must be a Texas registered beekeeper or a registered beekeeper in home state, registered either individually or as a member of a family.
must own at least one colony of honey bees for at least one full year.
must score 70% or higher on a written examination. The written test can include but is not limited to materials covered during previous Texas Beekeepers Association annual meeting, information found on the Texas Apiary Inspection Service website (http://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu), information found on the Texas A&M Honey Bee Lab website (http://honeybeelab.tamu.edu/), the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory website (http://www.ufhoneybee.com) and materials from books/ other literature on the Apprentice Beekeeper reading list.
must score 70% or higher on a practical examination. The practical examination can include but is not limited to describing the physical parts of a beehive (common terms, not regional nomenclature); lighting and properly using a smoker; recognizing the various stages of brood, different castes of bees, and finding or at least describing the queen; differentiating between brood, pollen, and capped honey; recognizing propolis and describing its functions; describing the layout of a brood nest (placement of honey, pollen, and brood), etc.
I’m curious on the Apprentise exam how much depth is it going to go into for Pest & Desases: Causative agent and treatment?
For example, should one know the brand name and/or actual chemicals used for treating Varroa Mites or Hive beetles?
Good Morning Mytra,
As the program is being developed, there are two testing opportunities a year. Having been through the testing, I can tell you that there is a LOT of work, time and space required to conduct a round of testing. Especially on the practical exam part of the testing.
I hope in several years, after Texas has some established Master Beekeepers, they will expand the program to where some of those Master beekeepers will be able to test and qualify at the apprentice level. The next testing is planned for in the fall around the TBA convention.
I hope you can make that round of testing.
There are multiple reasons bees swarm. First and foremost, lack of space for the Queen to lay. As we become better Beekeepers, one of our first benefits are strong colonies coming out of Winter. In Texas our "Honey Bee Spring" starts in February.
Doing a quick hive inspection on warm days beginning the first of February is essential for circumventing swarms. You will notice that the stores that encompassed the previous Fall brood chamber are now being back filled with brood. This is your sign! Consider 1 of 2 options...Either add an additional brood box on top (with at least 4 center frames of drawn comb) or prep to make a split.
February is the number 1 month bees starve! Feed your bees if needed.