• Honey Bee - Colorado Beekeepers Association

General Information and Applications

Master Beekeeper Certification Program

contact the program director, KT Thompson at: [email protected]

Please be aware that this program is under development. Some details may not be listed here. Please contact us at the email address above for further information.

Teachers of Approved Beginning Beekeeping Classes

Beth Conrey

Tina Sebestyen

Carolina Nyarady

Gregg McMahan

Dan Rau

Lorna McCallister, Butterfly Pavilion beekeeping bootcamp

KT Thompson

Kathy Gill

Goals and Objectives

  • To increase knowledge and understanding of beekeeping
  • To increase bee health state wide
  • To support and encourage our regional clubs and their educational goals
  • To provide an objective means for beekeepers to evaluate their skill and understanding of beekeeping
  • To provide opportunity for training and hands-on experience
  • To encourage mentoring relationships and involvement in the beekeeping community
  • To increase public awareness of bees and beekeeping through ambassadorship

The Master Beekeeper Certification Program will consist of three levels: The Apprentice Level, The Journeyman Level, and The Master Level. All beekeepers will enter the program at the Apprentice Level. All participants shall be members in good standing of the Colorado State Beekeepers Association, as well as members of a participating regional beekeeping club (if available).

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Check with your local or regional affiliated beeclub for local scholarship opportunities.
  • The Tom Theobald Scholarship was established in his memory to encourage younger adults who will continue to be lifelong learners as well as share what they learn with other beekeepers through regional clubs, mentoring, etc. Apply online after submitting your application to the program (below).
  • Reach out to the program director with any questions: [email protected]

Certified Apprentice Level

CSBA Certified Apprentice Application

This program is for the beekeeper who wants both hands-on and online training, or who does not have enough beekeeping experience to apply to test out of the Apprentice Level. Applicants must have  completed one year of beekeeping  as evidenced by submitting hive inspection logs and taken an approved beginning beekeeping class, OR have completed two years of beekeeping.

Submit an application and be approved, then pay $215 fee.

Online classes will begin in March, and are generally held monthly on the third Monday of each month, 6:30 PM, through September.

March: Diagnosing a Dead-Out

April: Splitting

May: Recognizing What You See in the Hive

June: Varroa and Integrated Pest Management

July: Getting Ready for Winter

August: Pheromones

September: Feeding Bees

There will also be two hand-on workshops to be held at regional clubs in various locations across Colorado that will cover these topics: Monitoring and treating for varroa, reading the brood frame, recognizing healthy and diseased brood, and preparing for winter. Participants will be required to attend in person (not just watch a recording) all of the Zoom meetings and both of the hands-on classes, and to submit their own hive records for the year. If all of these requirements are met, graduates will be qualified to take the open book written and field exams, and if they pass with scores of 85% or better, will be able to move into the Journeyman Level one year earlier than normal.  Participants need to find a mentor, and notify program leadership who that is. Mentors can be anyone with three or more years of experience in beekeeping. A log will be provided to document time and topics covered with your mentor. These requirements are designed to be be fulfilled within one year of application.

To pay your $215 Certified Apprentice Application Fee, use the PayPal Button Below:

Apprentice Level (Test out option)

It is the goal of the CSBA to support our regional bee clubs, and, to this end, we encourage training and mentorship for Apprentice Beekeepers to be conducted within the regional clubs. We will provide guidance to clubs as requested but will not mandate. Applicants for the Apprentice Level test-out option shall have completed at least three years of beekeeping before making application and shall have taken an approved beginning beekeeping class. Progress to the Journeyman Level will be accomplished by demonstrating basic beekeeping proficiency in a field exam and basic knowledge of beekeeping in a written exam.

The reference book for this exam is “The Beekeeper’s Handbook,” 5th edition, by Diana Sammataro & Alphonse Avitabile.  If you are interested in more reading, the Journeyman reference book is reasonably accessible – it is “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping,” 3rd edition, by Dewey Caron & Lawrence Conner. It is important to use the new edition of “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping,” as it has been significantly updated. An exam fee of $65 is due with the application. The field exam may be accomplished on a local level with an approved examiner and the written exam may be accessed through Google Classroom and completed at home as an open book exam. Our purpose in providing this as an open book exam is so that participants can answer the questions and then go into the book and correct answers to questions they would have missed. It gives students an opportunity to find out where they are, and also learn what they need to know.

