We encourage all members who have kept bees for at least a year or two to consider taking their BBKA Basic Assessment. This is a completely practical exercise where the candidate will be assessed by a qualified examiner usually in our Training Apiary and lasts for about an hour.
During this time, you will be asked to go through a normal inspection giving a running commentary to the examiner as if they were someone who had never seen inside a beehive before. They will ask you various questions during the inspection and these will include areas such as identifying disease and swarm management as well as asking you to conduct various practical exercises such as collecting a sample of bees etc. The whole focus of the examiners approach will be to assist you to provide them the correct information they need to help you pass the assessment.
Preparing for the Basic Assessment
We help to prepare candidates for the Basic Assessment each March with three theory sessions followed by a number of practical sessions in the training apiary. There are a number of videos from the BBKA that can help here, but the best thing to do is to go onto the BBKA website and download the syllabus – Don’t be put off, as although the syllabus is wide, the level of knowledge is relatively shallow.
We also ask potential candidates to conduct inspections in front of new beekeepers to give them some experience of “talking” through an inspection and to sharpen up their skills generally. Finally, we will arrange for a “dry run” with Geoff, a qualified Basic Assessor who will point out any areas for improvement.
If you are thinking of taking the Basic Assessment, please use this link to download the application form, fill it in and send it and a cheque for £15 made payable to “BBKA” to one of the training team.