EAS Master Beekeepers Certification Program
Oral Exam Protocol
The Master Beekeeper (MB) program seeks to certify beekeepers qualified to represent the beekeeping industry to the public and the press as well as to educate other beekeepers. The MB Oral examination is designed to test a candidate’s ability to speak about beekeeping concisely, accurately and in a positive manner.
The oral examination takes an hour or so.
The candidate sits with a panel of three EAS Master Beekeepers who ask a series of five questions that might be encountered when dealing with a beekeeper, press representative, town official, or perhaps a concerned neighbor. The candidate is given a certain amount of time to answer the question; this is discussed at the beginning of the testing session and a timekeeper reminds the candidate when time is short. The three examiners grade the candidate’s responses based on the following criteria:
- Accuracy and completeness: Are all statements true? Was the question answered completely?
- Delivery: How poised and comfortable does the candidate appear to be? Is the answer clear and to the point? Is the answer logically presented? Does the candidate represent beekeeping in a positive way?
- Listening skills: Has the candidate answered the question which was asked? Did the answer address the questioner’s concerns? Was the candidate able to clarify any ambiguities?
There are 20 points possible for each of the five questions for a total possible 100 points. A passing grade is 80%. Each examiner grades the applicant independently. The three independent scores are then averaged to obtain the final grade.
These are examples of some of the question which have been or might be asked on the oral examination:
- You get a call from a beekeeper in the next town. She says, “ I went down to my bees yesterday. The fall foliage is so beautiful! I was feeling great until I noticed this awful smell coming from the hives. The bees were very busy and seem so active but I know some diseases, like AFB, smell really bad. Do you think my bees have AFB?”
- You have been asked to testify in front of Hopeless Township’s Board of Health. They have met to consider the complaints of a lady who wants beekeeping banned as a public health hazard. She claims there are so many bees in the grass of her backyard that her husband can’t mow the lawn without getting stung. And she’s afraid the bees in the pool might sting her granddaughter when she goes swimming. The little girl might be allergic!
- Your state beekeeping association has been asked by the Department of Agriculture to develop a protocol for dealing with Africanized Honey Bees, which are now present in the state just south of yours. You are chairing the committee. What would be some of the most important things to include in the protocol?