Spotlight on our Certified Master Students
The Master level is the highest level of recognition a student can achieve, and represents a rigorous course designed to test a student’s skills at analysis, inspection, and proficiency in the field of beekeeping.
Master Level Certification Requirements
To earn their certification, students must complete the following:
- Read an assigned research article and write a critique based on the scientific method
- Participate in an Extension/outreach project or a University-sponsored scientific research project
- Demonstrate proficiency in Honey Bee Pests and Diseases by passing a field and lab exam
- Develop proficiency in an area new to you
- Earn 100 service points
- Pass an oral exam
Beaverton, OR - Certified 2022
Proficiencies: Overwinter Queen Bank as Part of a Self-Sufficient Small-Scale Apiary; Honey Bee Pests and Diseases
Research Project: Effects of Vaporized (Sublimated) Oxalic Acid on Honey Bee Brood
In Steve's words...
I was introduced to beekeeping, in my teenage years, by an uncle who kept hives on his farm in Happy Valley, Oregon. Later, while studying Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Oregon State University in the late 1970s, I audited a non-major beekeeping/entomology course taught by a new professor, Michael Burgett, and got the opportunity to work a little at the Honey Bee Lab. Both were enjoyable and memorable experiences.
After college, I kept honey bees on my own as a sideline business on five acres in Boring, Oregon, for several years. Over the next 30 years, while working as an electrician and a technical consultant, I kept colonies at a variety of locations. I spent time studying many different books, publications, and scientific articles on apiculture to stay current on changes in the beekeeping world. As I approached retirement age, I became interested in queen rearing, overwintering nucs, and hunting feral colonies. My wife and I decided to join a local beekeeping club (Tualatin Valley Beekeepers Association) to get more involved on a local level. There I met Paul Andersen, one of the original advisors for the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program.
With Paul’s encouragement, I entered the program and became an Oregon State Beekeepers Association member. At the 2017 State Conference, I met Andony Melathopoulos, and signed up to participate in the Oregon Bee Atlas, to survey Oregon’s native bees. Over the past several years, being involved in both of these programs has given me a unique perspective on the futures of both apiculture and native bees, and how they interact.
The Master Level has helped me to develop skills in the practical application of research and participation in public education and outreach. It has also greatly humbled me, as to what I truly know about honey bees…so much to learn!
My future goals include:
- Complete all the Journey Level Guided Studies, and create a few new ones;
- Document how to maintain a small-scale self-sustaining apiary;
- Continue to help local clubs achieve overwintering colony losses at or below 15%;
- Successfully propagate two species of native bumble bees;
- Continuing elementary school outreach;
Milwaukie, OR - Certified 2021
Proficiencies: Queen Rearing; Honey Bee Pests and Diseases
Research Project: A comparison of alcohol wash, sugar shake and carbon dioxide in varroa mite monitoring
In Paul's words...
I’ve pretty much been a honey bee nerd most of my life. At age 12, I started beekeeping in my hometown of Albuquerque New Mexico. I did not have a mentor and relied on the books in my local library. I was pretty proud when I got my first copy of “Starting Right with Bees.” In those early years, I think I made just about every mistake possible. How I wish I had a mentor during those years.
I took a beekeeping hiatus during college, medical school and residency and resumed beekeeping about 25 years ago. As I got closer to retiring from my Ophthalmology practice I decided to become more involved in the local beekeeping community. In 2015, I joined the Portland Metro Beekeeping Club and enrolled in the OSU Master Beekeeping Program. Both turned out to be great choices. I learned more about beekeeping in the last 6 years by participating in the OMB program than I had in the many years of hands on experience. It was rigorous but fun. I think I am a teacher at heart and the OMB program gave me many opportunities to do so. I was able to give multiple presentations at elementary schools. It brought me great joy to see youth transfixed by the bees in an observation hive. Additionally, I was able to volunteer in many ways including working at fairs and garden shows. The part I enjoyed the most, and what I think is one of the biggest assets of the OMB program, was the ability to serve as a mentor for new beekeepers. There is nothing like having someone with some experience to help you as a new beekeeper. It certainly would have saved me a lot of heartache, time and bees as a beginning beekeeper.
