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Preliminary Certificate

Entry Level Beekeeping Certificate Instructions

As a result of the Covid pandemic we have been unable to offer exams in the traditional way.
We are aware that this must have been very frustrating for all our associations and their beginners.

You will be pleased to hear that the Education Subcommittee has been working away to create an exam procedure which will allow your beginners to be assessed and obtain a certificate of completion to mark all their hard work.
To this end we have created the Entry Level Beekeeping Certificate.

This certificate consists of two parts.

  1. Part 1. Theory
  2. Part 2. Practical

Part 1. Theory
This is a written exam marked out of 100.
The pass mark is 70%.

There is no time frame for completion so the candidates can take as long as they like to complete it.
It’s an open book exam and we are hoping that it will act as a means of education as well as a tool to assess understanding of the subject matter.

The candidate can look up the answers, discuss with their mentors, and attempt the exam as many times as they need to get the required mark.
After each attempt they will get feedback on what they got wrong, and what the education committee felt the correct answer should be.

Options for completion:

  1. Ideally this should be done online to get the full experience of all the incorporated educational material, but we are cognizant of the fact that not everyone has access to a computer.
  2. If the associations don’t have access to a printer let Caroline know by email, and we will post printed questionnaires to the candidates.
  3. Candidates with disabilities will be facilitated as best we can.

On completion of part one, theory the candidate will receive a certificate of completion of Entry Level Beekeeping Certificate: – Part 1. Theory
They can stop there or they can proceed to part 2.

Part 2. Practical

On completion of part 1 the candidate will be issued with a skills logbook containing a set of tasks.
They will have to complete these tasks to a satisfactory standard. 

Again there is no time frame for completion and the candidates can take as long as they need to complete this part of the assessment.

With Covid restrictions in mind we are obviously not able to send examiners out to associations to assess large groups of beginners so we have a number of alternative options.

Options for completion

  1. Ideally this will be done with the help of the associations.  We are hoping that the associations will choose a number of individuals within their associations with sufficient practical experience to assess the beginners. They can then act as a mentor and sign off the tasks as the candidates complete them. They will be basic beekeeping tasks like assemble a frame, show correct use of hive tool and smoker etc. Obviously all of this needs to take place with necessary safety precautions and following HSE Covid guidelines.
  2. If associations are unable to facilitate this safely those candidates who have access to hives can video themselves performing those tasks and upload that video as an unlisted YouTube video. Our IT guru Stephen Gallagher will assist anyone who has difficulty with this task. Contact him by email.

On completion of Part 2, the candidates will receive a certificate of completion of Entry Level Beekeeping Certificate: – Part 2. Practical and their Preliminary beekeeping certificate.


Paid online via Paypal or via the association secretaries if candidates do not have access to the internet and will be completing their exams manually.

Payment can be made by cheque. please make it payable to;
Irish Beekeepers’ Association CLG,and send it to
Denis O’Sullivan, Barleymount East, Killarney, Co. Kerry. V93 AFH7

Any candidates with disabilities please let our education officer know and we will do our best to accommodate you.