In light of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic and difficulties that social distancing brings to the teaching world, this course will likely be delivered by a mixture of virtual classes and real-time classroom. The full details are yet to be confirmed.
The Intermediate Beekeeping Course
This course is delivered on behalf of the UBKA and will commence in September 2020
It is now open for online booking at
Please read the below info on the course content and contact our member Chris Hodges for further enquiries.
This course will be delivered at various venues throughout NI, our local venue being at Inspire Business Center, Dundonald Enterprise Park, Carrowreagh Rd, Dundonald, Belfast BT16 1QT
The Intermediate Course in beekeeping builds on the
gained from the Preliminary Course and improves the understanding of both the scientific and practical aspects of beekeeping. It consists of three parts; Scientific, Practical and Apiary Practical, delivered over a period of at least two years and leading to the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA) Intermediate Certificate of Proficiency in Beekeeping.
The Intermediate Course builds on the knowledge gained from the Preliminary Course and improves the understanding of both the scientific and practical aspects of beekeeping.
Candidates ideally need to have kept bees for 2 seasons (years) and have passed the Preliminary Certificate.
It consists of three parts; Scientific, Practical and Apiary Practical, delivered over a period of at least two years and leading to the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations (FIBKA) Intermediate Certificate of Proficiency in Beekeeping.
The Scientific and Practical parts each consist of 15 “winter” evening classroom sessions, delivered in alternative years. The Practical part will be delivered in 2018-19
These courses are supplemented through apiary workshops and practical training during the two or three seasons needed to complete the Apiary Practical part of the course.
Who is the course for?
Holders of the FIBKA Preliminary Beekeeping certificate (or equivalent) who wish to increase their knowledge, understanding and practical skills in beekeeping.
Those applying should be aware that independent study is essential in addition to attending classes and apiary workshops.
Natural History of the Honeybee, Nectar and Honey, Honeybee Forage, Plants and Pollination, Diseases, Pests and Pathogens, Apiary and Honeybee Management, Honeybee Products and their Preparation for Show and Sale.
Natural History of the Honeybee, External Anatomy and Internal Biology, Nectar and Honey, Honeybee Forage, Plants and Pollination, Diseases, Pests and Pathogens, Honeybee Products and their Preparation for Show and Sale.
Candidates are recommended to refer to the detail of the Apiary Practical syllabus on the FIBKA website and to use every opportunity to attend teaching and training sessions offered by UBKA and Local Associations where techniques such as colony assessment, disease identification and treatment, queen rearing, nucleus production, swarm control, apiary and honeybee management etc. will be covered.
There is a three-hour written exam at the end of each the Scientific and Practical years.
The Apiary Practical Assessment will be held in the candidate’s own apiary and the candidate is examined orally and practically by two examiners. An important feature is the practical is of the three years hive records that each candidate will keep.
The Intermediate Apiary practical can also stand on its own as a step towards the Practical Bee-master Certificate for those not wishing to take all three hour written examinations. For those planning to progress to the Senior Certificate it is a step towards completing the Apiary Practical part of the Senior Certificate.
The Intermediate Certificate will be awarded only when all three examinations have been passed. (A candidate who passed either of the two written papers before August 31st 2012 will not have to take the Apiary Practical examination.)
This course will be run by experienced Beekeepers Chris Hodges and Phelim Breen
Costs: Course fee £140 for each of the practical and scientific parts and includes the exam fee.
If you would like to apply for this course, please click here for application via CAFRE.
We are unfortunately unable to take any paper applications this year.