Of course, it does not end here. The more you learn about bees, the more you realize that you don’t know. I hope to continue to learn more about bees throughout my life and to participate as a volunteer with the OMB Program.
Florence, OR - Certified 2020
Proficiencies: System and equipment to produce brood breaks; Honey Bee Pests and Diseases
Research Project: Evaluating potential negative effects of Oxalic Acid Sublimation treatment on honey bee larvae
In Max's words...
“I became interested in beekeeping in about 2004 when a swarm of honey bees landed on a bush in my front yard. In an effort to rid myself of this plague from parts unknown, I located a beekeeper. As it turned out, he lived nearby and the swarm could well have been from his apiary. He came right over, arriving in shirt sleeves and armed with a cardboard box. He proceeded to shake the bees into the box, place it in the back of his pickup truck and drive away. Leaving a trail of honeybees flying behind his truck. I was stunned! From that point on I spent a great deal of my free time seeking information about Honey Bees. Purchasing my first package of bees from Glory Bee in Eugene Oregon a few years later.
In 2007- I attended beekeeping school put on by Lane County Beekeeper’s Association. The one-day school galvanized my interest in beekeeping and sent me on a search for more information.
2009- I enrolled in Washington State’s Beekeeper program at the Apprentice Level. Receiving my certificate in May 2010.
2010- I enrolled in Washington State’s Beekeeper program at the Journeyman Level, receiving my certificate in 2011.
2012- Oregon had then started their own Master Beekeeper Program and I enrolled as an apprentice. Receiving my certificate in 2012. Since 2012 I have completed the Journeyman and Master Levels for Certification in the Oregon Program.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the learning process relevant to beekeeping and plan to continue my efforts in that pursuit. I have nothing but praise for all those involved in the Master Beekeeper programs in both Oregon and Washington. I do not regret a single day spent in the search for knowledge regarding Honeybees and Beekeeping. As a matter of fact, my only regret is that I did not start this quest earlier in life. I urge anyone considering beekeeping as a hobby or occupation to get started. I doubt you will regret your decision.”
Hood River, OR - Certified 2020
Proficiencies: A look at “Why Do We Keep Bees?”, but from a different perspective than that usually voiced looking at the more “unconscious” reasons one might keep bees, both sensory reasons and psychological reasons; developed Therapeutic Beekeeping Program for those with mental health concerns; Honey Bee Pests and Diseases
Outreach project: Building and implementing of an online Canvas-based Mentor Training Program for the Oregon Master Beekeeping Program
In Zip's words...
“Known by many titles, I go by Zip Krummel. I am in my third career but my active hobby outside of work is beekeeping. As a child I was interested in insects and wanted to be an entomologist, but as I got older Viet Nam got in the way and my career pathway changed. I finally reached a point in life where I wanted to spend more time in my interests, and a neighboring beekeeper talked to me about bees – that is all it took. I started with a Top Bar hive and a swarm and got hooked. When I learned about the OMB Program I was intrigued and excited to learn more. For both the Apprentice and Journeyman levels it was a lot to learn and do, but it was also exciting. I could see, in my growing number of hives, the results of what I was learning in the program and from other beekeepers. Besides the management of the hives, I became very interested in all the sensory things that make bees so interesting and special.
The Master’s level offers opportunities neither of the other two levels did – participation in bee research, pursue my sensory interests as a project, and develop a beekeeping therapy program as another project, and a lot of mentoring. Participating in the Master level also “forced” me to learn, and be aware of, the many issues facing bees and beekeeping, especially those that threaten the longevity of the hive. I will admit, after “jumping through all of the hoops” in the Master level, it really gave me a sense of pride and confidence in all that I learned about beekeeping and gave me the strong desire to share my knowledge and experience with others. So much more to learn, too.”
Portland, OR - Certified 2020
Proficiencies: Queen rearing – common queen rearing methods (Walk Away, Alley, Miller), Doolittle method of queen rearing/grafting; Honey Bee Pests and Diseases
Research project: Effects of oxalic acid sublimation (vaporization) on honey bee brood
In James' words...
“James was born in Salem Oregon and now lives in Southwest Portland. He has lived in Oregon most of his life. He grew up in Salem and after high school attended Oregon State University and The University of Oregon where he obtained a bachelor of Architecture degree.
