. The Institute is sponsored by the University of Georgia's entomology department, so the people who are speaking offer a lot of knowledge and experience. I went to the Institute in 2007 and 2008.

May 2007: Passed Certified Beekeeper in state of Georgia
May 2008: Passed Certified Journeyman Beekeeper in state of Georgia

In 2009, I had to miss Young Harris because one of my dearest friends had a surprise birthday party in Charleston, South Carolina, so I went to SC instead of Young Harris.

This year (2010) I plan to at least try for the Master Beekeeper. Here are the requirements:
  • Must have three years of beekeeping experience. DONE
  • Must have held Journeyman rank at least one year. DONE
  • Must pass a written test (over Institute lectures) and practical documentation. To do in May 2010 hopefully
Note: To do the pass-the-test part, another friend from my bee club and I are going to form our own Master Beekeeper study group to cheer each other on to get to the goal. The books pictured above are what Keith Delaplane recommends for the Master Craftsman Beekeeper in addition to First Lessons in Beekeeping. They are The Biology of the Honey Bee by Mark Winston and The Wisdom of the Hive by TD Seeley.
  • Complete 10 units of public service work beyond that required for Journeyman (see public service requirements).
    • Here's my public service so far:
      1. "Providing a hive of bees to pollinate a public garden" I managed two hives at a public garden (Blue Heron) - well-documented
      2. "Officership in local beekeeping association." I'm in my third year of a three year term as a director on the Board of Directors for Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association
      3. "Presenting bee-related lecture or workshop to non-beekeeping group (youth or adult)."
      4. 3/31/09 Gave a bee talk at an Atlanta preschool
      5. 4/6/09 Collected a swarm from a resident's yard in Chamblee, G
      6. 5/13/09 Gave a bee talk (and did the waggle dance) at Clairmont Elementary School
      7. 6/12/09 Gave a presentation a St. Dunstan's vacation Bible school on bees (and did the waggle dance!)
      8. 7/20/09 Was the featured guest on a public blogtalk radio show: Scorpion Equinox, talking about being a beekeeper
      9. 10/14/09 Gave a talk at the Peachtree Battle Garden Club on beekeeping and gardening
      10. "Public demonstration on beekeeping topic at fair, festival or similar public event." 5/9/09 Ran a demonstration booth at the Eco-Fair at the Blue Heron
      11. "Other activities may be admissible, but candidates are advised to contact program officers about specific cases" I've written the two directors about the bee tree rescue below and I already know they approve of my blog as a public service:
      12. 8/5/09 Helped a tree cutting company rescue a beehive that they found in a tree so that the hive would not be destroyed. The event was written up in a community news email blast sent to 1596 citizens of the local area
      13. Have managed this blog since April 2006 and have posted 624 posts (so far)
      • NOTE: whoo - ten PSCs are all I need
  • Practical documentation must demonstrate expertise in at least five of the following 18 subspecialties:
    • Winning 1st or 2nd place in an authorized competition in extracted honey. DONE
    • Winning 1st or 2nd place in an authorized competition in comb or cut-comb honey. DONE
    • Winning 1st or 2nd place in an authorized competition in crystallized (spun or creamed) honey.
    • Winning 1st or 2nd place in an authorized competition in beeswax. DONE
    • Publishing article in beekeeping publication (excluding newsletters).
    • Publishing article in a non-beekeeping publication (with at least state-wide distribution).
    • Being recognized as a beekeeping authority in your local area by appearing on radio or TV. (Wonder if the Scorpion Equinox blogradio interview counts or the podcast I did for NKYbeekeeper?)
    • Documenting training in life-saving treatment of persons suffering from allergic reactions to insect stings.
    • Attending at least three regional (multi-state), national or international beekeeping meetings.
    • Conducting a program or workshop at a state, regional, national or international meeting or convention. Have been invited to speak at the Southeastern Organic Beekeepers Meeting in Florida in February, 2010
    • Demonstrating competence in small-scale queen rearing.
    • Completing a course on queen artificial insemination.
    • Acquiring private pesticide applicator’s license.
    • Documenting legally-licensed honey processing facility.
    • Participating in a beekeeping research or extension project at an approved institution.
    • Demonstrating theoretic knowledge of Integrated Pest Management, practical competence in its application, and personal commitment to its precepts.
    • Acquiring other certified bee-related training as approved by Review Board.
    • Serving two or more years as officer of regional, national or international bee organization (need not be consecutive nor in the same organization).
So at this point, it looks like I need to do something else in the eighteen sub-categories just above - like publish an article in a bee magazine, get some more certified bee-related training, or get asked to appear on local radio or TV.....
I need to pass the test.

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  1. Whoo Hoo Beekeeper Linda - Glad to hear you are working on the Master Beekeeper.
    Keep up the good work,

  2. Wow Linda..you're doing great! Congrats on all your accomplishments!

  3. I'm so sure you will be a Master Beekeeper in 2010! Congratulations on all you've done and all you will do in future!

  4. Linda, I wish you much success! I feel certain that with your passion and determination you'll meet your goals. I've learned a lot from you and look forward to continuing to follow your blog.

  5. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Hi Linda

    Don't you think your blog qualifies as a "beekeeping publication"? Just because it is run by you doesn't make it less "beekeeping" and definately less "public"...? I think it is a case of the terminology just being a bit out of date.
    I would ask if I were you.
    Otherwise, congrats and good luck for 2010!

    Greetings from Denmark

  6. Anonymous4:01 PM

    I meant "definately NOT less "public" in the previouse comment. (hope you get what I mean.)

  7. That is a really impressive list of achievements. If anyone can pass the test & become a 'Master Beekeeper', it is you - good luck!

  8. Anonymous9:55 AM

    Good luck!

  9. Anonymous7:36 PM

    I think the eHow articles should count toward non-beekeeping articles with at least a national circulation! And if the podcasts don't count toward public service, it is a different kind of documentation.

    But in any case, you're well on your way!


  10. Linda, it's awesome that you are pursuing this. As for TV - if you call the station and tell them you'd be interested in doing a story, they'd probably come by when you have a hive open and do an interview.
    Re the books you're reading "The Wisdom of the Hive", it costs $93.00 on Amazon - so I hope I can find one used! If you'd like to see me yours when you're done let me know :)

  11. I found it for $75 on Alibris...but that was the lowest I could find - so I bought it right away and the only reason it was that price was that I had a coupon! Hope it's a great book....


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