A Curious Beekeeper considers Master Beekeepers and More

The designation of Master Beekeeper is almost mystical.

Granted, some organizations have an Apprentice and Journeyman programs, some even have Master Craftsman.

I wanted it as a teaching credential, but it is really a recognition that you know a thing or two about bees and can share your thoughts with others.

Well, some programs don’t emphasize the communications piece. I think it important though.

What I really think important, regardless of the program, is that Masters ought to have perpetual curiosity and enthusiasm for bees.

In this group’s geographic area of focus, there are three popular programs. There is The Eastern Apicultural Society, The University of Montana’s School of Extended & Lifelong Learning, and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

That the Cornell program exists confuses me, as the EAS Master Beekeeper program was started at Cornell, and only passed off to EAS when there was no one at Cornell to take it over.

No matter. It exists, and that is what counts. I wish I knew more about it than I do.

Not that I’m inclined to make the trip to Ithaca for testing. If I were to do another Master program it would be Maine’s Master Naturalist. That intrigues me.

But I digress. Many outstanding beekeepers (who are excellent teachers too) haven’t participated in any of the programs.

I don’t think that matters.

Each program has a bit different take, something different is emphasized. The Montana program is quite science oriented. EAS’s emphasizes communications. I don’t know what Cornell’s focus is.

EAS certifies Master Beekeepers. The other two issue certificates.

I love that Cornell’s program is connected to their Cooperative Extension. That to me is how the world should work. The University of Montana is a Land Grant school as well. (I was an undergraduate there a long time ago.) EAS is in today’s language a NGO.

Let’s see: The University of Maine is Land Grant and has an Entomology program. It already shares faculty with Cooperative Extension. uMeCE hosts a number of bee schools too. (“My,” really my club’s school included.) Maybe it is time for something more. Just thinking. MAAREC?


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