A new resource was birthed this spring with the first graduating class of apprentice Master Beekeepers. In March the Texas Master Beekeeper program graduated its first class of 68 volunteers specializing in bee culture and protection.
Like its cousins, the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs, the Master Beekeeper program is intended to nurture trained volunteers to assist with public service and educational programs. But the Master Beekeepers will work on projects primarily related to honey bees.
With this first class Texas joins Florida, Georgia, Oregon and other Master Beekeeping programs. It is a minimum five-year training and certification program for people who already have experience as beekeepers. Entry into the program comes from meeting the apprentice requirements and passing the apprentice examinations on exam day. Additional levels beyond Apprentice are Advanced, Master, and Master Craftsman.
With 68 new apprentices and over 200 names on a waiting list for training and certification,Texas Apiary Inspection Service Chief Apiary Inspector Mark Dykes, feels like the program is off to a great start. To learn more about the program, visit the website at http://masterbeekeeper.tamu.edu.