The best preparation for the field exam is practice, practice, practice. In your practicing, consider being a mentor—all clubs are looking for volunteers to help the 'newbees.' By helping others, you will perfect your own skills—what better way to show you know than to teach others?
Join an expert, such as an apiary inspector if your state/province has one as he/she inspects colonies. This will also provide an excellent opportunity to learn about diseases and pests (see study notes under the lab exam) while observing and learning from the expert. Ask the expert to critique your hive handling skills—a good way to learn is by listening to what others have to offer on how you do things. Demonstrate your hive opening and explanation technique with the expert and have him/her critique your inspection.
Volunteer for your bee day/open hive event (if your club or association has one) or start one at your own apiary. You will also be developing the ideals and objectives of an EAS Master Beekeeper by teaching and guiding others. Demonstrate your technique and have others do the same, comparing your inspection with that of others. Enjoy your bees and learn from them. Hive inspection is a two-way communication between you and your bees that are trying to tell you something. Come to the EAS Master Beekeeper Field Exam prepared to show you 'know your stuff.'
The written exam will be composed of a variety of questions, i.e. true-false, multiple choice, fill in the blank, short essays, etc. The questions total 100 points and a passing grade is 85. You will have up to 4 hours to take the exam.
Applicants will be expected to show a reasonable command of the English language. Clear, direct, precise, full-sentence answers are best where appropriate. Handwriting should be readable. Spelling mistakes will not be downgraded but the intended word/meaning should be clear.
The written exam is developed and graded by the Master Beekeeper Advisor with assistance of Master Beekeepers.
Listed below are major references that will be used by the committee in preparing the written exam. We feel that the following books should be in the library of "Master Beekeepers" or they should have ready access since they are important and accurate references. This list, however, should not be considered complete. There are many other excellent written resources available to beekeepers.
Individuals preparing to take the exams are not expected to read all of the books listed here however, those wishing to taking the exam will find it helpful to have a working knowledge of the subject material represented by these texts.
In the laboratory examination, applicants will move from station to station where a variety of items, specimens and equipment associated with beekeeping will be displayed. Questions might include identification, context of use, relevant information about what is displayed (control for a disease, for example), and other pertinent information about the item. For example you might be asked what time of year a particular item would be used. Some stations may have only a photo or computer image. There is a four-hour time limit to take the laboratory exam. Passing grade is 85.
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