York County Master Beekeeper Program
The York County Master Beekeeper Program is an educational and public service action plan devised and administered by the York County Beekeepers’ Association and is designed to promote good beekeeping practices and the accurate dissemination of knowledge in the public forum.
- To provide a structured, multi-level, on-going program by which members of the York County Beekeepers’ Association can improve both their knowledge of, and their skills in managing, honey bees.
- To recognize differing levels of competence, knowledge and achievement of YCBA members on a voluntary, participatory basis.
- To recognize Master beekeepers of the York County Beekeepers’ Association.
- To advance the accurate dissemination of information about honey bees in York County.
- To encourage beekeepers to become actively involved in their communities by sharing with the larger public information on the importance of honey bees and the rewards of beekeeping.
The program is administered by a Master Beekeeper Panel consisting of three current members of the YCBA appointed by the President.
The panelists shall oversee the program, making any changes necessary to fulfill the objectives stated above or to maintain the integrity of the program, and shall assess applications from YCBA members for an entering accreditation level or progress to the next level of accreditation.
- Any current member of the of York County Beekeepers Association is eligible to participate in this program, irrespective of age or experience,.
- There is no cost to participate in the program.
- Participants with previous beekeeping experience may apply to enter at a specific level of accreditation.
- The responsibility rests with each applicant, to describe in writing why he/she meets all of the criteria for a level of application with the necessary evidence attached where relevant.
- Applications for accreditation must be submitted by August 31st of each year. The address for such applications will be published on the YCBA web-site.
- In the event an application is declined the applicant will be informed of the reason and given direction as to how to fulfill the necessary criteria.
- The results of all applications shall be made available by the annual banquet in October.
Levels of Accreditation.
Kept bees for at least a minimum of one year and successfully over-wintered at least one colony
Is familiar with beekeeping basics, eg. he/she can ...
- describe the parts of a bee hive;
- recognize the different castes of bees;
- recognize stages of brood development;
- differentiate between brood, pollen and capped cells;
- recognize propolis;
- describe the layout of a brood nest.
Is familiar with the components of a Langstroth hive and the criteria in placing a colony.
Has basic bee management skills, eg.
- ignite and use a smoker;
- open, inspect and close a hive
Has kept bees successfully and continually for a minimum of two years and been an Apprentice for at least one year.
Can explain the yearly life cycle of a colony.
Is capable of identifying, and treating varroa
Is familiar with at least two alternatives to a Langstroth hive, eg. Warré, Top Bar, Observation
Has completed one community credit (see end for examples of Community Credits)
Has kept bees successfully and continually for a minimum of three years and been a Journeyman for a minimum of one year.
Can recognize, describe, and explain the functions of, the exterior elements of honey bee anatomy.
Is familiar with the concept of IPM
Can identify and recommend treatments for all major diseases of a hive
Has successfully split hives to make nucs and has raised queens.
Has kept records of hive management activities for at least a year.
Three credits completed and has attended a beekeeping conference, eg. PSBA, EAS, Apimondia.
Has kept bees successfully and continually for a minimum of five years and been a Craftsman for a minimum of two years.
Has exhibited the recommended Best Management Practices as recommended by the PSBA for a minimum of two years.
Can identify and explain the interior anatomy of a queen, worker and drone honey bee.
Is familiar with the different pheromones involved in a healthy colony and the role played by each.
Has completed five community credits, and ...
... has completed one of the following :
- made a presentation to a beekeeping audience
- has had an article published in a recognized beekeeping journal
- has organized and led a significant workshop for beekeepers
- has initiated some research into a significant area of honey bee management.
Is willing and able to help other YCBA beekeepers achieve the Apprentice, Journeyman and Craftsman levels.
Examples of Community Credits
- Present a bee-related talk to a non-beekeeping group
- Hold an office in a local beekeeping association.
- Give a bee talk and demonstration to a school group
- Assist members of youth organizations (4-H, Scouts, etc.) with a bee-related project.
- Successfully mentor a new beekeeper through at least one complete year.
- Assist in the set up, maintenance and dismantling of a public beekeeping demo a fair, festival, or similar public event.
- Provide and maintain a hive to pollinate a public space, eg in a garden, on a downtown roof-top.
- Establish and maintain an observation hive for a school, civic group, museum, etc.