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Senior Scientific 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.

    Download PDF: Senior Scientific 2018 Exam

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 2, Theory (Scientific Papers)


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.


1.        With respect to both AFB and EFB:
        (a) compare and contrast the causes, and the signs
        (b) indicate if a field diagnosis is possible and describe what further action is necessary.
[20 marks]
 
2.     (a)    Draw longitudinal sections of the worker honeybee with the alimentary canal removed, showing (with labels attached) the remaining important organs.

[10 marks]
    (b)    Using your diagram from (a) describe the complete circulatory system in the honeybee.  Include in your description an account of the function of the blood.
[10 marks]
        
3.    (a)    With the aid of diagrams give a scientific account of the endocrine and exocrine glands of the honeybee.
[10 marks]

  1. Write an account of the correct use of any two chemicals in the apiary.


[10 marks]
 
4.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        Hamuli, lancets, the composition of honey, the waggle or figure-eight dance, varroasis, the nervous system, plant fertilisation.
[4 marks each]

 
5.        Write an account of the chemical world of the honeybee.
[20 marks]
 
6.        Your local Association decides to start microscopy for its more advanced beekeepers.
        Devise a suitable program, indicating the equipment and reading matter required and the types of preparations and experiments to be covered.
[20 marks]

 
7.        With regard to varroa:
        (a)     describe its life cycle, the scientific basis of the current methods of treatment, and the possibility of immunity to treatment
        (b)    describe current research and practice into potential new methods to deal with the problem.
[20 marks]
 
8.     (a)    Draw longitudinal sections of the worker honeybee with the circulatory system removed, showing (with labels attached) the remaining important organs.

[10 marks]
    (b)    Using your diagram from (a) describe the alimentary system in the honeybee.  Include in your description an account of digestion and the excretion of waste matter.
[10 marks]
        
9.        Describe the life histories of the following species found in Ireland and compare them with that of the honeybee: 
a social bee (other than Apis Mellifera)
a social wasp
[20 marks]
 
10.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        tracheal sacs, dorsal and ventral diaphragms, the mandibular glands, ecdysis, honeybee meiosis, the conversion of nectar to honey, plant fertilisation.
[4 marks each]

11.        List the constituents of  honey and describe their nutritional value to the honeybee colony.
[20 marks]
 
12.        Your local Association decides to run a programme on honeybee anatomy  for its members.
        Devise a suitable program, indicating the equipment and reading matter required and the types of preparations, dissections  and experiments to be covered.
[20 marks]


13.        Write a careful account of metamorphosis in both the honeybee and varroa jacobsoni, and the inter-relation between them, starting with day one when the queen lays the egg and finishing with the emergence of the adult honeybee.
[20 marks]
 
14.     (a)    With the aid of a labelled diagram, describe the alimentary system in the honeybee.  Include in your account a description of how waste products of metabolism are removed.
[10 marks]
    (b)    Write a scientific account of the endocrine and exocrine glands of the honeybee.
[10 marks]
        
15.        Write an account of the chemical world of the honeybee.
[20 marks]
 
16.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        hydroxymethylfurfuraldehyde, vision in the honeybee, the role of muscles in honeybee flight, ecdysis, the Cape honeybee, alleles, plant fertilisation.
[4 marks each]
 
17.        Describe the reproductive system of the queen and drone, giving an account of sperm and egg production.
[10 marks]
        Describe the development of the embryo within the honeybee egg and the hatching of the larva.
                                                                                                                                                    [10 marks]
 
18.        Describe the effect of feeding on caste determination in honeybees and discuss the differences between brood food and royal jelly.
[20 marks]
 
19.        With the aid of a diagram, describe the alimentary system of the honeybee, including enzymes, metabolism, and the absorption and assimilation of the products of digestion.
[20 marks]
 
20.     Write a detailed scientific account of honeybee pheromones, their chemical nature and the behavioural or physiological responses they cause.
[20 marks]
    
 
        
21.    (a)    Describe in detail the life history of a bumble bee or a social wasp found in Ireland.
[10 marks]
    (b)    Describe the main similarities and differences between the life cycle of  the honeybee and of the chosen species in part (a).
[10 marks]

 
22.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        Hamuli, lancets, vision in the honeybee, parthenogenesis and honeybee chromosomes, royal jelly, the honeybee nervous system, metamorphosis of the honeybee larva.
[5 @ 4 marks]
 
23.        Describe the reproductive system of the queen and drone, giving an account of sperm and egg production.
[10 marks]
        Describe the development of the embryo within the honeybee egg and the hatching of the larva.
                                                                                                                                                    [10 marks]
 
24.        Write a scientific account of the composition of nectar and its subsequent conversion into honey; describe what the beekeeper must do to ensure that it remains a first-class product.
[20 marks
 
25.        With the aid of diagrams, describe in detail the circulatory system of the honey bee, including the functions of the various organs and the composition and function of haemolymph.
[20 marks]
 
26.         With regard to exocrine glands in the three castes of honeybee, describe their location and the chemical nature and function of their secretions. 
     [20 marks]    
        
27.        Describe and contrast in detail, the development of worker and queen honeybees from the laying of the egg in the cell to the emergence of the fully formed insect.
[20 marks]
 
28.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        mitosis, meiosis, Nasonov pheromone, cuticle of the exoskeleton,  royal jelly, varroasis, hypopharyngeal gland.
[5 @ 4 marks]
 
29.        With regard to the nervous system and sense organs of the honeybee, describe the location and function of the most important organs and major types of sensillae.
[20 marks]

30.   (a) Describe the reproductive system of the queen honeybee and the production of eggs.
[10 marks]

