The Beekeeper Blog

Ready to certify as an Apprentice Beekeeper?

Now is a good time to check your status with the Apprentice Level and determine what remains for certification. As a reminder, here are the requirements:

To be certified as an Apprentice Beekeeper the student needs to satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Pass a written exam based on First Lessons in Beekeeping and supplemental materials provided with a score of 90% or better. Need the exam? Please email us:
  2. Submit a log with a minimum of 4 entries regarding colony-management activities that cover 4 seasons.
  3. Earn 6 education points and submit an Education Point Worksheet (or online) detailing how the education points were earned.
  4. Earn 4 field experience points (one per season) and submit 4 Field Experience Checklists that have been checked off by a mentor.

If you have any more field worksheets to complete, please contact your mentor to set up a meeting. Time is passing quickly and before you know it your bees will be huddled inside, watching it rain. When all of the requirements are complete, please send me a packet with all the materials. Include a cover letter with your exam score, and tell me if your education points are recorded online.

 As a certified Apprentice, you will be eligible to enroll in the Journey Level! We encourage you to consider this now as the Oregon Master Beekeeper Institute (an advanced educational opportunity for Journeys) is fast approaching and we'd love to see you there!

As always, we are interested in your feedback. Please let us know how things are going for you and if there is anything we can do to help.

We are also interested in who is reading this blog! Send an email to by September 19, 2014 and we will randomly select a reader to receive a special surprise!

Apprentice News

Do you have a good log template?

There are 7 log templates in the OMB document list. Some are excellent, some are very basic (maybe a little boring). We would love to add more examples for new Apprentices to download. Do you have a good log template that you would be willing to share? If so, please send to

While we are speaking of logs, are you keeping up with yours? Whether you use a template, HiveTracks, or even the lid of your hive, the records are important for good hive management.

To certify as an Apprentice, you'll need a minimum of 1 entry per season (spring, summer, fall, winter). When you are ready to certify, please send a copy of your log (selected entries OK) along with your other Apprentice materials via email, fax, or mail.

Apprentice News

Introducing: Friday in the Apiary

Introducing "Friday in the Apiary", an opportunity to gather, visit, and learn more about beekeeping at OSU's apiary at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture. Every third Friday of the month, you are invited to come and discuss hive management strategies for the month and get to know other beekeepers in the OMB program. This will be a casual, loosely structured event intended to provide a learning experience in a relaxed setting. Apprentices from any year, Journeys, and Mentors welcome.

The next "Friday in the Apiary" is August 15, 2014. We will discuss different mite treatments available, and demonstrate safe and proper handling of the treatments.


Space is limited. Please contact Carolyn Breece ( to reserve your spot and to receive a map & more information.

Apprentice News

Are you ready to take the Apprentice Exam?

Are you ready to take the written exam? Please email us at and we'll send you the exam and instructions.
  The written exam covers the 8 chapters in First Lessons in Beekeeping and additional specified supplemental materials. It may be taken at any time while meeting requirements for certification. The exam is open book and not timed. For questions with more than one part, each part of the question’s answer is assigned one (1) point; e.g., a question asking for two (2) examples is assigned two points. If the passing grade of 90% is not obtained, the student may take the exam again after 30 days.

