Beekeeping Programs

Content about various beekeeping programs in Virginia or nationwide.

VSBA Master Beekeeper Program Testing for Summer Meeting

VSBA Master Beekeeper Program (MBP)

Testing Schedule for the June 21 -22, 2013 VSBA meeting in Chesapeake, VA.

Registration:  Can sign up in advance (click here for application) OR register at the meeting.

Cost: $25.00 for the Qualified or Certified testing. This includes the written and practical hive inspection testing which will be held on another date and at another location. Make checks payable to VSBA.

Written Testing (Qualified and Certified levels) - Friday June 21 & Saturday June 22, immediately following conclusion of the meeting program in the auditorium.

Practical Testing for those who have taken the Qualified or Certified Written testing in the past:

Schedule: Practical "In hive" testing - Friday June 21, 2013 from 10 am - Noon in VA Beach, VA.

For further information, please contact VSBA MBP Coordinator:
Frank S. Walker (757)641-5933 or e-mail:

Master Beekeeping Courses

On Monday, October 24, VSBA is sponsoring a FREE, one night seminar to provide an overview of the type of questions beekeepers should be familiar with if they are interested in taking the written test for the Qualified or Certified level for the Virginia Master Beekeeper Program. These tests will be given at the VSBA Fall meeting on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon after the VSBA meeting adjourns, whichever best suits your schedule.

The training seminar will provide an overview of the type of test questions beekeepers should expect to see at each level of testing and where the best study material is available.

The Qualified and Certified Testing review will be held at:

Northampton Community Center
1435-A Todds Lane
Hampton, Virginia 23666
(757) 825-4805

SCHEDULE [Monday, Oct 24]:
6:00 - 7:00 pm for the Qualified review.
7:15 - 8:45 pm for the Certified review.

The building closes promptly at 9 pm. To speed up the process, all questions will be answered outside the room by the beekeepers who took the Certified testing a few weeks ago.

All questions can be addressed by contacting:
Frank S. Walker
VSBA President

Beginning Beekeeping Courses for October & November!

October (Huguenot Beekeepers Association)

The HUGUENOT BEEKEEPERS’ ASSOCIATION has announced a new, three day course on the basiscs of beekeeping : Beginning Beekeeping. The course will take place on Thursday, October 13th, Wednesday, October 19th and Thursday, October 27th (7-9 pm on each day.)

It will be held at the Powhatan Village Building Auditorium:

3910 Old Buckingham Road

Pre-registration required Cost—$25 (Note: make checks payable to the Huguenot Beekeepers Association or cash; please bring your payment to the first night’s class )
To register call (804) 598-5640
Or email

November (Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia)

The Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia has announced a beginning beekeeper program for Saturday, November 12 from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, titled 'Beekeeping - Getting Started'. Curious about raising bees but don’t know if it is for you or where to start? Let members of the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia introduce you to the equipment and time commitment needed to be successful. Price includes box lunch.
Location: Norfolk Botanical Garden
Cost: $65 ($45 for NBG Members)
Register here:


Registration Form Ready & Good-bye Irene!

Despite the events of the past few days, we have managed to get the official registration form for the first round of MBP testing onto the site (click here). Again, we expect this Certified Level Master Beekeeper testing day to fill up quickly (only 25 slots available), so get your information in the mail as soon as you have a moment. We hope you, your family and your bees are recovering from Irene!!!

Certified Level Master Beekeeping Test Date Set!

Nuc PenthouseWe have set the date for the first Certified Level Master Beekeeper testing in Virginia for September 24! The seating is limited, so sign up quickly. The full information about the test and the curriculum can be found by clicking here. On this Saturday, we will have both the practical (hands on) and written testing. We do plan to hold the written testing (for both the Qualified and Certified levels) at the state meeting in November - the practical testing for that round will be scheduled at a later date.

This is the first step of many in implementing the Master Beekeeper Program for Virginia. This will round out the first sets of Certified and Qualified beekeepers in our ranks. Next year, we plan to outline the necessary steps for the final level of Master Beekeeper. Expect more news about these certifications in the future.

Giving Life to the Virginia Master Beekeeping Program

One of the many goals of the current VSBA executive committee has long been to energize or 'awaken' a Master Beekeeper's program in Virginia. The number of beekeepers in Virginia is rising at an incredible rate. People are interested (and maybe even concerned) about the plight of the Honey Bee. To that effect, many folks are trying their hands at a honey bee hive or two. The rewards are too numerous to mention, but this increased interest has led to a correspondingly increased interest in more knowledge. How can I better manage my hives? What can I do to help both the hives in my backyard as well as the general well being of honey bees in Virginia?

We have heard the call and are trying to answer it. Today, we are proposing a multi-tiered Master Beekeeping Program (MBP) for Virginia. We are using the experiences from existing MBP's (in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, for example) as well as several other beekeeping experts in Virginia. New beekeepers are joining our ranks at an encouraging rate. They yearn for knowledge and advice. We hope that this program will both help these new beekeepers as well as add to the already considerable knowledge of our current pool of experienced beekeepers.

Check out the new Master Beekeeping tab and give us your feedback!

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