He is now retired after a 40-year architectural career. In December 2010, he discovered honeybees when an owl box fell from a tree on his property. He found a colony of honey bees inside. Hearing about the about the Oregon Master Beekeeping Program through Oregon State University, he joined the program as soon as he could. With extraordinarily good luck he was assigned Dewey Caron as his mentor through all three phases of the program.
With Dewey’s mentoring he has learned what must be done to keep honey bees alive year after year with proper care, feeding and pest/disease control measures. As a student at the master’s level, he has learned to graft and raising his own queens and has been self-sustainably creating nucleus colonies and re-queening his colonies with young queens. He maintains his colonies at his SW Portland property as a back-yard beekeeper.”
Philomath, OR - Certified 2019
Proficiencies: Created and implemented the first Benton County 4-H Beekeeping Club; Honey Bee Pests and Diseases
Outreach Project: Developed a presentation slide show for the Residential Beekeeping Guidelines targeting both new and/or experienced beekeeper audiences
In Amber's words...
“I have been beekeeping now for nine years. I started to pursue this hobby when I first learned about colony collapse disorder back in 2008. I did a lot of reading about the issue and started to check out books about beekeeping from the local library. The more reading that I did, the more interested I became. I then started to attend local beekeeping club meetings and attended a beginning beekeeping school, and I became hooked. This is a great hobby for myself and my family and now, I have a small library of beekeeping books.
Since becoming involved in the Oregon Master Beekeeper program, I have found myself talking a lot about bees with friends, family and the general public. When people find out that you are a beekeeper and are at the master level, your knowledge and experiences are sought out. This is great because I love to talk about bees. My kids call me a "Beek" now. I would not have been able to do this if I had not joined OMB. The OMB program has introduced me to many professionals in honey bee research and business. The knowledge and skills gained by going through this program are one of a kind.
I would suggest to incoming members of the OMB program who wish to reach the master level, that this may take longer than you think. It is a challenging course, having to complete research projects, public service points, developing areas of proficiency and taking exams. Plus, as we are only human, we have family obligations, jobs, and other interests as well. So, take your time and enjoy it!
One of the things that I really enjoy doing is teaching youth about the importance of pollinators, specifically honey bees. It amazes me how their brains are like sponges. I have had a couple of young people come up to me several years later and recite information that I gave them, it is a wonderful feeling. It is important for our youth to start thinking about ways that they can help improve the health of our honey bee and native bee populations because their health and wellbeing will also be affected.”
Newberg, OR - Certified 2019
Proficiencies: Nuc Production; Honey Bee Pests and Diseases
Outreach Project: Answer “Ask a Beekeeper” questions. “Ask-a-Beekeeper” is resource tab on the home page for the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program. It is part of National eXtension’s “Ask-an-Expert” program as a way for more people in this busy day and age to receive research-based answers from the Extension Service.
In Anna's words...
“In 2013 I accepted the job of Chef's Garden Manager for The Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg. In the garden were 2 colonies of bees, for which I was to be responsible. I didn't know the first thing about bees. My experience was limited to eating honey and occasionally getting stung. Because I'm an OSU Master Gardener, I saw email publicity about the new Oregon Master Beekeeper program, so I signed up for the apprentice level classes which were held in spring of 2014.
As a result of OMB and needing to get public service points, I became involved with the Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association. Because of that I recently discovered that one of my fellow club members was one of my friends from high school! It only took us 5+ years to realize that fact!
But also because of taking part in the OMB program, I'm a confident beekeeper who is contributing to other beekeepers becoming confident keepers of healthy bees.
Obtaining the master level of the OMB program was not easy. It required being a self-starter and a motivated learner, with a healthy dose of persistence. It required giving up vacation time so I could study. It required a lot of reading, writing, and research when I might have wanted to do something else. Before committing to the master level, think long and hard about the time commitment. It will take at least 2 years, but more likely more to finish all of the requirements including the testing. Involve your family in the decision, as they will be impacted by your decision to undertake this level. It is a marathon not a sprint. It takes perseverance.
Becoming a beekeeper has been an interesting journey. I've made a lot of new friends. I've become competent in a whole new endeavor. I've had a lot of fun.”