The Apprentice Beekeeper is the first level of certification in the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program. This level is designed to provide solid information and support, with the goal of increasing retention of new beekeepers as they develop confidence in their ability to keep bees. The training, experience, and guidance provided at the Apprentice Beekeeper level provide the student with:
The knowledge and confidence to keep bees in Langstroth hives
Hands-on experience working with bees, including use of tools and equipment
Information about the costs and "how-to's" of obtaining bees to get started as a beekeeper
Opportunities for training and mentorship
Exposure to resources to improve skills and stay current in beekeeping
Ability to travel for mentor visits (typically 30 miles or less)
The first step is to put your name on the Waiting List. Each fall we send applications to everyone who is on the list. Once applications are received, we assign people a spot in the program based on their experience level and the availability of mentors in their area. Program fees are collected, and the registration is finalized. Classes begin in January of each year.
'Getting Started with Bees' (https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mb/getting-started-bees-certificate-program) and Apprentice students are provided 16 hours of professionally filmed, self-paced classroom training via Canvas, OSU's learning management platform. This means distance or scheduling conflicts do not affect the student's opportunity to participate in the classes. Additional monthly online discussion forums give students a chance to ask questions. In-person classes occasionally may be offered in some locations - schedules are communicated at the beginning of the year.
Beekeepers with 5 years or more of current experience may challenge the Apprentice certification. This allows experienced beekeepers the opportunity to quickly move to the Journey level and/or mentor for the program.