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Int. Husbandry Past Papers


Info about the Intermediate exams and sample questions.


Download the 2018 Intermediate Husbandry Past Papers here: Intermediate Husbandry Examination 2018

The Intermediate set of exams is in 3 parts.  

1. A practical exam at an apiary
2. Two written examination papers

Paper 1: Husbandry Practice (aka Practical)              
Paper 2:
Theory ( aka Scientific)
The duration of both written examination papers is set at 3 hours.  

Paper 1 (Husbandry practice) will take place in 2018.
A typical examination paper at this level will utilise 6 questions from these listed below.

On the examination paper itself, Question 1 is mandatory and any 4 of the remaining  5 must be attempted.

Draw diagrams and sketches where appropriate.
Write clearly and adhere strictly to the subject matter of the questions (read & re-read the question).
It is a good idea to help the Examiner who will be marking  your paper by using separate paragraphs for each separate point in your answer.
If you answer the extra question you will be marked using the best 4 answers plus the marks awarded for question 1. (exam tip; attempting the 6th question reduces the time budget per question from 36 minutes per question to 30 minutes).  Each question is worth 20 marks.

These questions have appeared on examinations set by the compiler above previously.  
The material in the questions is from a typical intermediate syllabus. (ref. Background to Beekeeping, Vol. 1 Allan C. Waine ISBN 0 905652-33-9 and Vol 2 ref. ISBN 0 905652-34-7).

Future examinations may utilise a combination of these questions in previous use along with some new questions devised for new developments or practices in beekeeping.  If preparing for this examination, and you wish to test yourself, do the following:

  1. Select a set of 5 questions.
  2. As at the examination itself allow yourself a maximum of 180 minutes to complete the 5 questions and don’t forget to leave some time over so that you can read back over your answers before handing up your script. (exam tip; allow a maximum of 34 minutes per question, with 10 minutes reserved for a read over)
  3. Use the reference material (see above) to check your answers.  If in doubt, ask a suitably qualified beekeeper for assistance.

To pass you must achieve 70% plus. (70 marks or better)


Q1. Write notes on any 4 of the following 6 topics
Water in the honeybee colony
Chalk Brood
Hypersensitivity to bee stings
What can be learned by observing the hive before opening it.

5 marks per topic

Q2. Select 5 of the following 7 topics and explain the key points of importance.
Laying Workers
Importance of Pollen
Clipped Queens
“Bayvarol” resistant mites
Brood Food
An Apiary Site

4 marks per topic

Q3 .Explain

  1. 4 theories for why honeybees swarm.
  2. What is your system of swarm control?

10 marks each

Q4. 1. Describe the production of a 5 frame Nucleus of honeybees
        2. Describe how to introduce a laying queen to a cross stock of bees
10 marks each

Q5. 1.  How should heather honey be extracted and readied for sale
        2. Detail the labelling requirements for all types of honey.
10 marks each

Q6. Granulation
Why does honey granulate?  
Explain creamed honey and how to produce this effect?
Why does some honey granulate faster than others?
What precautions are needed to return granulated honey to run honey?

5 marks each

Q7. 1 Describe the Pagden Method of swarm control
        2. Robbing, how can it be detected, controlled and prevented?
10 marks each

Q8. Explain fully any 5 of the following 7 topics
Laying workers
Test Frames
Mini Nucs
Wax recovery from cappings
Establishing an apiary
4 marks per topic

Q9.  1 Describe the indicators of a colony being queenless and how the presence of a queen can be confirmed
         2. Describe how a purchased queen can be introduced to take over a full-sized colony
10 marks each

Q10. For swarm control, describe a method which is simple, reliable and impacts least on the honey crop.
20 marks

Q11. Write notes on the following 5 topics
Acetic acid
Bee Escapes
Laying workers
Comb storage
4 marks per topic

Q12.  1. At your 1st Spring inspection, what should you look out for?
           2. What action would you take if you observed raised worker cappings?
10 marks

Q13.  List the priorities for over-wintering bees. What are the main challenges?
20 marks

Q14.  1. Explain integrated pest management vis a vis varroa in bees
           2. Explain how to prevent the spread of brood disease
10 marks

Q15. 1. List the indicators for Nosema Apis, its symptoms and how it is diagnosed
           2. Describe in detail a Bailey Frame Change
10 marks each

Q16. 1 Describe section honey production, section removal and preparation for sale
          2. What are the main differences between A.F.B. and E.F.B.?
10 marks each

