The Apprentice Beekeeper is the first level of certification in the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program. This level is designed to give those just starting in beekeeping 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
Which tier of the Apprentice Program is right for you?
Our Apprentice program is separated into three tiers - placement is determined by your level of experience when you enter the program. Please view our 'Apprentice Program Certification Requirements' chart linked below for a detailed description of program requirements for each tier.
'Getting Started' Apprentice Program ($75 fee first year/$75 second year)
Zero to 1 year of experience
No hive required - no assigned mentor
Upon completion of requirements by June 30th of their enrollment year, the student is eligible to move to the Traditional Apprentice Program the following year
All applicants accepted
Traditional Apprentice Program ($150 fee)
1 or more years experience
Hive access required - mentor assigned
Acceptance based on availability of volunteer mentors
Challenge to Apprentice Certification ($50 fee)
5+ years experience
No mentor assigned
Fast-track to Journey program
If you are interested in our program, the first step is to put your name on the Apprentice Waiting List. Each year in late summer we send applications to everyone who is on the list prior to June 30th. 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. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
We are currently using The Beekeeper's Handbook by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile, 4th edition. Each student is asked to obtain their own copy - it is widely available from online booksellers.
A chart listing program requirements for each tier of the Apprentice Program. Assignment to a tier is based on your experience level when you apply.
Oregon Master Beekeeper Program Program Resource
Apprentice Program Waiting List
The enrollment process for both tiers begins in late summer when notices to complete an application are emailed to those on the waiting list. The waiting list remains open through June 30th of each year.
Respondents are notified when a match with a mentor is made (when applicable). At that time, the student pays the enrollment fee. Before the first class, the student will receive the approved text and other related forms and materials.
Classes and access to your mentor usually begin in January of each year.
If you have five or more years beekeeping experience, your knowledge may qualify you to start the Oregon Master Beekeeper program at the Journey level.
Please review participation and certification requirements before applying (linked above). To initiate the challenge process, please complete the online application and be prepared with your payment (contact Jen Holt for the payment link). When we receive your application and payment, we will notify you so that you may begin the challenge process.