The South Carolina Master Beekeeping program began in 1996 and is designed to provide interested students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to become successful beekeepers and to be able to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the public. A successful beekeeper is one who can keep Read More ...
This is the third level of the Master Beekeeper program. The beekeeper must master the journeyman level before taking the master level. A Master beekeeper should be able to function as a sideline or commercial beekeeper. In addition to the general aspects of beekeeping, the individual will also demonstrate knowledge in such areas as bee biology, the business aspects of beekeeping, honey and bee-related judging, bee behavior and other specialty areas.
The beekeeper must:
- Pass a written and practical test.
- Must have two additional years of beekeeping experience at Journeyman level.
- Must complete 10 units of public service work in beekeeping. Public Service Credit Form
Master Level Requirements – Must demonstrate competence in at least six of the following :
- Liquid (Extracted) Honey: Demonstrate expertise in the production of extracted honey by winning a first or second place in an authorized honey competition. Authorized competitions include state fairs, competitions at state, regional, or national beekeeping meetings, and similar activities.
- Comb or Cut-comb Honey: Demonstrate expertise in the production of comb or cut-comb honey by winning a first or second place in an authorized honey competition. Authorized competitions include state fairs, competitions at state, regional, or national beekeeping meetings, and similar activities.
- Crystallized (Spun or Creamed) Honey: Demonstrate expertise in the production of crystallized honey by winning a first or second place in an authorized honey competition. Authorized competitions include state fairs, competitions at state, regional, or national beekeeping meetings, and similar activities.NOTE: You may include only two subspecialties from item 1-3 on this list when submitting documentation for satisfaction of the Master practical test.
- Beeswax: Demonstrate expertise in the production of beeswax by winning a first or second place in an authorized beeswax competition. Your beeswax entry may include either processed beeswax or beeswax figures/candles. Authorized competitions include state fairs, competitions at state, regional, or national beekeeping meetings, and similar activities.
- Published Article in a Beekeeping Publication: Prepare an article on beekeeping or related subject and have it published in a beekeeping publication such as “American Bee Journal”, “Bee Culture”, “Speedy Bee”, Bee World”, or a similar journal. Articles in beekeeping newsletters will not be credited towards this subspecialty.
- Published Article in a non-beekeeping publication: Prepare an article on beekeeping or a related subject and have it published in a non-beekeeping publication. Acceptable publication sources are those with at least a state-wide distribution, but you may submit publications with a limited distribution for consideration by the Review and Equivalency Board.
- Recognition as a Local Beekeeping Authority: Be recognized as a beekeeping authority in your local area by appearing on a radio or television broadcast. Consideration will also be given to your name appearing in a newspaper article if you are quoted or referenced as a major contributor to the article.
- Certification to administer life saving treatment for allergic reactions to insect stings: Submit documentation that you have undergone training for life saving treatment of persons suffering from allergic reactions to insect stings, and that you have been certified to administer such treatments. Suitable documentation would include such things as a certificate from your state Department of Health, that you may administer epinephrine to persons suffering from allergic reactions.
- Attendance at Major Beekeeping Meetings/Conventions: Attend at least three regional (multi-state), national, or international beekeeping meetings or conventions. The minimum total of three meetings may not include more than two meetings of the same organization.
- Conducting a program at a state-wide or major beekeeping meeting: Conduct/present a program, workshop, or similar activity at a state, regional, national, or international beekeeping meeting or convention.
- Basic Queen Rearing: Be certified by a commercial queen breeder that you are competent in the basic skills of small scale queen rearing, which should include the ability to graft larvae into queen cups.
- Advanced Queen Rearing: Successfully complete a course on the uses of artificial insemination in queen rearing.
- Pesticide Usage Expertise: Present proof that you have been certified by an appropriate authority, such as a state Department of Agriculture or the Agriculture Extension Service, that you are qualified to use restricted use pesticides.
- Establishment of a Beekeeping Enterprise: Submit documentation that you have successfully established a beekeeping enterprise which is legally licensed to do business in your locality. Beekeeping enterprises may include wholesale or retail sales of bee products, sales of bees or queen bees, rental of bees for pollination services or similar activities. Any business enterprise submitted for approval must meet local/state licensing requirements and also be reflected on your tax returns.
- Collaborate in a University Research or Extension Project: Participate in a beekeeping research or extension project at an approved institution. The participation must reflect a significant commitment of time/effort by the individual and does not include such things as merely responding to requests for information by completing a questionnaire.
