Then all of this year I have been working on meeting the qualifications for Master Beekeeper. I have given talks to non-beekeeping groups, rescued swarms, run booths at eco-fairs, been interviewed on three Internet podcasts, run workshops (3 of them) at a regional meeting, provided hives for community gardens and many other things.
All of the evidence of my public service activities as well as five subspecialties had to be presented in a tabbed notebook which was turned in last Thursday afternoon. I had pictures to document all of my public service and specialty areas. I had saved emails and thank you notes, fliers and brochures. All of it went into this notebook!
Then a lot of us spent Thursday morning sitting in class cramming everything we could into our heads from lectures on current stuff that we might not know....including that an apis mellifera fossil has been discovered in Nevada that is native to North America. The name of this bee is: apis nearctica. And that was on the test.
Below you'll see Dr. Keith Delaplane. He is the head of the entomology department at the University of Georgia and the head of the Master Beekeeper program that brings us all the various certifications. He's laughing because we are nervously peeking into the room where he is grading our exams.
While ten or so people attended the Master Beekeeper lectures on Thursday morning, actually only three of us sat for the exam. Here we all nervously are, awaiting the results. We are all friends and members of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association.
The Young Harris Beekeeping Institute, where we took this exam, draws participants from the region: Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina as well as all over Georgia, so it is rather remarkable that the three of us, Cindy, Jay and I, who sat for the exam were all from Atlanta and all from the Metro club.
In the end, with much relief, we were all awarded the Master Beekeeper certification level. There are currently ten living Master Beekeepers in the region and we add three to that number. There is also one Master Craftsman Beekeeper, Bill Owens, who is the only person in the state of Georgia to reach the highest possible level.
Here's the certificate:
The sweetest part of the event is that my friend Julia and her son, Noah, who were also at the Institute, wrote a song for me celebrating my getting the Master Beekeeper. They sang it to me, complete with Julia playing the guitar, after breakfast this morning. I will always remember that about this day.
And, by the way, this is my 700th post on my blog to date!