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birchdale 

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What are peeps views on the BBKA modules and husbandry exams.

Are they useful? If so why, If not why not?

What about distance learning?
 

roche 

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Module 3 (Pests and Diseases) and Module 5 (biology) are superb. Bring a whole depth of knowledge and understanding to what one does. I jave my doubts about some of the others...
 

Jim Lavie 

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I was speaking to someone who has the National Diploma in Beekeeping the other day and it took him 7 years or so to get through the exams before the diploma. He could have become a doctor or vet quicker :)
 

stilllearning 

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exams are only as good as the people who set them, interact with other beekeepers, listen and learn,make your own mind up. you will make mistakes but you only do it once
 
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I looked at distance learning, but you have to be able to attend SOME of the sessions at a place other than locally (so out for me) also when I looked the price structure it was not at all clear, so I gave up trying to work it out. May try for basic cert. next year - if I can do at home, but otherwise not.
 

MuswellMetro 

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I looked at distance learning, but you have to be able to attend SOME of the sessions at a place other than locally (so out for me) also when I looked the price structure it was not at all clear, so I gave up trying to work it out. May try for basic cert. next year - if I can do at home, but otherwise not.
the basic exam is normally done at a non home apiary and is a non written examination, but the exam board may help if you cannot get to another apairy, they did when a feeind who is wheelchair bound asked to do it at home
 
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I'll keep my fingers crossed they are in a good mood then...thanks MM
 

Teemore 

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AFAIK the BBKA is a "Service Provider" in terms of its function as an exams body etc. and as such would be obliged to make reasonable adjustments for service users seeking to access its courses etc. and who have a disability as defined under statute....

If you want to do the exams, make it clear from the start that you would have difficulty attending another apiary to take the exam and see what they come up with as a compromise. Give them a couple of suggestions about what would be a good exam location (home or otherwise) and hope that they have their reasonable heads on!! :)
 

victor meldrew 

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I passed mods one and two.:)
That was that!.
I realised that further mods were getting increasingly technical and of little value to the practical beekeeper.
Ask any question to a NDB person and you will get the same contradictory answers as amongst any other group of beekeepers :eek:
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for education but academic exercises for their own sake ,fail to attract me !

John Wilkinson
 

Adam 

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If you want to do the exams, make it clear from the start that you would have difficulty attending another apiary to take the exam and see what they come up with as a compromise.
You should make this clear when you apply. I've been examining at the same time as another examiner was taking somebody suffering from Parkinsons. Extra time was allocated for answering and he used a nail gun for making the frames. I think you will find they are as accomodating as they can be. The candidate passed their basic. Certainly, your general husbandry is at your home location. Only the Advanced Husbandry would require you to attend Stoneleigh (which has facilities for the disabled). Not sure if you were unable to travel how that would work but that would normally take a few years to get to anyway.

You don't need to attend any course to take your basic. However the Yates study notes can be of benefit, and I think you can do a correspondence course for it now as well.

Teemore;John Wilkinson said:
I passed mods one and two.
That was that!.
I realised that further mods were getting increasingly technical and of little value to the practical beekeeper.
Ask any question to a NDB person and you will get the same contradictory answers as amongst any other group of beekeepers
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for education but academic exercises for their own sake ,fail to attract me !

John Wilkinson
Intrestingly, I think neither of those two are the ones I'd most recommend for the practical beekeeper. Module 3 - Diseases is well worth studying, as is Module 5 - Biology.

Then, the one I'd recommend next for the practical beekeeper is Module 7. Although half of it is fairly theoretical, the knowledge of queen rearing is of significant use.

Then Module 2, then 1, then 8.

To the original poster. The value of the exams is the breadth of reading you have to do. You need to read and digest everything you can find on the internet, in books, videos, and for me I found you have to attend conferences such as BIBBA, Spring Convention etc. And lots of local lectures in your county. The correspondence course is very useful, particularly for later lectures.

