Apparently, I’m Certifiable

In case you weren’t sure.

The North Carolina State Beekeeper’s Association administers a comprehensive and robust Master Beekeeper Program, allowing interested beekeepers a chance to document steadily increasing levels of study, experience, and public service.

The first level of this progression is the “Certified Beekeeper” level. It requires four months of beekeeping experience, passing a 50-question written exam, and passing a practical exam which consists of a hive manipulation/inspection under the supervision of an already certified beekeeper.

I passed my written exam back at the Association’s Spring Meeting in February. Now that it is consistently warm enough for hive manipulations, I asked our local bee school teacher and Master Beekeeper, Tia, to come out and administer my practical. She agreed.

Lighting Smoker
The first task was lighting the smoker. Funny as it may sound, that is the part I was most worried about. I’m still not all that great at keeping the smoker lit. Getting better, but I still frequently rely on The Hubs to help. He is more pyro-savvy than I am. He did buy me a propane torch for Christmas. That helps!
Festooning
One of the first frames I pulled was one of the empties that I installed last weekend. Beautiful example of “festooning” here. Festooning is when the workers hook themselves together like trapeze artists or Barrel O’ Monkeys toys and hang down to begin forming new comb.
PrettyNewWax
Another formerly empty frame, now 60% drawn with beautiful new white wax.
Inspection
I’m inspecting Sage hive. Tia is inspecting me. Various bees are simultaneously inspecting both of us. And the hubs is photographing it all. Oh, and for the record – Tia said I passed. Yay!
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