Examination Details 2017


Details on the FIBKA examination system, such as prerequisites for eligibility, how and when to apply, level of knowledge required etc., follow.
There are seven levels of examinations for proficiency certificates; these and their eligibility requirements are as follows:


Preliminary
For beginners - no prerequisites.


Intermediate
The Preliminary Certificate of the FIBKA or the BBKA Basic Certificate must be held for at least two years and must also have bees for at least two years.


Senior
Intermediate Certificate and at least five years beekeeping experience.

Senior Apiary practical application form 2017


Intermediate Apiary Practical

  • The Intermediate Apiary Practical Examination is intended to be part of a stream that will lead to the Practical Beemaster's Certificate. The examination is designed to be less "academic" and there are no written examination papers
  • The examination will take place in the candidate's own apiary carried out by two Examiners appointed by the Executive Council. The pass mark is 70%.

Intermediate Apiary practical application form 2017


Non academic route to Intermediate Apiary Practical

  • The prerequisites for Intermediate Proficiency Apiary Practical Examination are: the FIBKA Preliminary Certificate or the BBKA Basic Certificate and at least three years' beekeeping experience satisfactory to the Education Officer and Education Board.

PS this is intended as a stepping stone to the Practical Beemaster

Academic route

  • The prerequisite for Intermediate Proficiency Apiary Practical Examination is at least three years beekeeping experience satisfactory to the Education Officer and the Education Board. An Apiary Practical certificate will be issued on passing the apiary practical examination.
  • The exemption applied to some re the Intermediate Apiary Practical is no longer available. Anybody completing the Intermediate in 2017 and on will have to undergo the Intermediate Apiary Practical examination.
  • The Intermediate Certificate will not be issued until all three elements of the Intermediate are passed ie Practical written, Scientific Written and the Apiary practical,

Practical Beemaster
Non academic route to Practical Beemaster-

  • Preliminary Certificate, the Intermediate Apiary Practical and at least five years' beekeeping experience satisfactory to the Education Officer and the Examination Board.

Beemasters Application form  2017


Honey Judge
Prerequisite to enter the Honey Judge process;

  • Intermediate and/or Practical Beemaster Certificates, successful showing, having obtained a minimum of 200 points at major shows and a record of stewarding under at least four FIBKA Honey Judges.


Lecturer
Senior Certificate.


FIBKA Examination Dates 2017

Saturday 1st. April 2017

  • Intermediate Practical & Senior Practical Examinations will take place at Provincial Centres on Saturday 1st. April 2017.
  • Closing date for applications for these exams is March 1st. 2017.
  • These exams are 3 hour written papers, 9.30 am - 12.30 pm
  • There must be at least 5 candidates taking the exam in a centre. Local Associations may come together to achieve minimum numbers
  • The Hon Secretary of the organising Association will collect application forms and exam fees and forward these to the Education Officer of FIBKA
  • The Hon Secretary of the organising Association will nominate a reliable person to act as invigilator for the exam and make arrangements for a venue where the candidates will take the examination
  • Application forms should be received by the Education Officer by 1st March
  • Late Applications incur an extra application fee.

 


Saturday 27th. May 2017
Preliminary Examinations will take place at Provincial/Association Centres on Saturday 27th. May 2017 beginning at 9.30 am.

  • Closing date for applications for these exams is Saturday 1st. April 2017.
  • The examination consists of a written paper (c 30 minutes) and a practical open-hive examination.
  • There must be at least 10 candidates taking the exam in a centre. Local Associations may come together to achieve minimum numbers.
  • The Hon Secretary of the organising Association will collect application forms and exam fees and forward these to the Education Officer of FIBKA
  • The Hon Secretary of the organising Association will nominate a reliable person to act as invigilator for the written exam and make arrangements for a venue where the candidates will take the examination
  • In addition, an apiary must be available where the practical part of the examination can take place
  • The Local Association Organiser will appoint examiners who will conduct the hive-opening part of the examination
  • Application forms should be received by the Education Officer by 1st. April 2017.
  • Late Applications incur an extra application fee.

Provincial Written Examinations Application form 2017

 

Gormanston Summer Course

Sunday 30th. of July to Friday 4th. of August 2017.

  • Monday 31st. July: Intermediate & Senior Practical Papers
  • Tuesday 1st. August: Intermediate & Senior Scientific Papers
  • Thursday 3rd.August: Preliminary Examination
  • Applications for the Intermediate & Senior Practical and Scientific Examinations should be received by the FIBKA Education Officer by 18th. June 2017.
  • Applications for the Preliminary Examination will be taken in the course of the Summer Course Week or earlier by post.

Gormanston Examination application form 2017

 

Beemaster, Intermediate Apiary Practical and Senior Apiary Practical

  • Applications for the Beemaster, Intermediate Apiary Practical and Senior Apiary Practical Examinations should be with the Education Officer by Saturday 8th. April 2017.
  • These examinations take place in the applicant's apiary and are conducted by two examiners. As the number of candidates is likely to be high the early closing date is to allow for the necessary arrangements to be made.

