Pilot program

The Missouri Master Beekeeper Program is a six-level certification program being developed by MU Extension. The first two classes in this pilot program are currently being offered at several sites in the state.

Apprentice Beekeeper

To achieve the rank of Apprentice Beekeeper, the candidate must complete all of the following requirements:

  • Have held the rank of Beginning Beekeeper for at least one year and been a practicing beekeeper for at least two years.
  • Be a registered beekeeper in the Missouri State Beekeepers Association, either as an individual or as a member of a family.
  • Attend an Apprentice-level beekeeping course.
  • Spend and document eight hours working with an experienced beekeeper mentor over the course of a year. See Appendix A for guidelines and Addendum 1 for the documentation form.
  • Score 80 percent or higher on a written examination. The written exam can cover, but is not limited to, information taught in MU Extension beekeeping classes, Missouri Apiculture Law and material from literature on the Beginning/Apprentice Beekeeper reading list in Appendix B.
  • Score 80 percent or higher on a practical examination. The practical exam can include, but is not limited to, describing the physical parts of a beehive using common terms, not regional nomenclature; lighting and properly using a smoker; recognizing the various stages of brood and the different castes of bees; finding or at least describing the queen; differentiating between brood, pollen and capped honey; recognizing propolis and describing its functions; and describing the layout of a brood nest, including placement of honey, pollen, and brood.

A practicing beekeeper with at least three years of experience who has tested out of the Beginning Beekeeper level can advance through the Apprentice level by being a registered beekeeper with the Missouri State Beekeepers Association, working with an experienced beekeeper for eight hours, and passing the Apprentice Beekeeper written and practical exams with a score of at least 80 percent. To expedite advancement, a practicing beekeeper is not required to wait a year between taking the Beginning and the Apprentice exams but may take the Apprentice exams during the next testing period.