BBKA Certifications

The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) conducts practical and theoretical examinations suitable for new and experienced beekeepers.  Full details can be found from the BBKA website.

HRBKA support and encourage members to participate BBKA Assessments and examinations to improve their knowledge of and confidence in beekeeping.  HRBKA will pay a member’s exam entry fee for the Basic Assessment, and half the fee for each module (there is a good pass rate, but we will only pay/subsidise fees once).  

Currently, specific help and guidance is provided by HRBKA as follows:

Basic Assessment in Beekeeping

Please contact Shirley Bond, who will provide further information about what is involved.  A good time to do this is during the year after completing the Long Course for New Beekeepers.  She will organise a practice practical for you in a small group, and provide a study booklet which contains all the information you should need to answer the theory questions.  This assessment takes a total of about an hour, and involves an assessor watching you open a hive (one brood box, a queen excluder and one super is the usual set-up) and asking sufficient questions to award the certificate.  To enter, you must give a month’s notice; the assessments take place between May and 31 August of any year.


There are 7 modules, each dealing with different aspects of beekeeping.  If you wish to get a certificate, exams for each module are held in March and November.  The exams are written, 1 1/2 hours for each paper.  The BBKA Intermediate Certificate is awarded when four modules are passed and the Advanced Certificate for all seven. That, with the Advanced Bee Husbandry Certificate qualifies you for the title of Master Beekeeper.   

Module 9 (Microscopy) is a stand-alone module and does not count towards these certificates.  If you would like to take the exams, please contact the HRBKA Examinations Officer.

Intermediate Theory Certificate

This certificate is automatically gained after passing Modules 1,2,3 and one other.

Advanced Theory Certificate

This certificate is automatically gained after passing all 7 modules. 

General Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry

You must have passed the Basic Assessment and have kept at least 3 colonies for 3 years.  This is a practical assessment, taking about half a day at your own apiary, at a time to be agreed with the assessor.  You DO NOT NEED to have passed any of the theory modules. Look at the BBKA website for more information, Shirley Bond is happy for you to contact her to find out more.  Entry is via the HRBKA Examinations Officer.

Advanced Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry

This is usually taken at Stoneleigh, and is a rigorous and prestigious follow-up after passing General Husbandry.  Applications must be made by February 28 of the year in which the assessment is to be made.  It takes a full day.

Master Beekeeper Certificate

This certificate is awarded automatically to anyone gaining both the Advanced Theory and Advanced Husbandry certificates.