The South Carolina Mid-State Beekeepers Association


       Study Guidelines SC Beekeeper Program Certified Level

At the certified level the individual should be familiar with the basic skills and knowledge necessary for the beginning hobby beekeeper. The individual must pass a written and practical test.

 First Lessons in Beekeeping, Delaplane

Honey Bee Diseases and Pest

 American Foulbrood
 European Foulbrood
 Chalk Brood
 Sacbrood
 Varroa Mites
 Tracheal Mites
 Nosema
 Symptoms, causative agent, treatments
 Small Hive Beetle
 Wax Moths
 Africanized Honey Bee

 Processing
 How bees produce
 Uses

Honey & How produced
 Nectar and Pollen sources
 Conversion into honey-sugars
 Percent moisture

 Granulation/Re-liquefied
 Selling
 Conversion from nectar to honey
 Uses
 Types in S.C.

Bees/Races and Subspecies
 Origins
 Traits

 Swarming
 Dances

Basic anatomy; Queen/worker/drone
 Parts
 Breathing
 Organs
 Glands


Seasonal hive transformation/evolution and management

Africanized bees


 Applications
 Toxicity
 Poisoning signs & symptoms

Bee Equipment
 Parts and uses of a beehive
 Traits of a good bee yard

Products of the hive
 Honey
 Beeswax
 Propolis
 Venom
 Wax moth larvae
 Package Bee and Queens

Key people in beekeeping; past and present
 L.L. Langstroth, Harry Laidlaw, Moses Quinby, Amos I. Root, Stephen Taber III

Hive Manipulation & Honey Bee Management
 Spring
 Summer
 Fall
 Winter

                           Certified Practical Exam for Beginning  Beekeepers                             
 Certified Beekeeper Practical Exam

If you have passed your Certified Beekeeper written exam and have kept bees or worked with a beekeeper for at least one year, you are eligible to take your practical exam. Typically this portion of the Certified testing is performed in the spring when all components of the typical working colony are present for identification.  Make arrangements for your practical exam with a Journeyman, Master or Master Craftsman beekeeper.

See our Certified Exam study guide and Practical Exam guidelines below. 

 SCMP Certified Practical Exam

Process and Procedures

The exam should be administered during the months of April, May and June.  This requirement should allow the student to have warm enough temperatures to be able to go into the brood nest and identify all stages of brood and types of bees.

The examiner will have a complete hive set up with all pieces of equipment listed on the form, ready for the student to identify.  For this portion, bees are not mandatory to be in this hive. Then the student can move to a colony with bees to finish the examination.

Three (3) or more line items with a NO, constitutes a NO PASS of this exam.

Completed signed form should be sent to the South Carolina Master Beekeeper Program.

Items to be included in Practical Testing: Form may be downloaded from the South Carolina Beekeepers Assocation's web site at:

1.     Light a smoker                                                             Yes _____                         No _____

2.     Properly smoke colony                                            Yes _____                         No _____

3.     Smoker burning at end of exam                           Yes _____                         No _____

Identify parts of the beehive

1.     Hive Body                                                             Yes _____                                  No _____

2.     Shallow Super                                                     Yes _____                                  No _____

3.     Medium Super                                                   Yes _____                                  No _____

4.     Bottom Board                                                     Yes _____                                  No _____

5.     Top Cover                                                             Yes _____                                  No _____

6.     Inner Cover                                                         Yes _____                                  No _____

7.     Queen Excluder                                                 Yes _____                                  No _____

8.     Feeder                                                                   Yes _____                                  No _____

Locate and Identify

1.     Queen                                                                    Yes _____                                  No _____

2.     Drone                                                                     Yes _____                                  No _____

3.     Worker                                                                 Yes _____                                  No _____

4.     Eggs                                                                        Yes _____                                  No _____

5.     Larva                                                                      Yes _____                                  No _____

6.     Pollen in comb                                                     Yes _____                                 No _____

7.     Nectar in comb                                                   Yes _____                                  No _____

8.     Capped Honey                                                    Yes _____                                  No _____

9.     Capped Brood                                                     Yes _____                                  No _____

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