It is the responsibility of the Apiary Manager and the candidate to ensure that the colonies and associated equipment meet the specified criteria:
Before conducting the Assessment the Assessor should determine, as far as reasonably practical, that the following equipment is to hand:
- a queen-right colony of bees having brood in all stages, with honey and pollen stores, and covering at least eight brood combs and at least one honey super. Colonies affected by foulbrood or seriously affected by any other disease are unacceptable;
- the component parts of a brood frame and a sheet of wired foundation together with the necessary nails and tools ready for assembly in front of the Assessor;
- a matchbox or other suitable container to hold a sample of bees ; a working smoker with spare fuel, hive tool(s) and any other items required to enable colony inspection; clean protective clothing and equipment.
Ideally the Assessment should be conducted at an apiary not belonging to the candidate because the Assessment should not take into account the condition of the colonies presented. Local association apiaries or apiaries belonging to the Assessor are best because the quality of the bees is known before the Assessment.
Normally a group of candidates (up to 4 or 5) should be instructed to attend a common venue at about hourly intervals. When there is only one candidate to be assessed then the candidate should travel to the Assessor. This is highly desirable on economic grounds as well as quality of bees.
On the occasions that the Assessor travels to the candidate then if the Assessor considers that the colony offered by the Candidate is unfit for inspection for the purposes of the Assessment, then the Assessor is entitled to ask the Candidate to propose a second colony explaining the reasons why. In a situation where the Assessor is offered a substitute colony by the Candidate and this colony is also unsuitable the Assessor cannot proceed with the Assessment.
Where assessors travel to an apiary, it is essential that an apiary manager or other responsible person should be present for the duration of the assessment(s). Details of how to contact emergency services must be available and should include a map reference and postcode(where applicable).
If these health and safety requirements are not met the assessment will not proceed and fees will not be refunded.
Version January 2017
Last Page Update 21/02/2018