Beekeeping Preliminary Syllabus IBA Clg

The course includes studies of beekeeping under the following headings.

Equipment

The student will be:

  • able to name the parts of a modern beehive
  • aware of the concept of the bee space and its significance in the modern hive
  • able to assemble a frame and fit it with wax foundation and properly nail the frame
  • aware of the reasons for the use of wax foundation
  • aware of the various spacing of combs in the brood chamber and super for both foundation and drawn comb

Manipulation of a Colony of Honeybees

The student will be aware of:

  • how to approach the hive to open it
  • where to place hive parts during manipulations
  • how to use the hive tool and smoker
  • how to manipulate frames
  • how to interpret what is on the frame-living and non-living
  • how to observe hygienic practice going from hive to hive
  • how to check for disease in the colony or brood
  • how to keep hive notes/records
  • how to take care of bee suit /gloves and other clothing to maintain hygiene and safety
  • how to observe hygiene and safety when moving between apiaries

The student will be:

  • aware of the need for care and attention when handling a colony of honeybees
  • aware of the reactions of honeybees to smoke
  • aware of the beekeeper’s equipment needed to open a colony of honeybees
  • able to open a colony of honeybees and keep the colony under control
  • able to demonstrate the use of smoke
  • able to demonstrate the use of the hive tool
  • able to remove combs from the hive and identify
    • worker cells,
    • drone cells
    • queen cells or cups if present
    • to comment on the state of the combs
    • check if any disease is evident
  • able to comment on the state of the combs
  • able to check if any disease is evident
  • able to identify
    • members of the three castes,
    • identify brood at all stages
  • able to demonstrate the difference between:
    • drone cappings
    • worker cappings
    • honey cappings
  • able to identify:
    • stored nectar
    • honey
    • pollen
    • if there is enough room for development
  • able to decide if the queen has:
    • enough room to lay brood and if more super room is needed
  • able to decide if the hive temper is acceptable or should some action be taken
  • able to catch/take a sample of:
    • worker bees for disease examination
    • brood comb for DAFM

Natural History of the Honeybee

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary account of production of
    • queens
    • workers
    • drones in the honeybee colony
  • aware of the existence of
    • laying workers and
    • drone laying queens
  • able to specify the periods spent by each caste in the four stages of its life cycle (egg, larva, pupa, adult)
  • able to read the hive like a book: be able from an examination of eggs, larval age and cappings to estimate when the queen was present
  • able to give an elementary description of the function of the members of each caste if the life of the colony
  • Have an appreciation of wax production by the worker bee and the use of this wax by the bee
  • able to give a simple description of nectar and describe how it is collected and brought back to the hive
  • able to name the main local flora from which honeybees gather pollen and nectar
  • able to give a simple description how nectar is converted into honey
  • aware of the use of nectar and honey in the life of the colony
  • aware of the collection of water and its uses in the colony
  • able to give a simple description of the collection of pollen and its importance in the life of the colony and also its importance in our lives
  • able to describe the origins, collection, and use of propolis in the honeybee colony
  • able to give an elementary description of swarming in a honeybee colony
  • able to give an elementary description of the way in which the honeybee colony passes the winter period

Disease and Poisoning

The student will:

  • know briefly how Varroa mites breed in the brood.
  • be able to indicate on the comb which cells are preferred by the mite for breeding.
  • be able to state at least one approved treatment in the students own country.
  • identify signs of AFB and EFB and distinguish between them
  • be able to indicate which cappings might look suspect.
  • be able to demonstrate, using a matchstick, how a field test for AFB could be done.
  • be able to state where a comb sample containing the diseased brood should be sent for testing.
  • be able to discern, if larvae in the comb have the proper “C” shape, colour and segmentation which healthy larvae exhibit and eliminate suspect EFB signs
  • be able to state where a comb sample containing the diseased brood should be sent for testing.
  • check for other identifiable disease symptoms.
  • be able to describe the appearance of healthy brood and how it differs from diseased brood or chilled brood
  • be aware and know the appearance of
    • Nosema and
    • Amoeba and their effect upon the colony
  • know how to obtain expert assistance if any disease or poisoning by toxic chemicals is suspected

Beekeeping

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary description of the siting of colonies
  • able to give an elementary description of the year’s work in the apiary and the management of a colony throughout a season
  • able to describe how and when to feed bees and the preparation of syrup
  • aware of the need to add supers and the timing of the operations
  • aware of the use of the queen excluder
  • able to give an elementary account of one method of swarm control
  • able to describe how to take a honeybee swarm and how to hive it
  • aware of the condition of queenlessness
  • be able to perform a test for queenlessness, in case the queen has stopped laying
  • able to describe the signs of laying workers and a drone laying queen
  • able to describe how a queenless hive may be re-queened
  • aware of the dangers of robbing and how robbing can be avoided

Harvesting or Removal of honey from the hive

The student will be:

  • able to describe the methods used to clear honeybees from supers
  • able to describe the process of the removal of honey frames from supers
  • able to describe what hygienic conditions which must be observed when extracting honey in one’s home
  • the preparation and labelling if the honey which is intended for sale
  • aware of the value of bees to farmers and growers and of the hiring of colonies for pollination services
  • able to describe a way in which comb can be stored to prevent wax moth damage
  • able to describe a way by which mice can be excluded from the hives in winter

Adapted from the original syllabus devised by Prof. Breandán Ó Cochláin