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Senior Husbandry Past Papers

SENIOR EXAMINATIONS  PREPARED BY;  DR BREANDÁN  Ó COCHLÁIN NATDIPSC(APIC), D.SC

There are three parts to the Senior Examination cycle.   
  1. Written paper on Beekeeping Husbandry (Practical)
  2. Written paper on Theory of apiculture (Scientific)
  3. Practical beekeeping at the candidate’s apiary.

A typical written paper consists of 6 questions.  

Question 1 on the paper is mandatory and any four of the remaining five questions on the paper must be answered.  The questions in blue text below represent the mandatory ones used.

The time allotted is 3 hours.
To prepare a sample paper choose one question from those in blue text and any five of the others.  

You will be asked to draw labelled diagrams and sketches where appropriate.
Careless handwriting and not keeping strictly to the point of the question will lead to loss of marks.

Senior Examination Questions Part 1, Husbandry (Practical Papers)

1. (a)    Describe carefully how nosema and varroa may be detected and controlled;
[10 marks]
    (b)    describe the potential effects of carelessness with regard to the above two items on beekeeping in Ireland.
[10 marks]
 
2.        You have been asked to prepare a 45 minute lecture to a mixed audience of mainly beginners but also with some advanced beekeepers on the subject “The Honeybee and Mankind”; make out your lecture headings, indicating the material of the talk and which items you would illustrate using visual aids etc.
[ 20 marks]
 
3.        Describe carefully a complete queen-rearing system for a beekeeper with 15 hives.  Make a critical assessment of its advantages and disadvantages.
[20 marks]
 
4.        Write a critical account of the following:
    (a)    spreading of brood;
    (b)    feeding supplementary pollen and substitutes;
    (c)    supersedure;
    (d)    cutting out of queen cells.
    [5 marks each]
5.        Write notes on five of the following:
        honeydew, mating of the honeybee, Nasonov pheromone, refractometry, the sting, uniting late swarms, grafting.
[4 marks each]
 
6.    (a)    Describe the preparation of run and creamed honey for the show bench.
[10 marks]
    (b)    Describe the various types of feeders (include diagrams), indicating their good and bad points (if any).
[10 marks]
 
7. (a)    Give a detailed account of the signs and symptoms of American Foulbrood and European Foulbrood and their development within the colony.
[10 marks]
    (b)    Give a detailed account of the statutory requirements relating to diseases in this country.
[10 marks]
 
8.     (a)    Describe the main constituents and the physical properties of beeswax.
[ 10 marks]
   (b)  Starting out with wet cappings from extracted honey, describe how a cake of beeswax is prepared for the show bench.
[ 10 marks]

 9.
Describe in detail:
    (a)    how to handle a very bad tempered colony
    (b)    how to requeen it with a queen of gentler temperament; include in your description a case where the original queen, though present, cannot be found
    (c)    how the difficulties of requeening change at different times of the season.
[ 20 marks]

10.        Bro Adam wrote “When all is said and done success in beekeeping is, in its final analysis, determined by our ability to ensure that every colony is at all times in the best condition to make the most of a honey flow when one comes along”
        List and give a careful description of  the factors which should be considered when assessing the quality of a colony for  honey production.
    [20 marks]
 
11.        Write notes on five of the following:
        The Demaree system,  open mesh floors (OMF), instrumental insemination and honeybee breeding, supersedure, mating nuclei, factors affecting nectar secretion, wax moths.
[4 marks each]
 
12.        Give a detailed account of the extraction of honey, including heather honey from combs and the various types of extractor used.
[20 marks]
 
13.         Describe carefully a complete queen-rearing system, including mating, suitable for a beekeeper with 20 hives.  Make a critical assessment of its advantages and disadvantages.
[20 marks]
 
14.         Write a critical account of the following:
    (a)    spreading of brood;
    (b)    feeding supplementary pollen and substitutes;
    (c)    using “brood and a half” to accommodate a prolific strain;
    (d)    cutting out of queen cells.
    [5 marks each]
 
15.        Describe the Demaree system, with reference to swarm control, splitting and requeening of colonies.                                                                                 [12 marks]                                                                                                                        A supered colony containing an unmarked queen has swarm cells; what action would you take?                                                                                                            [8 marks]
 