- Completion of a Training Session in some Specialized Area of Beekeeping: Satisfactorily complete an approved training session relating to some special skill or technical expertise in beekeeping. Such training sessions must be in some depth, and will not normally include such things as the general workshops conducted at state or national beekeeping conventions.
- Serve as an Officer of a Major Beekeeping Organization: Serve for two or more years as an officer of a regional, national, or international beekeeping organization. The two years service need not be consecutive, or in the same organization.
- Expertise in a Subspecialty Not Listed: If you have expertise in an area not specifically listed, such as pollination, beekeeping equipment construction, knowledge of bee related plants ((floral sources), then you may submit documentation of that skill as a portion of your requirements for this practical test. This is the only subspecialty number where you may have multiple submissions.
Units of Public Service Credits
The following is a list of types of public service credits that may be credited towards the requirements of the Master Level of the Master Beekeeper program.
- Programs on beekeeping and related topics to non-beekeeping groups
- Programs on beekeeping and related topics to school groups
- Presentations of Clemson or Clemson approved programs to beekeeping groups
- Publication of beekeeping and related topic articles in journals, newsletters, etc.
- Serving as an officer/director of a county/local beekeeping organization
- Construction of an exhibit or working at a beekeeping exhibit open to the public
- Assisting 4-H members and other youths with beekeeping projects
- Serving as an officer/director/regional representative of a state beekeeping organization.
- Programs/lectures/demonstrations on specific beekeeping topics to beekeeping groups.
- Judging honey and/or beekeeping products at fairs or other competitions
- Conducting general courses for advanced beekeepers (not beginning beekeepers)
- One-to-one instruction to beginning beekeepers.
Master Craftsman Level
This is the fourth and highest level of the Master Beekeeper program. At this level, the beekeeper should have general knowledge of all relevant areas of beekeeping as well as being a specialist on several selected topics. The apicultural qualifications, at this level, are comparable to those found in a graduate level program in apiculture at a major U.S. university. Only a few individuals are expected to reach this level.
The beekeeper must:
- Pass an oral test
- Demonstrate practical experience in a minimum of 7 required areas (practical test)
- Must have at least 2 years experience at the Master Beekeeper level
- Must complete 15 units of public service work in beekeeping. Public Service Credit Form
- Present a program at a South Carolina State Beekeepers Association annual conference
- Demonstrate communication skills
- Participate in a university sponsored research project
Details of Requirements
ORAL TEST: The candidate will be tested by a group of three individuals, including the Extension Apiculturist. The candidate will be tested on one specific area of his/her choice (i.e. bee diseases, Africanized honey bees, etc.) as well as on general knowledge of those areas relating to honey bees and beekeeping.
PUBLIC SERVICE: The candidate will be expected to complete a minimum of 15 units of public service work in beekeeping. These public service units must be earned after becoming a Master Beekeeper.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE: The candidate must have at least 2 years experience as a Master Beekeeper.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS: The candidate must present a program at one of the annual state beekeeper conferences. This program may be in the form of a general presentation, a workshop, or similar activity.
The candidate must complete two of the following activities:
- Prepare and have published an article in one of the beekeeping journals.
- Prepare and have published an article on bees and/or beekeeping in a non-beekeeping publication.
- Be interviewed on a radio or TV program regarding honey bees and/or beekeeping.
- Be interviewed for a newspaper article regarding honey bees and/or beekeeping.
Master Craftsman Level Requirements
The candidate must complete a minimum of seven of the following specialty areas. All candidates must complete items 1-4 , and at least 3 additional items from 5-10 of the list below.
- Ability to diagnose and treat various bee diseases.
- Ability to diagnose and treat various bee pests, especially tracheal and Varroa mites.
- Be trained in the emergency treatment of allergic reactions to insect stings.
- Competency in organizing and conducting a training program for beekeepers.
- Competency in queen rearing
- Competency in the use of honey bees for crop pollination.
- Competency in producing and packaging honey for sale to the public.
- Competency in removing bees from a structure.
- A general knowledge of Africanized honey bees and their impact on the US.
- Competency in another area as approved by the Review and Equivalency board of the Master Beekeeper program.
University sponsored research project:
Be an active participant in a Clemson, or other approved university, sponsored project involving honey bees and/or beekeeping.