The Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) guides beekeepers in improving their beekeeping skills and knowledge. It also delivers valuable information to beekeepers and the public through outreach services.
Anyone interested in bees is invited to participate, however all testing is conducted within North Carolina. Participants must be a member of the NCSBA. Testing and rewards are a benefit of membership and the costs of operating the program are bore solely by the association. The Master Beekeeper committee is responsible for administering the MBP, keeping participant records, and maintaining the integrity of the program.
The MBP program consists of 4 levels: Certified, Journeyman, Master and Master Craftsman Beekeeper. Advancing through the levels consists of a mix of written, practical, field and oral exams plus public service and sub-specialties. After 4 years, if a candidate has not completed an MBP level, test scores and service credits for that level become invalid unless documentation of ongoing work towards that level of the program is provided and approved by the MBP committee. No MBP level exam will be given to a candidate more than 5 times. The opportunity to further participate in the program will be forfeited by candidates who do not study, prepare and expand their knowledge of beekeeping.
Those beekeepers who are successful in the NCSBA Master Beekeeper Program are asked to sustain the integrity of the program by helping maintain consistent standards for evaluating future candidates at all levels. Further, successful candidates are asked to ethically represent the NCSBA MBP as faithful ambassadors of the program while promoting responsible beekeeping and community education.
HISTORY OF THE MASTER BEEKEEPER PROGRAM
The N.C. Master Beekeeper Program was established by Dr. John Ambrose in 1982 to improve beekeeping statewide and to provide valuable information to beekeepers and the public through outreach. Prior to 2011 the MBP was run by Dr. David Tarpy of the North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Extension Office. With financial cutbacks in the NC state budget, the Master Beekeeper program was terminated at NCSU and picked up by the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association.
In 2012, the NCSBA created an MBP committee to administer testing, grading and reporting the results. The MBP Committee also keeps the database for all levels of the program, is responsible for issuing the proper certification for each level and obtains the medallion and name tag for the Master and Master Craftsman levels.