 

Instructions for the Organisers of Provincial/Association Examination Centres

Generally, the Local Examination Organiser is the Hon Secretary of the Association or a lecturer or someone deputed by the Association. The Local Examination Organiser is responsible for all the local exam arrangements.

The following are the main duties of the Local Examination Organisers.

  • The FIBKA examinations are carried out under the same strict rules as public examinations.
  • An up-to-date Provincial Application Form, which also lists the closing date and exam fees etc., is downloaded from the Federation web site, copied and given to the candidates to fill out; the completed Application Forms must be returned to the Education Officer well before the closing date: see 5 below. The local Organiser collects the exam fees, types the candidates' names (watch out for mistakes!), addresses and contact details into an Excel file obtained by e-mailing the Examinations Officer; please use the same format as the example provided and then return the file as an attachment by e-mail well before the closing date - this data-base file forms part of the examination record and will be used untouched by the Examinations Officer to print the certificates.
  • All applications for the Provincial Examinations shall be made via the Local Organiser. The Local Organiser of a Centre may allow candidates from other associations to sit the examination at his/her Centre; responsibility for all the examination arrangements and communication with the Education Officer rests with the Local Organiser of the Centre.
  • In the case of the Intermediate examination, the Practical paper and the Scientific paper will be examined at Provincial Centres in alternate years. For example, only the Scientific paper will be examined in April 2018 while only the Practical paper will be examined in 2017. A candidate may of course sit one paper at the Provincial examination and the other at the Summer Course.
  •  If there are candidates sitting the Intermediate examination, make sure that these are clearly listed separately from the Preliminary candidates on the Excel sheet. The closing date is March 1st. (Intermediate and Senior) and April 1st. (Preliminary) - however, the late closing date with a late application fee payable as indicated on the Application Form. Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted and will be returned. The candidates' signed Application Forms and the Excel sheet must be with the Education Officer within one week of the respective closing dates, who will post out the exam papers etc. to the Local Organiser on the following day.
  • The Examinations Officer will send the examination papers and the apiary marks sheets to the Organiser in a sealed envelope. This envelope will also contain another sealed envelope enclosing the examination papers and a Declaration Form. The Declaration Form must be signed and witnessed on the day of the examination that the envelope containing the examination papers was opened not earlier than five minutes before the examination.
  • The local Organiser is responsible for arranging the exam hall, choosing the invigilators (who on the day of the examination will tick off the names of the candidates as being either present or absent), giving out the exam papers and answer books at the correct time.
  • On the advice of a local Federation Lecturer, the Organiser will appoint the practical apiary examiners and oversee the exam.
  • In due course all the exam material (scripts, apiary marks sheets and Declaration Form) is returned to the Examinations Officer.
  • After the Examination Board meeting the local Organiser will be sent the examination marks on the data base file by e-mail and he/she will inform the candidates of their results and will help with distributing the certificates to the successful candidates.


Past Papers
Copies of these can be downloaded here


Preparing for the Examinations

  • Candidates should study well in advance and consult the examination papers for the previous five years. Remember that the Summer Course alone is not an adequate preparation.
  • Candidates are advised to take only one paper per year. When answering questions they should stick clearly to the subject.
  • Candidates are warned that where writing of answers is illegible, the Examiner may refuse to award any marks.
  • Applicants for the Senior/Beemaster Practical Apiary examination must present their apiary/hive record notebook, containing records for at least 3 years for inspection. They must also present evidence of queen rearing and of having exhibited at honey shows.


Pass Standard

  • 70% for all examinations except Honey Judge (75%)


Repeating Examinations

  • Candidates repeating exams (there are no repeats of a paper in the same year as the original examination) need only repeat the part they failed, whether written or practical.


FIBKA Qualifications


Practical Beemaster's Certificate
Successful candidates will be entitled to teach and examine at beginner and intermediate levels...


Senior Certificate
The holder of this certificate is an expert beekeeper, competent to advise on all aspects of beekeeping and to teach modern methods.


Lecturer's Certificate

  • Holders will be known as Certified Federation Lecturers (C.F.L) of the FIBKA and their names will be placed on the panel of lecturers.

 

Some details on the examination papers follow; however the level of the examinations can be better assessed from a study of past papers.

Preliminary

  • 20 questions, requiring short answers. Time 30 minutes.


Intermediate

  • Paper A Practical - 6 questions. Time - three hours
  • Answer five questions.
  • The questions deal with the practical aspects of beekeeping

 

  • Paper B Scientific - 6 questions. Time - three hours
  • Answer five questions.
  • The questions deal with the scientific aspects of beekeeping.


From 2013 onwards for anybody applying for their 1st Intermediate written paper, the Intermediate Apiary Practical Examination will form part of the Intermediate level


Senior

  • Paper A Practical - 6 questions. Time - three hours
  • Answer five questions.
  • The questions deal with the practical aspects of beekeeping

 

  • Paper B Scientific - 6 questions. Time - three hours
  • Answer five questions.
  • The questions deal with the scientific aspects of beekeeping.

