To take the Basic Assessment you should have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months
The syllabus can appear daunting at first glance but really it just lists the basic things which all beekeepers should know. By the time you have managed a colony of bees for a year, you will have built up your skills through practical experience, and these practical skills will be tested by a WBKA assessor, usually at an association apiary.
The assessment is quite informal, lasts about an hour, and covers 4 sections: –
- Manipulation and equipment – a practical assessment of your ability to handle bees and equipment, and to interpret what you observe.
- Natural History and Beekeeping – oral questioning to assess your knowledge.
- Swarming, Swarm control and effects – oral questioning to assess your knowledge.
- Diseases and pests – oral questioning.
Success in the practical will get you a certificate and you will become eligible to take, in due course, higher practical assessments.
The closing date for Basic Assessment applications is 1 May (which should enable the assessments to be arranged and taken during June or July).
On receipt of your application, the WBKA Basic Assessment Co-ordinator will liaise with your local association education officer and/or apiary manager, and the WBKA Assessor, to arrange a time and date for your assessment.
Results are not given on the day of the Assessment, so you will find out how you did at a later stage. Certificates are usually issued through local associations, so they may be presented at a suitable opportunity.
You can download the current Basic Assessment Syllabus and Application Form here: