Syllabus of Examination for Proficiency in Apiculture: Preliminary Examination


The Examination comprises a half hour written paper and a practical Apiary Examination on the material below...

 

Manipulation of a Colony of Honeybees

The student will be:

  • aware of the need for care when handling a colony of honeybees
  • aware of the reactions of honeybees to smoke
  • aware of the personal equipment needed to open a colony of honeybees
  • able to open a colony of honeybees and keep the colony under control
  • able to demonstrate the use of smoke
  • able to demonstrate the use of the hive tool
  • able to remove combs from the hive and identify worker, drone and queen cells or cups if present and to comment on the state of the combs
  • able to identify members of the three castes, identify brood at all stages
  • able to demonstrate the difference between drone, worker, and honey cappings
  • able to identify stored nectar, honey and pollen

 

Equipment

The student will be:

  • able to name the parts of a modem beehive
  • aware of the concept of the bee space and its significance in the modern hive
  • able to assemble a frame and fit it with wax foundation
  • aware of the reasons for the use of wax foundation
  • aware of the various spacings of combs in the brood chamber and super for both foundation and drawn comb

 

Natural History of the Honeybee

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary account of production of queens, workers and drones in the honeybee colony
  • aware of the existence of laying workers and drone laying queens
  • able to specify the periods spent by each caste in the four stages of its life cycle (egg, larva, pupa, adult)
  • able to give an elementary description of the function of the members of each caste if the life of the colony
  • Have an appreciation of wax production by the worker bee and the use of this wax by the bee
  • able to give a simple definition of nectar and describe how it is collected and brought back to the hive
  • able to name the main local flora from which honeybees gather pollen and nectar
  • able to give a simple description how nectar is converted into honey
  • aware of the use of nectar and honey in the life of the colony
  • aware of the collection of water and its uses in the colony
  • able to give a simple description of the collection of pollen and its importance in the life of the colony
  • able to describe the origins, collection, and use of propolis in the honeybee colony
  • able to give an elementary description of swarming in a honeybee colony
  • able to give an elementary description of the way in which the honeybee colony passes the winter period

 

Beekeeping

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary description of the siting of colonies
  • able to give an elementary description of the year's work in the apiary and the management of a colony throughout a season
  • able to describe how and when to feed bees and the preparation of syrup
  • aware of the need to add supers and the timing of the operations
  • aware of the use of the queen excluder
  • able to give an elementary account of one method of swarm control
  • able to describe how to take a honeybee swarm and how to hive it
  • aware of the condition of queenlessness
  • able to describe the signs of laying workers and a drone laying queen
  • aware of the dangers of robbing and how robbing can be avoided

 

Disease and Poisoning

The student will:

  • Since Varroa mites are reared in the brood comb.
  • Be able to indicate on the comb which cells are preferred by the mite for breeding.
  • Be able to state at least one approved treatment in the students own country.
  • Sunken, greasy, perforated cappings on worker brood may indicate the presence of AFB.
  • Be able to indicate which cappings might look suspect.
  • Be able to demonstrate, using a matchstick, how a field test for AFB could be done.
  • Be able to state where a comb sample containing the diseased brood should be sent for testing.
  • Unsealed brood cells containing larvae which do not conform to the shape, colour and segmented structure of healthy brood, could indicate EFB.
  • Be able to discern, if larvae in the comb have the proper “C” shape, colour and segmentation which healthy larvae exhibit.
  • Be able to state where a comb sample containing the diseased brood should be sent for testing.
  • be able to describe the appearance of healthy brood and how it differs from diseased brood or chilled brood
  • be aware of acarine, nosema and amoeba and their effect upon the colony
  • know how to obtain expert assistance if any disease or poisoning by toxic chemicals is suspected

 

Harvesting

The student will be:

  • able to describe the methods used to clear honeybees from supers
  • able to describe the process of the extraction of honey from supers
  • aware of the value of bees to farmers and growers and of the hiring of colonies for pollination services
  • able to describe a way in which comb can be stored to prevent wax moth damage
  • able to describe a way by which mice can be excluded from the hives in winter

Social

News

Disease Sampling Form

Teagasc offers a Honeybee disease diagnostic service to beekeepers, more information available here


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!


All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

Great news! - The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 is released this week. Click here for more info!


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