BBKA Basic exam

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The on-line Module exams are a different matter - I did the Module 3 - "Pests, Diseases & Poisoning" as Ive never done an on-line test before - it wasn't fun; it felt more like a test of my typing prowess than my knowledge & understanding - I cant see doing any more like that.

There are a number of the reasons that I don't like "the modules". Perhaps the most important is that I feel the syllabus is actually very poorly defined, but I think they also demand knowledge that in the real world is completely irrelevant to almost all beekeepers.

What I have found useful however is looking at the "recommended reading" lists for the modules. After reading a few books chosen from the lists in combination with personal recommendations I've found they have greatly increased my understanding and led me to challenge many of the common beekeeping "myths" that are even now repeated on beginner courses.

James
 
As a basic examiner, my belief is that it should be fun, and is as much a teaching experience as much as an assessment. With regard to JBM and his comments about bits of paper. For me it is not about the bits of paper. It is about gaining knowledge through a defined path ( the syllabus)- even if that syllabus does not make sense. I see no difference between those bits of paper given from passing exams, to those given at shows for the best honey etc.
In a way I agree with the "pompous" beekeepers, knowledge should be gained before getting bees. How often to we recommend overwinter local courses on here? I see too many people who throw bees in a box, think that is it, then come unstuck.
Like James, I do not like the modules. My route for improving my knowledge has been the more practical "hubandry" route.
I find the more I learn the more I enjoy my bees. Each to their own however.
 
Well the exam experience wasn’t painful and preparing for it forced me to get to know a bit about the diseases which I was very weak on. The examiner was lovely. It was a teaching experience. Who knew the Queen had ginger legs! And I’ve been using my hive tool wrong for the past 3 years. Thanks for the good wishes
 
but I think they also demand knowledge that in the real world is completely irrelevant to almost all beekeepers.
Isn't that the case with a large number of subjects?

I went to school in a semi rural area. Most of my friends were farmer's sons. We lived in a strong farming community.

So of course, we spent an entire school term learning about the produce and farming methods of the Atlas Mountains of North Africa.! That has been really useful to me - not!

Malcolm B.
 
Well the exam experience wasn’t painful and preparing for it forced me to get to know a bit about the diseases which I was very weak on. The examiner was lovely. It was a teaching experience. Who knew the Queen had ginger legs! And I’ve been using my hive tool wrong for the past 3 years. Thanks for the good wishes
Crikey, I didn't know there was a wrong way! This is really sapping my confidence after 51 years in the apiary......:eek:
 
I see no difference between those bits of paper given from passing exams, to those given at shows for the best honey etc.
exactly - after the day, they are worth nothing but as decorations on the study wall (or another box to clutter up the attic).
 
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Crikey, I didn't know there was a wrong way! This is really sapping my confidence after 51 years in the apiary......:eek:
There are very few wrong ways in beekeeping... different ways and ways that the bees will put right but rarely wrong ways ! There's right ways and my way as far as I'm concerned ! Of course there are always people that will tell you it's their way or no way ... a few on here like that ...:)
 
I see no difference between those bits of paper given from passing exams, to those given at shows for the best honey etc.
Oh no. At least there is a syllabus and reading list behind an exam. With no feedback when entering shows it's all a bit "secret squirrel". Your honey may be just the wrong side of being light or medium and have been disregarded instantly, for instance. Seems like you need zen powers to succeed at showing. (yes I compared my honey with the glass colour thing but . .. ! ) :LOL: :LOL:

When the BBKA exams/assessments were suggested I bristled. I did a British Canoeing exam in open canoeing and failed!! I was mortified. I used to be good at exams like 40 years ago, back then they were easy.
Must admit when I started I did some pretty stupid things with my bees. But after 7 years I don't want someone to tell me I'm still not good enough at it. So the approach of the basic assessment where you're led through it (?) sounds like a good idea. Still not doing it.

. . . . Ben
 
forced me to get to know a bit about the diseases

I found the amount of disease stuff in the beginners course quite off-putting. Made me worry that I was taking to a hobby where you struggled to keep them alive and the "save the bees" slogan was for real. By the Basic Assessment it makes more sense.

. . . . Ben
 
Wish me luck I’ve got my BBKA Basic exam today. I’ll be officially a beekeeper !
I’m sure you will have passed with flying colours. I did mine last year, on one of the hottest days in July with all of us dripping in sweat and could hardly make up a brood frame as the wax was so soft it was falling apart!
The best thing is (despite the general derision on here for the BBKA), if you get asked by the general public, you can say you are ‘qualified’, especially if swarm collecting.
And it helps with your general learning to boot.
 
The driving test springs to mind.
years later I had to do a reversing test at Devizes Police driving school - down a narrow alley with a 90° corner at the end, driving a long wheelbase landrover towing a nine metre rig. As well as having to do a Highway Code theory test And being taught the correct procedure when using roundabouts.
Then regular visits to Newcastle maritime college for various exams including my international general operator radio ticket, lastly it was for my IOSH qualification which was only a few years ago.
But all those served a purpose, and were useful.
 
Glad that Christine shared a similar positive experience to mine [also recent] with the exam. My motivation was to thank those who ran the Improvers course. The exam is an incentive to consolidate learning and the old adage about asking 10 beekeepers a single question and getting 12 different answers was illustrated again to me as the examiner disagreed with my replacing the QE exactly as I found it. Interesting that we had discussed whether the slots run parallel or transverse to the frames on the course, and concluded that either way worked, but put it back as you found it... I was asked things I thought that were beyond the syllabus; some I had considered - so it was another learning experience. I wanted to improve and the exam was an opportunity to do that. Worth doing. Will I want to do more exams? Not convinced.
 
years later I had to do a reversing test at Devizes Police driving school - down a narrow alley with a 90° corner at the end, driving a long wheelbase landrover towing a nine metre rig. As well as having to do a Highway Code theory test And being taught the correct procedure when using roundabouts.
Then regular visits to Newcastle maritime college for various exams including my international general operator radio ticket, lastly it was for my IOSH qualification which was only a few years ago.
But all those served a purpose, and were useful.
Show off 🤪
 
Crikey, I didn't know there was a wrong way!
What is often forgotten or ignored -
The "Right Way" is the method which you use to achieve a perfectly satisfactory result.
The "Wrong Way" is the method which you use which does NOT produce a satisfactory result!
It is as simple as that!

Malcolm B.
 
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