Written Exam

Study Guide for Written Exam

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.

Some questions, similar to those that might be used, are listed below: 

1. Drone honey bees are normally present in colonies throughout the year. (True or False)
2. Colonies with young queens are least apt to swarm. (True or False)
3. Hairless black syndrome is caused by a: A)·Virus B)·Bacterium C)·Protozoan D)·Fungus E)·Mite
4. What are the primary functions of bees located in the center and on the outer surface of the winter cluster? (2 points)
5. What two factors determine “division of labor” within the honey bee colony? (2 points)
6. What is the primary function of fat bodies in the honey bee? (1 point)
7. What is the best way to remove wax bloom from a candle? (1 point)
8. Describe the Demaree Technique and explain what it is used for. (5 points)



1. False, if interpreted as normal. True, there are often a few. Sometimes a comment is justified on T/F tests.
2. True.
3. A) Virus
4. Bees on the winter cluster surface serve as insulators to conserve heat. Bees in the center of the winter cluster generate heat and care for brood if it is present.
5. The “division of labor” within the honey bee colony is determined by the age of the worker bee (gland development) and needs of the colony.
6. Fat bodies function as production and storage sites for reserve food material, chiefly fats, glycogen and protein compounds.
7. Wax bloom can be removed from a candle by wiping the candle with a cloth or warming the candle with a hair dryer.
8. The “Demaree Method” of swarm control separates the queen from the brood. Examine all frames of brood in the colony and destroy all queen cells. Place the queen in the lower brood chamber and all frames of uncapped brood in the upper brood chamber. Capped brood may remain in either the upper or lower brood chamber. Place one or two hive bodies full of empty combs between the original two brood chambers. Place a queen excluder on top of the bottom brood chamber before adding middle supers. In 7 to 10 days destroy any queen cells that have developed in the upper hive bodies.


How to Prepare for the Written Test

Link to 2017 Exam with Answers
Link to 2018 Exam with Answers
Link to 2019 Exam with Answers


Successful completion of the written test demonstrates the equivalent of a college-level competence in beekeeping. The test includes both bee biology and beekeeping management, as well as questions about contemporary issues in apiculture. To prepare, you should get a recent comprehensive book on bee biology and another on general beekeeping (see 4 basic reference suggestions under Resources) and spend 3–6 months going over the material. Checking additional resources to broaden your knowledge of specific topics will be useful as well as going to meetings, reading bee journals, consulting websources of higher quality and discussing beekeeping with other individuals.

Take an Intermediate beekeeping course. It would be a great starting point for more in-depth learning. Most candidates find attending state/regional and/or national bee meetings very helpful as a springboard to fill blank spots in their knowledge and to remain current about important issues facing beekeepers today. Additionally use copies of recent exams as practice tests along with the 8 practice questions above. Use them as both a study tool and to become familiar with the types of questions asked.

Some individuals prefer to study alone but an excellent way to gain exposure to information you are not as familiar with would be to find a study partner or study group. Individuals preparing to take the exam have found this throwing out of questions/information in a give-and-take session of several hours or over several sessions has been helpful. You might look for a current EAS Master Beekeeper as a study mentor. Of course you can cram your studying into a day, week or more prior to the exam but most individuals find that they will retain and understand more if the preparation is done over a several month period.



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