Requirements to apply to take written and field exams (this can be done at any time of the year, you are testing out of the Apprentice Level, but should be completed within a few months of initial application).

–Have been a beekeeper for at least 3 years, and have taken an approved Beginning Beekeeping Class, or

–Have been a beekeeper for at least 4 years

–submit hive logs

–Pay $65 fee due at application

–Be a member in good standing of CSBA independently and/or through membership in an affiliated regional bee club.

Requirements of fulfill to graduate Apprentice Level

–Pass field exam

–Pass written exam with score of at least 85%

Please download apprentice application fill it out and save it, fill it out, then email it to: [email protected]

Apprentice Test-Out Application

*Once you have paid, we will send you an invitation to the Google Classroom page where you can access the exam.

To pay your $65 Apprentice Test-Out Application Fee, use the PayPal Button Below:

Journeyman Level

The Journeyman Level features online classes typically held on the 2nd Monday of each month, October-May, and two bee camps each of which must be attended at least once during the three years of possible participation. Spring Bee camp covers splitting, queen rearing, reading the frame, mite counts, how to do a great hive inspection. Fall bee camp  covers bee diseases, bee biology, and microscopy. There are Guided studies to be completed by the participant that will help every beekeeper learn more and learn how to research, and to discern good beekeeping information. These studies will be graded on a pass/fail basis.
While there is quite a bit of online material that Journeyman candidates reference, the official reference book for the Journeyman level is “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping,” 3rd edition, by Dewey Caron & Lawrence Conner. It is important to use the new edition of “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping,” as it has been significantly updated.

Qualify to apply to Journeyman Level

  • Pass written and field exams at Apprentice Level
  • Have a minimum of 3 years of beekeeping experience AND have taken a beginning beekeeping class, AND the Apprentice Test-out Option,
    OR, have completed 4 years of beekeeping experience (without a beginning beekeeping class)
    OR Complete the Certified Apprentice Level,  OR an approved Apprentice Level from another program
  • Pay $250 fee

Graduate from the Journeyman Level

–Complete and file 12 guided studies, 7 of which are required topics and 5 electives chosen from the provided list.

–earn 4 educational credits from outside the MB program, attend 80% of online classes, and one spring and one fall bee camp, as a journeyman candidate over a period of three years or less.

–earn 30 public service points in 4 categories, as a journeyman candidate over a period of three years or less.

–Pass practical exam with score of 85% or better

–Own and maintain at least one honey bee colony for at least 3 years, submit hive logs, complete the 4 Field Worksheets with a mentor and submit, as a journeyman candidate over a period of three years or less.

–Pass proctored written exam with a score of 85%

To pay your $250 Journeyman Application Fee, use the PayPal Button Below:

Master Beekeeper Level

This level is for experienced beekeepers interested in expanding their skills and knowledge while contributing to the beekeeping community and knowledge base through scientific research on specific topics and an applied project. Applicants to the Master Level shall have completed all requirements for the Apprentice and Journeyman Levels. Completion of the Master Level will include an additional 20 public service points, and mentoring of one Apprentice Level and one Journeyman Level student, or two other mentees. The Master Student will propose, set up, and complete a scientific research project using his or her own honey bee colonies, submit a written paper on the projects, and present a 15 minute dissertation on it at a CSBA summer or fall meeting. The research project can be done alone with only an approved advisor, with another Master Level Student, or with a scientist or commercial beekeeper.

The Master Beekeeper Applicant will chose two areas of proficiency not related to their research project and submit written research reviews that clearly display their full understanding of the topic.

The applicant must pass an oral exam and written exam.  Application fee $150.

To pay your $150 Master Beekeeper Application Fee, use the PayPal Button Below:

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