Q17.  1.Describe the removal of honey from the apiary in Autumn 
         2. Describe the measures to be taken afterwards for winter preparation
10 marks each

Q18.  1.Describe the management practices of colonies from early Spring to mid-May in your area   
          2. Describe the techniques and principles used in uniting colonies
10 marks each

Q19 1. How would you take full advantage of an oilseed rape crop?
         2. List and describe the different types of feeder
10 marks each

Q20.1. What measures are needed when moving bees to a fresh nectar source?
        2. Describe in detail the extraction and bottling of honey from common heather
10 marks each

Q21. Describe 5 of the following 7 items in detail
Bee Space
Moving colonies
Queen marking
Storing supers of drawn comb
Oilseed Rape
Resistant Varroa mites
4 marks per topic

Q22. State how you manage your bees to effectively reduce varroa infestation
20 marks

Q23   1. Describe in detail your method of swarm control, its advantages and its disadvantage.
          2. List the various theories used to explain why colonies prepare to swarm.
10 marks each

Q24. 1.Describe the methods of taking and hiving a swarm       
​         2. Describe the management steps needed to turn a swarm into a productive colony
10 marks each

Discuss A.F.B. under the following aspects;

  1. Causative agent
  2. Method of spread of the disease
  3. Signs of A.F.B. in the hive
  4. Steps to be taken from hive to laboratory to confirm a diagnosis of AFB
  5. What are the legal implications of a confirmed diagnosis/outbreak
  6. What steps must the beekeeper take to minimise the spread of AFB

20 marks

Q26. 1.List the treatment regimes for controlling varroa mites for any 2 of the following medicines; Apiguard, Api-Bioxal (oxalic acid), Bayvarol or Apistan.
          2. Define the term “resistant mites” and describe what actions can be taken once they have been confirmed in an apiary.
10 marks each

Q27.  1. What considerations are important when setting up a suburban apiary?
           2. What possible effects do stings have on beekeepers and what treatments are recommended?
10 marks each

Q28. With respect to both robbing and acarine, describe the signs, causes, methods of detection and subsequent apiary management.
20 marks

Q29. List the more important causes of swarming and then describe what steps you take to control them in your own apiary.
20 marks

Q30. Imagine that you keep some hives in your back garden.  Describe the items of information about a colony that can be deduced by careful observation from outside the hive.
    Describe how you would verify your deductions when you open the hive in the course of a normal examination.    
20 marks

Q31. Imagine that you keep 8 hives in one apiary and you wish to make some money from your bees in a reasonable year; describe a management system under the four headings: spring, summer, autumn and profit.    
4 marks per heading

Q32.  Write notes on five of the following seven items:
how to recover wax from cappings for reuse;
apiary hygiene;
how to make up a nucleus;
uniting bees;
stock improvement.

 4 marks
per topic

Q33.  1.On opening a hive, there are six important questions that the beekeeper should be able to provide the answers to – list them and under these six headings, describe the solutions to potential problems.
          2.Describe how you would assess the quality of the queen in a hive.
2.5 marks per heading
5 marks

Q34. On opening a crowded colony in mid-June, at the start of the honey flow, you find a dozen or so unsealed queen cells.
(1)    What steps would you take to maximise honey production from this colony?
(2)    What might happen to the colony if you did nothing?  
10 marks each

Q35. You have decided to requeen a full-sized queenright colony.  Describe in detail:

  1. a method of achieving this.
  2. the factors which make all queen introductions hazardous.                                                                                  

10 marks each

Q36. 1. A novice beekeeper has a vicious stock of bees and asks for practical help how would you help to correct matters?
          2. Describe a method of swarm control suitable for the above novice who cannot find the queen.
10 marks each

Q37.  1. Describe in detail the methods of clearing bees from  supers.
           2. Describe in detail the methods of preparing bees for winter.
10 marks each

Q38. Write notes on five of the following six items:
fermentation in honey;  
laying workers;
how to make up a nucleus;
uniting bees;
collection and use of water by the colony;
moving colonies of bees
4 marks per topic

In Hooper’s Guide to Bees and Honey,  there are six questions you should be able to answer each time you examine a colony on routine inspection.   List what you consider the six most important items that should be checked out and under each of these headings describe the ideal situation.
20 marks

Q40. Assume that one of your hives has swarmed a fortnight ago and you suspect that it is  queenless.

  1. Explain how this could be so.  
  2. Describe what action you would take to rectify matters.

10 marks each