(b) The length of life of a worker honeybee (L) has been described by the equation
where P is the amount of pollen consumed, B is amount of brood reared, G is the CO2  level in the hive and K1 and K2 are constants.    
Comment on the equation.                                       [10 marks]
 
31.    (a)    With the aid of clear diagrams, describe in detail the respiratory system of the honeybee.
                                                                                                                                                      [10 marks]
      (b)    Describe how the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.  Write a chemical equation to show how respiration in winter leads to the generation of a large quantity of water . 
                                               [10 marks]
 
32.         With regard to exocrine glands in the three castes of honeybee, describe their location and the chemical nature and function of their secretions.                                          [20 marks]     
        
33.    (a)    Compare and contrast the life history of a bumble bee colony with that of the honeybee.
                                                                                                                                          [10 marks]
    (b)     Give a detailed account of the life history of a social wasp found in Ireland.             [10 marks]     
 
34.         Write notes on five of the following seven items, using diagrams where helpful:
        juvenile hormone; the cuticle; royal jelly; pheromones; fat bodies; peritrophic membrane; the spermatheca.                                                                                                   [5 @ 4 marks]
 
35.    (a)    Sketch, label and describe the compound eye of the worker honeybee.             [10 marks]
        

  1. Give an explanation of polarised light and show how it is used by the bee in orientation.

                                                                                                                                                  [10 marks]
 
 
 36.   (a) Describe the reproductive system of the queen honeybee and the production of eggs.
                                                                                                                                         [10 marks]
(b) The length of life of a worker honeybee (L) has been described by the equation L=K1P/BG +K2
where P is the amount of pollen consumed, B is amount of brood reared, G is the CO2  level in the hive and K1 and K2 are constants.    
     Give reasons why this equation would be reasonable.                                                   [10 marks]
 
 
37.        With regard to Varroa:
        (a)     describe its life cycle, the scientific basis of the current methods of treatment, and the possibility of immunity to treatment
        (b)    describe honeybee paralysis and its relation to Varroa.
[20 marks]
 
38.     (a)    Draw longitudinal sections of the worker honeybee with the circulatory system removed, showing (with labels attached) the remaining important organs.

[10 marks]
    (b)    Using your diagram from (a) describe the alimentary system in the honeybee.  Include in your description an account of digestion and the excretion of waste matter.
[10 marks]
        
39.        Describe the life histories of the following species found in Ireland and compare them with that of the honeybee: 
a social bee (other than Apis Mellifera)
a social wasp
[20 marks]
 
40.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        tracheal sacs, dorsal and ventral diaphragms, the mandibular glands, ecdysis, honeybee meiosis, the conversion of nectar to honey, plant fertilisation.
[4 marks each]
 
41.        List the constituents of  honey and describe their nutritional value to the honeybee colony.
[20 marks]
 
42.     (a) Write a detailed account of what you consider to be the most important aspects of honeybee genetics.                                                                                                [10 marks]
               (b) Write an account of kin recognition in honeybee colonies.                             [10 marks]
]
43.        Name and give a detailed account of bee viruses.  Describe how they find their way into a beehive, the damage they can cause, how they spread and the consequences for beekeeping.
[20 marks]
 
44.     (a)    “A queen bee is genetically identical to her workers” − discuss this statement.
[10 marks]
    (b)    In humans carbohydrates are vital for energy production and are stored as sugar (glucose) in the blood and as glycogen in the muscles and liver.
Compare the system for honeybees
[10 marks]
        
45. (a)    Name and describe the characteristics of the main races of Apis mellifera.
[10 marks]

  1. What are the significant differences between American Foul Brood and European Foul Brood?

[10 marks]           
 
46.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        Hamuli, lancets, the composition of honey, the waggle or figure-eight dance, thelytoky, the honeybee nervous system, scientific aspects of honeybee flight.
[4 marks each]
 
47.  (a) With the aid of labelled sketches show the position of the exocrine glands of the worker honeybee.        
[10 marks]

  1. Describe the function of the glands in the operation of the honeybee colony.

[10 marks]
 
48. (a)    Distinguish between hormones and pheromones
[10 marks]

      (b)    Give an account of each in respect of the honeybee, describe where and when each is produced and its importance in the life of the individual bee and the colony. 
[10 marks]   
 
 
49.        With the aid of diagrams describe where and how pathogens affect the honeybee thorax and abdomen.
[20 marks]  
50.     (a) What relevant beekeeping information can be obtained from the following 
            equation ?
    ΔH = −2830 kJ mol–1
[10 marks]
    (b)    Explain the factors involved in thermoregulation both at the level of the individual bee and that of the colony as a whole throughout the year.
[10 marks]
        
51. (a)    “Multiple mating preserves the vitality of the honeybee” − Bro. Adam in Breeding the Honeybee.  Discuss this statement.                                                        [10 marks]

  1. Compare and contrast the life history of the honeybee with that of another social bee.

[10 marks]           


52.         Write notes on five of the following seven items:
        hydroxymethylfurfuraldehyde, vision in the honeybee, the role of muscles in honeybee flight, dorsal and ventral diaphragms, the mandibular glands, the waggle or figure-eight dance, the nervous system.                                                                           [4 marks each]


53.  (a) Describe the processes of metamorphosis at the larval and pupal stages and indicate the consequences of anything that can go wrong.        
[10 marks]

  1. Write an account of learning in the honeybee.

[10 marks]


54.     (a)    Describe the role of allelic genes in determining sex in honeybees.
[10 marks]

    (b)    A heterozygous black eyed queen mates with black eyed drones; what can you say about the eye colour of her offspring?                             [10 marks]