Apprentice News

Upcoming Honey Shows in Oregon

Oregon State Fair Honey Show and OSBA Fall Conference Honey Show 
by Dewey Caron
How much surplus honey have your bees stored this year? Our active storage season is over for most Oregon beekeepers  – the rest of the season bees collect only enough to keep going. Some beekeepers report a decent season and harvest – others have yet to take surplus or find colonies without much to share.
Once you harvest why not consider exhibiting your honey in the State Fair Honey Show (better hurry as registration deadline online is August 7th) and of course plan to bring it to the OSBA Seaside annual meeting (entries due first day of conference November 7th). Could your honey win a top prize in both – win the Daily Double?? Think of the bragging rights!!!
The Oregon State Fair Honey Show has been extensively revamped this year. Honey and Products of the Bee Hive is now a separate division of the Fair. We have been able to get the judging standards and the entry categories modernized. See the State Fair Exhibitor handbook for details ( -- download an entire booklet with details on the Honey show. There will be 4 divisions of Beekeeping photographs (3 classes), Beeswax (4 classes), Extracted Honey (3 color classes - 3 pint or pound jars per entry), and a class of other Honey (5 classes comb/cut-comb/chunk/creamed/extracting frame).  There is no entry fee. Ribbons (1st, 2nd & 3rd) for each class. Two entry levels -- A. Youth (17 and under) and B. Oregon adult beekeeper.
Entries must be entered ONLINE by August 7. Honey show entries can be delivered to select Sleep Country USA stores in Medford, Bend, Eugene and 3 Portland area stores (see website for which stores and for entry time window) -- otherwise bring them to the Salem Fairgrounds Jackman Long Building Saturday August 9 (noon to 8 PM) or Sunday August 10 (noon to 8PM). Judging will be Saturday August 16, the weekend before the fair opens.
Fair Display Volunteer: Entering honey is a good way to educate yourself and the general public about bees. I also encourage you to give back to the general public some of what you know about honey bees by volunteering to assist with the Fair Bee Display.  We have an expanded booth  this year, complete with an “apiary”, a children’s activity area (with some neat activities for them to learn about bees and beekeeping)  and, of course,  live bees (in Ulster Observation hive). This year several local associations have signed up to secure volunteers for Association BEE Day at the State Fair – LCBA  (Saturday Aug 23), PUB (Sunday Aug 24), WVBA (Monday Aug 25), LBBA (Wednesday Aug 27), TVBA Thursday Aug 28), PM (Friday August 29) and Tillamook (Sunday  August 31st).  We plan 3 shifts of 10-2, 2 to 6 and 6 to close of up to 4 volunteers per shift.
The State Association website is open for volunteer sign up.  We need individual names, cell numbers, and addresses for EACH OSBA volunteer so we can send free entry and parking tickets (a $13 value).  To sign up go directly to the volunteer sign up form at:  after August 1 to sign up. [Prior to August 1 you need to use the Password BEECLUBS]  Note: If any volunteer is interested but unable to be at the fair on their club date, please contact Trevor Riches directly at so we can help get signed up. After August 1 we will welcome any volunteer to fill any available slots, even on a BEE date for a club you might not be a member.
Seaside Conference: The Annual OSBA Fall Conference will be November 6-8 at the Seaside Convention center. In addition to the honey show we will show prize-winning movie “More than Honey” at our Thursday night social. Honey show entries will be taken until 10 AM on Friday November 7th with winners announced at the end of the day. The full program Friday and Saturday features Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture Magazine, Dennis vanEngelsdorp of Maryland and Marla Spivak of Minnesota  plus Oregon beekeepers George Hansen, Judy Scher, John Jacob and Lynn Royce plus the students and  bee specialists of OSU and WSU. Mark your calendars now – more information and meeting registration form will be posted in August on the website and will be included in next month’s BEE LINE.

Journey News

Mentor Spotlight: Trevor Riches

Meet Trevor Riches! He started as an Apprentice with the OMB program in 2012. He is now a Journey student and mentors several Apprentices in the Sheridan area. He is among the most involved and enthusiastic beekeepers in Oregon. He is a regular attendee and volunteer at beekeeping events around the state, so be sure to introduce yourself. Be prepared for an engaging conversation about beekeeping (of course!).


How did you get started in beekeeping?

My grandfather kept honeybees and I remember him giving me pieces of honeycomb as payment for helping him with his hives. I always wanted to keep honeybees myself but life got in the way and it was not until later that I was able to do so. I took several classes, read everything I could (I have an extensive library of books on beekeeping and honey bees). I joined the Willamette Valley Beekeeping Association and took their beekeeping school and the rest, as they say, is history.

How are you involved in the beekeeping community?

  • I belong to Willamette Valley Beekeeping Association,Oregon State Beekeepers Association, American Beekeeping Federation, The International Bee Research Association, and The Cascadia Queen Rearing Association.
  • I mentor 5 students in the Oregon Master Beekeeping Program.
  • I am ready to talk bees and beekeeping with anyone who has a question.
  • I am Chair of the Fair and Events Committee for the Oregon State Beekeepers Association.
  • I am an Asst.Welsh Honey Judge after attending University of Florida Bee College this Spring and plan to be a fully Certified Welsh Honey Judge next year (2015) when I return to the University of Florida’s Bee College in St.Augustine, Florida.

How do you stay informed of new developments in beekeeping?

I subscribe to American Bee Journal, Bee Culture Magazine, Bee World(IBRA Magazine), and read the various papers from IRBA plus newsletters from the WVBA and OSBA.

Each year I attend quite a few conferences and schools/workshops.

I am constantly reading trusted internet sources.

Of course the Master Beekeepers Program website is a great source of information.

How has your beekeeping style changed over the years?

I try new concepts and new hive configurations to try to improve my ability to keep bees. To this end each year is different in some respect or another, striving towards the ultimate method(s) for looking after my bees.

What is your most proud moment in beekeeping?

A proud moment was that first jar of honey that my bees gave me! I am very proud of my students who make every effort to be good beekeepers.

What have you learned through mentoring OMB students?

That there are a lot of really nice beekeeping people out there!

What have your bees taught you?

How little I know about honey bees!

What is the number one thing that you hope your mentees learn from you?

I hope they learn how to be a enthusiastic, patient, informed