Beekeeping Certificate

Advanced beekeeping topics, the minutia and the macro, change the world and the industry.
Freshman Beekeeper
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Beekeeping Certificate

Postby RogerQ » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:37 pm

I've completed the University of Montana Apprentice Beekeeping class and am registered for the Journeyman-level Beekeeping class in September. Does anyone have experience with this program? Any advice?

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Freshman Beekeeper
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 11:05 pm
Location: Drummond, Montana

Re: Beekeeping Certificate

Postby nicole » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:07 pm

I had thought long and hard about taking the course myself when I was a student at the U. It's quite expensive in terms of what you can learn on your own. I decided to take the plunge and just learn hands-on in my backyard, investing in equipment instead of a class. That's about all I know though :)

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Backyard Beekeeper
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Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Beekeeping Certificate

Postby ExpatBeekeeper » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:33 pm

I agree with Nicole. Speaking as someone who requires constantly updated professional certifications over the last 20 years, I spend most of my life with my head in books learning the theory behind what I already know how to do in practice, finishing one qualification and immediately beginning on the next one.

I thought about the Master Beekeeper program, but based on my work life there are a few things that stopped me.

1. Certifications prove to potential employers that you've learned stuff that might be useful to them. I have no interest in being employed as a beekeeper, so the financial and time investment would see no returns.

2. Certifications are often woefully out of date, 15 years ago that wouldn't have been such a problem because beekeeping hadn't changed much over the course of the previous century. These days beekeeping best practice is changing almost yearly, and significantly within 5 years. Most curriculum will not be able to keep pace with the changes.

3. The current Master Beekeeper qualifications, per point 2, are very treatment centric. Even if you ignore the "total treatment-free" approach, it's pretty clear to many now that the future lays with genetics and not prophylactic bombardment of bees with insecticides. Whilst the "updated" programs I've seen touch on the new research, most them are still very dogmatic in their approach.

Your mileage may vary, but these are my reasons as to why I decided not to go with a beekeeping qualification

Beekeeper, Meadmaker, Teaboy, and Gopher. Richmond, VA

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Michael Bush
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Location: Nehawka, Nebraska

Re: Beekeeping Certificate

Postby Michael Bush » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:59 pm

If you can keep your head you will probably learn a lot about bee biology etc. You may learn some useful techniques. But my experience with most of the current "bee education" is they will focus on diseases and treating them which will only mislead you. That and feeding seem to be the focus of most of those kinds of things. Bee biology is interesting and some of it is useful, but you can keep bees without knowing it as beekeepers have done for millennia. But I find it fascinating. I guess my point is, if you can keep your head about all the treating and feeding crap, the rest will be very interesting and possibly useful.

If I spent a week showing you all of the gruesome diseases and parasites that humans get you'd be afraid to eat and you would have trouble sleeping at night... and it would not help you be any healthier.
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin

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