Skip to content

Past Questions

IBA BOARD OF EDUCATION PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION QUESTIONS COMPILED BY
BREANDÁN Ó COCHLÁIN PhD, DIC, DSc, Nat Dip Sc (APIC) Professor Emeritus, (Physical Chemistry)

A typical exam of this nature will utilise 20 questions from these listed below.   
These questions have appeared on examinations set by the compiler above previously.  
The questions posed are from a typical beginner’s course syllabus.

Click here to download the 2018 Preliminary Exam Paper:
IBA Preliminary Exam 2018

Future examinations may utilise a combination of these in previous use and 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 20 questions.
  2. Allow yourself 30 minutes to complete the 20 questions.
  3. You can usually find the answers to most questions by using the web search engines, if you are in doubt.

All questions carry equal marks.  
To pass you must achieve 70% plus. (14 correct answers or better)

  1. During an inspection how would a beekeeper know that a queen was present in the hive and OK
  2. Where do bees get propolis from?
  3. Name the types of cells that may be found on a frame of brood?
  4. The body of the bee is composed of 3 main parts. Name them.
  5. Name 2 types of hive in general use in Ireland
  6. What is the name of the hive part where the queen lives?
  7. Varroa mites prefer worker brood over drone brood; true or false?
  8. What is cut comb honey?
  9. How would you know a queen bee from a worker bee?
  10. Where on a bee’s body are the wax glands located?
  11. Name 2 important things to have with you when you inspect a hive?
  12. Name the 2 most important brood diseases?
  13. Does the queen have a sting?
  14. How do bees use propolis?
  15. In beekeeping, what is foundation?
  16. Which does more harm to bees, cold or dampness?
  17. How does capped worker brood differ from capped drone brood?
  18.  Honey can granulate sometimes. Explain briefly what is meant by granulation.
  19. What information does the “waggle dance” convey to foraging bees in a hive?
  20. Where do bees get propolis from?
  21. What is a queen excluder used for?
  22. Name 3 substances that bees collect?.
  23. Where on the worker bee are pollen baskets located?
  24. What is a hive tool?
  25. Name 3 important sources of nectar in Ireland.
  26. Why is it a good idea to mark your queens?
  27. Why does a beekeeper use a smoker or fine water spray when working with his/her bees?
  28. Name 2 different hive parts.
  29. If you observed soiling at the hive entrance, what disease would you suspect?
  30. On which pair of legs do bees carry pollen to the hive?
  31. Where would you send samples of bees or brood if you suspected disease?
  32. What is the second or subsequent swarm from a colony called?
  33. Name 2 common adult bee diseases?
  34. Name the 3 castes in a honeybee colony?
  35. What word do beekeepers use to describe an unmated queen?
  36. What disease would you suspect if bees are crawling in front of the hive?
  37. What food provides the bees with minerals?
  38. Name 2 crops to which bees are taken for pollination
  39. List 3 parts of a hive.
  40. If you suspected a hive was queenless, what test would you do to verify this?
  41. How many days from the laying of a honeybee worker egg to the emergence of the adult worker bee?
  42. Name 2 types of feeder used by beekeepers
  43. Name a brood disease that must be reported to the Dept. of Agriculture.
  44. What is a Porter Bee Escape?
  45. What do bees remove from nectar when making honey?
  46. How many days from the laying of a honeybee worker egg to hatching into a larva?
  47. ​When adult bee disease is suspected, approximately how many bees are required to be sent for diagnosis?
  48. How is heather honey removed from its comb?
  49. Red Clover is not foraged by honeybees, why not?  
  50. How many visible segments are there in the abdomen of the honeybee?
  51. How many days from the laying of a honeybee worker egg to the capping of the cell?
  52. Name 2 features that identify a drone from a worker bee.
  53. Honeybees spend their first 3 weeks on hive duties; how long after that do they spend foraging before death?
  54. We breathe using our lungs; how do bees breathe?
  55. What pest do we prevent when we reduce the hive entrance dimensions?
  56. How do bees benefit farmers and market gardeners?
  57. At what time of day should a hive be moved to a new site?
  58. Normally how many days from the laying of a honeybee egg in a queen cell to the emergence of the queen?
  59. What problem can be caused by feeding syrup to bees early in the day?
  60. Apart from producing honey what is the bee’s most important function in the natural world?
  61. We sense sound vibrations using our ears; name one organ which bees use to detect sound.
  62. Name 2 licensed treatments for Varroa permitted in Ireland.
  63. How many days from the laying of a honeybee queen egg to the capping of the cell?
  64. What feature is usually present in a hive before a swarm will depart?
  65. What pest can destroy stored comb?
  66. Why does a beekeeper use a smoker?
  67. A colony has patchy brood with sunken cell cappings. The sunken cell contents are ropey if drawn by a toothpick, what disease is indicated?
  68. What is the size of bee space?—- mm or—- in.
  69. Cut comb honey requires different foundation to jar honey. What is the principle difference?
  70. What do you do to frames of honey before you place them in an extractor?
  71. Where do bees get wax to make comb?
  72. Of the 3 castes of bee, which one has no sting?
  73. What danger is associated with 2nd hand comb?
  74. What causes honey to ferment?
  75. Name one method of swarm control.
  76. What is the food fed to queen cells called?
  77. A beginner wishes to by a nucleus colony. Name 3 properties of a colony that should be present?