16.        Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        solitary bees, observation hives, instrumental insemination and honeybee breeding, comb honey, mating nuclei, pheromones and mating, wax moths.
[4 marks each]
 
 
17.    (a)    Describe the preparation of run honey for the show bench.
[10 marks]
      (b)    Starting with wet cappings, describe the preparation of beeswax  for the show bench.
[10 marks]
 
 
18. (a)    List  the brood diseases of the honeybee, name the causative organism involved in each case, and give an account of the visual signs and treatment of two of these diseases.
[15 marks]
        (b)    Describe the legislation that applies to these diseases.                                              [5 marks]

 
19.     Write a careful account of the following:
    (a)    the relationship between the crystallisation of honey and its composition;
    (b)    the fermentation of honey (not mead) with relation to water content, crystallisation and temperature;
    (c)    the straining and settling of honey after extraction;
    (d)    an analysis of a typical sample of honey and possible variation in the main constituents.
                                                                                                                                        [5 marks each]

 
20. (a) Write an account of the various methods of honeybee communication.               [10 marks]  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
   (b) Imagine that one of your hives swarms and you catch the swarm; if honey production is paramount, describe two alternative manipulations that you could make.                  [10 marks]  
                                                                                                        
 
21.      Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        Demaree system, Taranov artificial swarm, drone congregation area, refractometry, other hive products besides honey, sisters and half sisters in the honeybee colony.
[five @ 4 marks each]

 
22.    (a)    Give a historical account of beekeeping in Ireland since 1880.                              [10 marks]
    (b)    Write a brief appreciation of three eminent beekeepers (not necessarily Irish) of that period.
      [10 marks]
 
23.         Describe the positive steps a beekeeper can take to promote colony health; include in your account, migratory beekeeping, swarm control, mating nuclei and  other headings you think are important.
[ 20 marks]
  
24. (a)     Write an account of instrumental insemination of the honeybee and its use in bee breeding.
[10 marks]

   (b)    Write an account of assessment using brood pattern, of the quality and future potential of a colony of honeybees.
[10 marks]

25.     (a)    Describe critically a system whereby honey can be obtained and queens reared using the same hive.
[10 marks]
    (b)    Write a critical account of the following two items:
         (i) cell cutting and swarm control;
        (ii) the average yearly colony population cycle.                   [5 marks each]    
 
26. (a)    Describe fully the setting up, stocking and management throughout the season of an observation hive.                                                                                                   [10 marks]
     (b)    Describe, including the advantages and disadvantages, the methods of marking and clipping queen honeybees.                                                                                                  [10 marks]
 
27.      Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        spreading the brood, Galleria mellonella, crystallised honey, creamed honey, bee paralysis, mini nucs, recognition of half sisters by sisters in the honeybee colony.
[five @ 4 marks each]
 
28.    (a)    Describe the preparation of a beeswax exhibit for the show bench.
[10 marks]
     (b)    Describe your method of preparing run honey, from the time the supers are taken to the honey-house until the honey is in the jar.
[10 marks]
 
29.        Describe how a beekeeper with 10 overwintered stocks may build up his colonies to 25, by the end of the season, with minimal loss of crop.  Each colony should have a young queen derived from the beekeeper’s best stocks.                                                [20 marks] 
30. (a)     Sketch the population of brood and bees for a typical colony throughout the year.  Explain the diagram and show in detail how it affects management throughout the year.    [10 marks]

   (b)    On the above diagram, sketch the varroa population throughout the year.  Discuss how the graph influences the treatment of varroa.                                                       [10 marks]
 
31.     (a)    Describe critically a system whereby queens can be reared and honey can be harvested using the same colony.                                                                                                  [10 marks]

    (b)    Write an account of the following two items:
        the features that assist in the identification of pollen grains;        
        the significance of the presence or absence of pollen grains in honey.              [5 marks each]
 
32.         Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the following swarm control methods:
(a) artificial swarm (b) destruction of queen cells (c) Snelgrove system (d) Demaree system.
                                                                                              [20 marks]
 
33.      Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        torn down queen cells; making increase; mating nuclei; assessing queens; robbing, storing honey; division of labour in the bee colony.                                                 [five @ 4 marks]
 
