The Journey Beekeeper

Beekeepers being taught the skills they need.The Journey Beekeeper is the second of three successive certification levels in the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program. At this level of the program, the participant builds on the base of knowledge and experience acquired at the Apprentice Beekeeper level. The Journey Beekeeper gains and is able to demonstrate  increasing skill and expertise with honey bees and colony management, expands knowledge and understanding of bees and their stewardship, and provides community service by sharing information about honey bees and beekeeping with the beekeeping community and the general public.

The objectives for a person working toward certification at the Journey Beekeeper level reflect traditional work at the journey level, including experience and time spent in classroom and field settings, ability to work independently, broad knowledge of and work in the various areas involved in beekeeping, and time spent sharing knowledge and understanding with others.

The training and experience provided at the Journey Beekeeper level are designed to provide the participant with

Certification Requirements for the Journey Beekeeper

To be certified as a Journey Beekeeper the participant must satisfy six (6) requirements:
 
1.  Pass an open book written exam with a score of 90% or better.
The written exam is open book and not timed. The exam will contain true/false, multiple choice questions and essay questions.  Exam content is divided among three areas:  Biology, Practical beekeeping, and Contemporary Issues. There is no one text book for the Journey Beekeeper but several that are recommended reading.
 
Even though no one text book is the source for the exam questions, the recommended texts below will have the information to answer exam questions.  Questions about contemporary issues, by virtue of their immediacy, will not necessarily be found in the suggested texts.  University/government sites, journals and newsletters, and organizations listed in the additional resources provided to participants can provide information sources for answering questions about contemporary issues.

 
2.  Complete a practical exam using a Langstroth hive with a score of 85% or better.
The practical exam consists of three sections:  an open hive inspection, evaluation of jars of honey in terms of condition as well as proper labeling, and identification of pests, parasites, and pathogens and other causes of problems in a honey bee colony.
 
3.  Engage in public service activities that earn 30 public service points and submit a worksheet detailing public service points earned.
Educating the general public as well as fellow beekeepers is a major component of the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program.  Public service is a key element of the Journey Beekeeper level certification. During the Journey Beekeeper program, participants demonstrate their knowledge and skills by giving back to the community and other beekeepers.
 
Public Service activities educate and serve others in a number of ways, and include talking about bees in schools, collecting swarms, writing articles, and organizing or staffing booths at public events. Entering products of the hive in honey shows and judging a honey show are other examples of public service.  Service to the beekeeping community is also a key part of this program. For instance, a participant may earn points by becoming active on the board of a local or state bee association, mentoring new beekeepers, or giving a talk at a local bee club. 
 
4.  Submit responses to 12 Directed Studies
The completion of directed studies is another requirement for Journey Beekeeper level certification. The directed studies provide an opportunity to:

Directed studies are done on a “completed/not completed” basis according to the criteria provided. In the event that a given study is noted as “not completed,” the committee will provide guidance for completion. Additional information on directed studies will be provided upon enrollment.
 
5.  Own and maintain a colony of honey bees under personal management for 3 successive years.
The ability to successfully manage a colony over 3 successive years is another requirement for certification as a Journey Beekeeper.  This means that the participant is responsible for his/her personal hive(s) continuously over this period of time.
 
The committee recognizes that colonies are lost for many reasons and that there may be a hiatus in direct ownership (e.g., a colony dies at the end of winter or early spring and the participant has to wait until later in spring to purchase a package, nuc, or colony).  A time lapse of personal management in this circumstance meets the requirement as long as the break in time is documented and appropriately managed.  A break in personal management that exceeds a reasonable amount of time between the loss of a colony and the time it takes start another would not meet this requirement.
 
6.  Submit a log of colony management documenting continuous management activities for 3 successive years.
Participants are required to maintain a log that covers 36 consecutive months (3 years) for the colony of bees under their personal management.  Each visit to the hive is documented. Logs kept for the Apprentice Beekeeper level will be honored.
 
The participant selects the format for his/her log.  Although there are numerous ways to document maintenance activities, the log needs to document specific information that includes but is not limited to the following:
 

 
For the technologically inclined, participants may keep a log online with Hive Tracks (www.hivetracks.com). Records from Hive Tracks may be printed out and submitted with other completed materials when applying for Journey certification.

Participation Criteria

To enroll in the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program at the Journey Beekeeper level, the participant needs to