Alabama Master Beekeeper Requirements

    Apprentice Beekeeper:

A.   The Apprentice Beekeeper must be a registered beekeeper in Alabama or their home state.    In Alabama hives must be registered with the Alabama Dept. of Agriculture and Industries

B.   The Apprentice Beekeeper must own or have owned at least one colony of honey bees for at least one year prior to taking the exams. He must have in possession at least one colony or more when he takes the certification exams.

C.   The Apprentice must score a 70% or higher on a written examination. The written test includes, but is not limited to beekeeping classes and materials provided from references on Apprentice reading list, or(web site lectures or classes). The exams are provided three times a year. (example: Annual beekeepers meeting, Spring Symposium, or summer picnic).

D.   The Apprentice must score 70% or higher on a practical examination .  The practical exam can include, but is not limited to: describing the physical parts of a beehive; igniting and properly using a smoker; recognizing the various stages of brood, differentiating castes, and finding (or least describing) the Queen; differentiating between brood, pollen, and capped honey cells; recognizing propolis and describing its functions; and describing the layout of the brood nest (placement of honey, pollen, and brood), etc..

    Recommended study (Apprentice)   

1.   Biology of the Honey Bee (life cycle of each caste)

2.   External structures of the Honey Bee

3.   Life span of a Honey BEE (summer/winter)

4.   Be able to maintain and light a smoker

5.   All parts of a Honey bee hive and accessories

6.   Tools of a Beekeeper

7.   How to start a bee hive (splits, swarms, packages, Ect)

8.   Disease’s and pest of the Honey Bee


9.   Off season management

10.     Products of the Bee Hive

11.     Open a hive and describe the location of the honey, brood, pollen, locate the

           QUEEN, show the difference between Queen, Drone, worker

12.     GOOD LUCK



Journeyman Beekeeper

A) The Candidate for this level of certification must have held the Apprentice Beekeeper certification for at least one year and have been practicing beekeeping for at least two (2) years.  He must be a current member of the Alabama Beekeepers Assoc..   The Candidate must have proof of registration of their Hives with the Dept. of Agriculture in their home state or certificate  of registration with the Alabama Dept. of Agriculture.

 B) The Candidate must show proof of attending a minimum of 12 hours of Honey Bee related programs  ( use public credit for proof of participation).    These classes are to focus on the following areas of beekeeping:

     (1) honey bee pest/parasites & pathogens,

     (2) Social wasps & bees,

     (3) pollination,

     (4) Pesticides & honey bees,

     (5) honey bee biology,

     (6) Hiving a swarm,

     (7) How to make splits

     (8) basic Queen rearing

 C) The Candidate must score 70% or more on a written examination.    The written exam can include, but is not limited to the previous classes listed in section (B).  This exam will cover more information than required in the Apprentice Beekeeper level.   The exam will cover information as set by the Certified Directors in provided classes as set at different teaching sites that are made available to the  beekeeper.  EXAMPLE; class room studies, reading materials or Internet.

D) The Candidate must score 80% or more on a practical examination.    The practical exam can include, but is not limited to; scoring a jar of honey, reading pesticide labels and determining which is safest to use around honey bees. Identifying several beekeeping items, examining honey labels for errors, distinguishing between bees, wasps, hornets, and other insects, and identifying anatomical structures of a bee and a flower.

 E) The Candidate must perform and document completion of five (5) public service credits using the public form provided.    The candidate can submit extra public credits which is encouraged, but they cannot be used in higher certification levels.

 Recommended Study Guides & Reading (Journeyman)

    (1) ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture

    (2) Beekeeping Principles

    (3) Natural Beekeeping

    (4) The Hive & The Honey Bee

    (5) First Lessons In Beekeeping

    (6) The Classroom

    (7) The Beekeepers Handbook

    (8) The Backyard Beekeeping

    (9) Natural Beekeeping

    (10)   Honeybee diseases & Pest


Master Beekeeper

The Master Beekeeper program has not been completed since the prerequisites include both the Apprentice and Journeyman certificates.    Classes and exams will probably be offered at the 2013 convention.     Check back here for updates.


Master Craftsman Beekeeper

The Master Craftsman program has not been completed at this time.    Check back here for updates.

Last updated 7/23/12 brf/dk