34.(a)  Describe how you would make up a nucleus in August to overwinter a rather old queen required for breeding in the following year.                                                  [10 marks]
       (b)    How would you ensure the survival of the nucleus so that the queen would be available the following May?                                                                                              [10 marks]
 
35. (a)    Give a detailed account of the signs and symptoms of American Foul Brood and European Foulbrood and their development within the colony.
[10 marks]
    (b)    Give a detailed account of the statutory requirements relating to diseases in this country.
[10 marks]
 
36.     (a)    Describe the main constituents and the physical properties of beeswax.
[ 10 marks]
   (b)  Starting out with wet cappings from extracted honey, describe how a cake of beeswax is prepared for the show bench.
[ 10 marks]

 
37.      Describe in detail:
       (a)    how to handle a very bad tempered colony
       (b)    how to requeen it with a queen of gentler temperament; include in your description a case where the original queen, though present, cannot be found
       (c)    how the difficulties of requeening change at different times of the season.
[ 20 marks]
 
38.        Bro Adam wrote “When all is said and done success in beekeeping is, in its final analysis, determined by our ability to ensure that every colony is at all times in the best condition to make the most of a honey flow when one comes along”
        Discuss this statement and in particular its relevance to beekeeping in this country.
    [20 marks]
 
39.        Write notes on five of the following:
        The Demaree system,  nosema ceranea, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), supersedure, mating nuclei, factors affecting nectar secretion, the small hive beetle.
[4 marks each]
 
40.        Give a detailed account of the extraction of honey, including heather honey from combs and the various types of extractor used.
[20 marks]
 
41.     Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) received considerable attention in the beekeeping press.  
Write an account of this phenomenon and give your opinion on whether or not it is a problem in Ireland.
[20 marks]
 
42.     Describe in detail the method of swarm control and prevention that you would recommend to a beekeeper keeping four colonies of honeybees in an urban or suburban environment.  Give fully your reasons for recommending the method you describe.
[20 marks]
 
43.        Describe carefully a complete queen-rearing system for a beekeeper with 15 hives.    
In your account make a critical assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the method, describe any problems you have encountered and how to solve them.
[20 marks]
 
44.        Write a detailed account of the following:
    (a)    spreading of brood;
    (b)    the methods of clearing bees from supers;
    (c)    methods of treating Varroa;
    (d)    honeydew.
    [5 marks each]
 
45.        Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        stock-splitting, laying workers, insemination of the honeybee, queen mating, refractometry, sterilisation of combs, grafting of honeybee larvae.
[4 marks each]
 
46.     (a)  Describe fully,  the setting up, stocking and management throughout the season of an observation hive.
[10 marks]
        (b)  Describe, including the advantages and disadvantages, the methods of marking and clipping queen honeybees.
[10 marks]
 
47.     Imagine that you have decided to go into nuc production to remedy the urgent need  for supply of bees to beginners. Describe the system and methods you would use which in turn could be recommended on a national scale to ensure customer satisfaction.  
                                                                                                                            [20 marks]
 
 
 
48.     (a)     Write an account of instrumental insemination of the honeybee and its use in bee breeding.
                                                                                                                                                     [10 marks]

   (b)    Write an account of assessment using brood pattern, of the quality and future potential of a colony of honeybees.                                                                                             [10 marks]                                                                                                                                
 
49.  (a)  Describe critically your method of queen rearing and queen mating, including any modifications/improvements that you have made from experience gained.         [10 marks]

     (b)  Describe critically your method of swarm control, including any changes/improvements that you have made from experience gained.                                                        [10 marks]
 
50.    Bro Adam wrote “When all is said and done success in beekeeping is, in its final analysis,
       determined by our ability to ensure that every colony is at all times in the best condition to
       make the most of a honey flow when one comes along”.

            Describe what you in your beekeeping do and the advantages/difficulties of using the Native
Bee while working in a more precarious climate, to comply with this statement.
                                         [20 marks]
 
51.  Write notes on five of the following seven items.
Other hive products besides honey, creamed honey, bee paralysis, refractometry, why we should not import bees, requeening a vicious hive where the queen cannot be found, nectar guides.
                                                                                                                             [4 marks each]
 
52.     (a)    Write a detailed account of honeydew and honeydew honey and compare its characteristics with floral honey.                                                                                                   [10 marks]

     (b)    Describe how you would deal with a crop of ivy honey.                                         [10 marks]