 

Microscopy
There is a separate Practical Microscopy examination.

 

Apiary/Oral Examination


Preliminary
Five parts 20% each part:

  • Ability to control colony
  • Identify three castes of bees
  • Identify eggs, larvae sealed brood and stores
  • Describe AFB and how to identify it
  • Describe varroa and its effect on the colony


Senior
The examination is held at the candidate's apiary by mutual arrangement, usually on a Saturday in June; there will be two Examiners.

  • Apiary and Equipment 20%
  • Honey Processing 20%
  • Practical Beekeeping 40%
  • Hive Products and Plants 10%
  • General Topics 10%.


As the Practical Syllabus is the same, holders of the Practical Beemaster certificate are exempted from this part of the examination.
The new section “Honey Processing” will be a mandatory must pass to pass the exam. It will have 20 marks allocated to it. This means that the candidate must achieve 70% or 14 marks in this section. If the candidate scores 13 or less it is a fail irrespective of what total mark is achieved.

Practical Beemaster

The syllabus is the same as that for the Senior Practical

  • Apiary and Equipment 20%
  • Honey Processing 20%
  • Practical Beekeeping 30%
  • Oral under six headings (consult syllabus) - 5% each part
    • Natural History
    • Bee Behaviour
    • Honeybee Forage, Plants and Pollination
    • Diseases, Pests and Poisoning
    • Apiary and Honeybee Management
    • Honeybee Products

The new section “Honey Processing” will be a mandatory must pass to pass the exam. It will have 20 marks allocated to it. This means that the candidate must achieve 70% or 14 marks in this section. If the candidate scores 13 or less it is a fail irrespective of what total mark is achieved.


Lecturer
Candidates will be examined by a panel of three Examiners, one of whom is the Senior Summer Course Lecturer.
Marking scheme:
Main Lecture

  • Lecture Content 45 marks
  • Presentation 45 marks
  • Visual Aids 15 marks
  • Handling of questions 45 marks
  • Impromptu Talk
    • Content 15 marks
    • Presentation 15 marks
    • Handling of questions 20 marks.

Total of the marks is divided by 2 to get overall %age. Pass mark is 70%.

Honey Judge
Candidates must fulfill the conditions set out in the Honey Judge Record Book before being allowed to sit the final examination.
Candidates must obtain at least 60% in each of the following five sections and 75% overall of the aggregate marks to pass the examination:

  • Equipment, dress etc
  • Samples and report; judging liquid and comb honey + one other class
  • Judging other categories (oral interview)
  • Questions on syllabus
  • Schedule and legal regulations

Social

News

Co. Waterford beginners course

Co. Waterford BKA will be holding their classes for beginners starting Tuesday 21st February at Coláiste Cathal Naofa. For more information and outline of course, click here


South Tipp Beginners' Course

South Tipp BKA are holding a beginners course in beekeeping starting Saturday 8th April. For more for information on registration and what will be covered, click here


Trees for bees

**ALL TREES ARE NOW ALLOCATED** Those of you who ordered tree saplings should have already received a confirmation email by now, if not, contact Eamon at his email address


Well Done Ryan!

A Junior member of the Lake County BKA, Ryan Nea, has made it to the All Ireland Science competition and came 2nd in his college with a device which alerts beekeepers when a hive is about to swarm.......Story and picture of the young chap is the LCBKA facebook page


Gorey BKA Beginners Course

Gorey BKA Beginners Course, run by Ben Harden NBD, starts on Tuesday 4th April and continues for 4 more Tuesdays, followed by practicals in the association apiary. Venue: The Teagasc Centre, Fort Road, Gorey. Time: 8pm. Duration: approx 1hr. Bee suits are available for the practicals if required. For further details contact the secretary Aine Roche at secretary.goreybeekeepers@gmail.com


Connemara BKA Beginners Course

The Connemara Beekeepers Association are holding their beginners course in beekeeping. The course will be run in the GRETB (VEC) building in Oughterard. It start on Tuesday, 21st Feb, at 7:30pm. for more info, or bookings, please contact Ken Figgis, our education officer. Email kfiggis@hotmail.com or phone 095 41092


Bee Research Project!

FIBKA are co operating with CIT to run a beehealth project to improve the genetic diversity of Irish honey bee stocks, funding needed either corporate or individual. Click here for more info!


Kilkenny Beginners Course!

It will run for the 4 Wednesday nights (15 Feb, 22 Feb, 1st March, 8 March) from 7.30 to 9.00 covering topics such as
Beekeeping Equipment, The occupants of the hive, The beekeeping year, honey harvesting and planting for bees and pollinators.

This will be followed a number of practical sessions during the rest of the year at our own Apiary and at other Apiaries where you will get first hand experience with colonies of Bees

Contact Jer Keohane jkeohane@iece.ie for further details