BASIC BBKA CERTIFICATE AND BEYOND
Within the Bournemouth & Dorset South (BADS) Beekeeping Association a significant number of members now hold the BBKA Basic Certificate. Once you have this certificate and at least two years of beekeeping experience you can proceed with your study of beekeeping, if you so wish.
The BBKA education ladder was established in the late 1800’s and we are still using an update of this, but it is now arranged in Modules. Assessment for each Module is made by a written 1 1/2 hour exam.
The Modules are as follows:
Module 1 – Honey bee Management
Module 2 – Honey bee Products and Forage
Module 3 – Honey bee Pests, Diseases and Poisoning
Module 5 – Honey bee Biology
Module 6 – Honey bee Behaviour
Module 7 – Selection & Breeding of Honey bees
Module 8 – Honey bee Management, Health and History
[The absent Module 4 (Intermediate Honeybee Biology) has been discontinued]
Full details of the syllabus for each Module are available on the BBKA website and you can download them.
The Modules can be studied in any order, but Module 8 must be taken last. Each Module needs about 15 hours to cover the syllabus.
In the past Sarah and I have taught Modules 1 – 4 and enabled several local beekeepers to get the Intermediate Theory Certificate. Today, however, to obtain the Intermediate Theory Certificate, you need to pass Modules 1, 2. and 3 plus one other from 5, 6, and 7. When you have passed all the Modules you are awarded the Advanced Theory Certificate.
You can take up to four Modules in each examination session.
I suggest those of you who are interested in continuing your studies take first three Modules in order and then make a decision about the next Module when the time comes.
HOW TO STUDY
There are several options: on your own, with a group, via a correspondence course, or by attending a course.
On your own – You need to get the syllabus, some books and start studying. The big advantage is that you are in total control. The disadvantages are that you need to motivate yourself, get the books, and set your own time to study. It can be done – I did it quite a while ago!
Via a Correspondence Course – All the Modules are available from the BBKA at £45.00 per Module. Again you need to do the work on your own, but you send your written answers to set questions to a qualified tutor for feedback and comment. The advantage is that you will get practice at writing answers to questions, the disadvantages are as above plus the cost of purchasing the Module(s) and dedication is required.
With a small Study Group – This is also a form of self study, but as part of a group of like minded people. Obviously a group needs to exist , but if it does not, then you may need to set one up. The group will need a meeting place and will need to meet regularly. Again, you need to motivate yourself.
By attending an Arranged Course – Adults often think of this as going back to school but I hope we make our beekeeping courses interesting and treat you as adults. Please let me know if we can improve – we shall not be offended.
HOW CAN I HELP?
If you are interested in attending further arranged courses in order to continue your studies please let me know and I am prepared to organise another, if there is a demand. If you can suggest when you would be prepared to attend: what time and which day would suit you, I will see what we can do. We have run successful course in the past – the best ones have been on Saturday mornings.
Or, if a few of you want to form a small study group, I would be prepared to come along and act as mentor, if that would help. Again, please let me know if you are interested and I will see what can be arranged.
If you would prefer a practical test, instead of written papers, then the Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry is an option. This is a very wide syllabus and is a recent addition to the beekeeping courses. You need the Basic Certificate to take this course and I would suggest that you need to keep bees for 4 to 5 years before you try this.
If you wish to join us, please contact Helga Aldersey at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01202 763923.