Honey bees at work. (Photograph by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
So that you’re desirous about honey bees and assume you may need to grow to be a beekeeper? Or, alternatively, you’ve got determined to maintain bees however you are not fairly prepared for a colony? Or do you simply need to study bees?
The UC Davis-based California Grasp Beekeeper Program (CAMPB) provides coaching for an “apprentice assistant,” described as “the right science-based introduction to every thing that you must preserve protected, wholesome bees.”
Apprentice assistant is the primary degree of the coach applications supplied by CAMPB, launched and directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Division of Entomology and Nematology. Different ranges are apprentice, journey and grasp.
“We had 68 candidates in 2021 for the apprentice assistant class,” stated Wendy Mather, program director of CAMPB. “Purposes for 2022 will open Nov. 30, 2021.”
The overall targets are to be taught the fundamental expertise, utilizing science-based analysis, to look after bees; to be taught (after which train) concerning the significance of honey bees and bees basically; and to learn to preserve a wholesome bee colony. Apprentice assistants, for instance, will learn to acknowledge potential issues (hive evaluation); learn how to anticipate and stop unfavourable occasions (comparable to robbing and mite masses); and learn how to begin and preserve a wholesome colony, CAMPB officers stated.
Candidates will fill out a type, assessment the Apprentice Assistant Research Information and take a web based written take a look at, scoring at the least 80 p.c; full an on-line beekeeping course (30 minutes); and study bee well being at https://bee-health.extension.org/biology-of-individual-honey-bees/. In addition they should move a sensible take a look at (20 minutes) at one of many CAMPB locations–Davis, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles–and rating at the least 80 p.c on the protection class.
The written take a look at includes figuring out beekeeping instruments and gear, such because the smoker and hive software. The sensible take a look at includes:
- Describing the elements of the hive
- Lighting and utilizing a smoker
- Recognizing the levels of brood (employees, drone and queen cells)
- Recognizing the completely different castes of bees
- Discovering or describing the queen
- Differentiating between brood, pollen, nectar, and honey
- Recognizing propolis and describing its perform
- Describing the structure of a brood nest (“the right body”, placement of honey, pollen and brood)
The associated fee to enroll within the class is $50. On the onset, college students will obtain hyperlinks to a few stay, on-line research halls, facilitated by CAMBP workers, to fulfill different new beekeepers and ask questions in preparation for the exams, which will probably be administered in particular person or just about through Zoom (relying on COVID-19 restrictions.)
The category formally begins in March, Mather stated, with ultimate exams scheduled for September. College students should rating at the least 80 p.c to grow to be an official apprentice assistant. They then can have entry to the CAMBP member community; webinars and CAMPB member information. And if they need, they’ll apply for the following degree, apprentice.
“One cool issue about apprentice assistant is for those who determine that beekeeping is not for you, you continue to get a certificates stating you’ve got handed the ‘concept’ portion of the course for those who select solely to jot down the on-line examination and fulfill your curiosity about humanity’s solely candy deal with purveying insect,” Mather stated. “It is not obligatory to get right into a hive.”
CAMBP requires 10 hours of volunteer service and 12 hours of continuous training every year so members can preserve and increase their beekeeping data and expertise. Some apprentice assistants, for instance, could determine to carry an workplace in a beekeeping membership; train 4-H’ers learn how to preserve bees; or help industrial beekeepers of their operations.