THE WEST VIRGINIA MASTER BEEKEEPER PROGRAM
We have entered a new era in beekeeping. Diseases and pests have made it undesirable
for beekeepers to keep to themselves in isolation from other beekeepers in their region. Working
together to keep all of West Virginia's honeybee colonies healthy is the only practical way we
can insure the health of each of our own colonies. The purpose of this program is to help the
individual improve his or her skills and knowledge of beekeeping by testing on a continuous
basis and to increase the effectiveness of the WV Beekeepers Association (WVBA) in providing
resources to the general public and the beekeeping community. This program is not a
requirement for anyone to have honeybees in the state of West Virginia or any other state.
The West Virginia Master Beekeeper Program is sponsored by the WVBA with the
assistance of the West Virginia Bee Specialist and apiary inspector. The program director is
appointed by the executive board of the WVBA. The program consists of three levels described
below. For more information contact Janet Clayton at
A. Written Test
B. Lab Test
C. Field Test
D. Belong to a local association
E. Gets or has access to one trade journal such a Bee Culture or American Bee Journal
F. Good general beekeeping knowledge
A. Written Test
B. Lab Test
C. Oral discussion (asked general questions about beekeeping)
D. Pass apprentice test
E. 3 years beekeeping experience
F. 6 units public service
G. Enter a honey show and produce a blue ribbon quality (score 92 or above) in two different classes. Acceptable Honey Shows: Honey Festival (Parkersburg), State Fair (WV), EAS,
Fall Meeting (WV)
3. Comb honey
4. Extracted honey
A. Written Test
B. Lab Test
C. Presentation (Speaker at Spring or Fall Meeting)
D. Pass apprentice and certified tests
E. 5 years beekeeping experience
F. 12 units public service
G. Must judge a honey show
ALL WRITTEN, LAB AND FIELD TESTS MUST BE PASSED WITH AN 80%
ACCEPTABLE PUBLIC SERVICE CREDITS
A. Presentations of WVBA approved programs to beekeeping groups.
B. Publication of beekeeping and related topic articles in journals, newsletter, etc.
C. Serving as an officer of a local beekeeping organization, attending at least 75% of the meetings.
D. Construction of an exhibit or working at a beekeeping exhibit open to the public at least 6 hours.
E. Assisting 4-H members and other youths with beekeeping projects.
F. Serving as an officer of the state beekeeping organization, attending at least 75% of the meetings.
G. Programs/lectures/demonstrations on specific beekeeping topics to beekeeping groups.
H. Judging honey and or beekeeping products at fairs or other competitions.
I. Conducting courses for advanced beekeepers.
J. One to one instruction to beginning beekeepers.
K. Teach a section of a beekeeping class.
L. Special programs as approved by the WVBA Board.
M. Programs/lectures/demonstrations on beekeeping topics to non-beekeeping groups/schools.
N. Serve as a director/representative to EAS attending at least 75% of the meetings.
DOWNLOAD PUBLIC SERVICE WORKSHEET
MASTER BEEKEEPER PROGRAM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Who may participate in the program?
Any individual with an interest in honeybees and beekeeping is invited to participate in
this program. All examinations will be given within the state. Must have had bees for a
minimum of 2 years.
2. What is the cost for participating in the program?
Apprentice: $5 to take the test, $3 to re-take test, $2 on passing
You will receive a certificate
Certified: $5 to take the test, $3 to re-take the test, $6 on passing
You will receive a certificate and a WV Certified Beekeeper Pin
Master: $5 to take the test, $3 to re-take the test, $10 on passing
You will receive a certificate, a WV Master Beekeeper Pin and a Plaque
3. How old can public service credit's be and still count?
Credits can be no more than 3 years old and still count.
4. How do I document my public service credits?
There is a public service credit form that you bring with you for each test taken so the
instructor can see that you have completed this requirement. At a minimum document
what you did (ie. Gave presentation to Barbour County Beekeepers on spring
management) and where and when you did it.
5. Can I do the same public service credit more than once?
Yes. Only exception is limit for serving as an officer of a beekeeping club for 2 years.
6. What books are good to study for the test?
Belonging to a local association, reading the beekeeping magazines and working your
bees are the best ways to prepare for the tests. The books that are recommended to
further prepare you are ABC to XYZ of Bee Culture, The Hive and the Honeybee, The
Beekeeper's Handbook by Diana Sammataro, Honey Bee Parasites, Pests, Predators and
7. What kind of questions are on each test?
There are no true/false and no fill in the blanks. Most questions ask you for an
explanation of why something was done, to explain how to do something or to list items
pertaining to a situation. The lab questions ask you what an item is and how it is used,
how you use an item or to show the instructor how to use the equipment.
8. What is the difference between each level?
The apprentice is the beginner level. This tests your basic beekeeping knowledge. The
certified level is the intermediate level. This tests your knowledge in more advance skills
like re-queening, dividing hives, and entering honey shows. The master level is the
advanced level. This tests your knowledge of relating skills and knowledge to a
beekeeper on their level. At this level you know several different ways to do things, but
can help a beekeeper decide which way is best for them. At the master level you should
be able to judge a honey show.
9. Can I help to judge a honey show and take a part in the beekeeping exam at the same time?
Yes. Each exam will take you approximately 1 to 2 hours to complete.
10. How long do I have to complete the program?
There is no time limit for completion of the program. The next level is when you are
ready for it. Only time limit exists for the service credits.
MAAREC is great resorce for all types o Beekeeping information. Some of topic are "Beginning Beekeeping", "Honey Bee Biology",
"Fact Sheet", "Newsletters", "Power Point Presentations", and much more.