I can't emphasise enough how broadly you need to read. Everybodies theory is worthy of reading no matter how obscure, and then trying to understand it. I will agree, the Evans theory that swarming is due to bees being like women, and women like to "play up the boys" when they are bored probably does push it a little.

Well worth doing.

Adam
 

victor meldrew 

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Quite a bit of exam passing is technique :(

For instance, people with experience in the taking of exams will suss out the questions with the greatest rewards(points wise) ,also they will have the advantage of knowing how to write an essay in such a manner as to cover all points raised by the question without too much added information and all in a tightly allotted time frame.
This advantage does show up in the results. I've seen this during my limited venture into the BBKA exam system!

John Wilkinson
 

Silly Bee 

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The same can be said of most exams John, Many pass a paper exam, but totally useless on a practical level.
 

Adam 

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Quite a bit of exam passing is technique :(

For instance, people with experience in the taking of exams will suss out the questions with the greatest rewards(points wise)
Yes, but given they write the allocation of marks at the top of every paper, and additionally, at the top of every section, and next to each question I really don't see what more they could do. The format of every exam is the same that they do, and furthermore old papers are available so you can practice. Thats nothing to do with experience, they make it unequivocally clear how the marks will be allocated.

,also they will have the advantage of knowing how to write an essay in such a manner as to cover all points raised by the question without too much added information and all in a tightly allotted time frame.
The past papers provide a great opportunity to see how much can be written in those timescales. Also, for many people, it has been a long time since they have written so much in a tight timescales so it's well worth doing some practice papers against a clock to check that you realise approximately how much you can write in the timescales.

Adam
 

roche 

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Pass or fail though, the breadth of reading is worthwhile.
 

oliver90owner 

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Exams passed or not, beekeeping is still mainly down to experience. Yes, some parts may be appropriate for getting a particular position, or at least give an advantage to those candidates with the cerificate.

With the ease and likelihood of passing the basic, it is simply a money spinner for the arranging organisation; but against that it does introduce the examiners to 'marking' examinees and it also gives some learners the idea that if they can pass, they are a 'beekeeper proper'. That may or may not be the case.

I am still learning after ten years, but I have no intention of passing any exam unless I had a particular interest in that facet of the subject.

In most examination/learning environments prior knowledge and learning is taken into account to determine the starting level for different students. That seems to be absent in this series of certificated organisation. That seems very typical of particular organisations, if that is, in fact, the true position. Please feel free to correct me if my perception is incorrect.

Regards, RAB
 

Adam 

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Exams passed or not, beekeeping is still mainly down to experience. Yes, some parts may be appropriate for getting a particular position, or at least give an advantage to those candidates with the cerificate.
Correct. And how often do people stretch their experiences and verify if what they are doing is optimum, and check other techniques, or even check if there are other techniques. Using my club (and indeed myself) as an example, this is not as frequenct as you think. People always stick to the same old tried and tested methods (which often are out of date) or were slightly incorrectly taught to them to start with.

The exams force you to consider all the available options, for a variety of tasks and it really gives you the theory to extend your practical skills.

With the ease and likelihood of passing the basic, it is simply a money spinner for the arranging organisation; but against that it does introduce the examiners to 'marking' examinees and it also gives some learners the idea that if they can pass, they are a 'beekeeper proper'. That may or may not be the case.
As an examiner of basics and I can say that not everybody passes. What it does do, is force them to re-check many basics aspects, a year or so after they first did a beginners class or suchlike. Many people do a winter course, then keep bees for a season of two, then take a basic. What I find is that they mis-understand things on the winter course, and only with the practical experience, and then studying for the basic does it all "click". The practical alone isn't enough. It's only when they have a solid experience then re-read the books does it all sink in.

Best of all though, the focus on diseases means they really learn to look for what is, and isn't normal. Which can only ever be a good thing.

I am still learning after ten years, but I have no intention of passing any exam unless I had a particular interest in that facet of the subject.

In most examination/learning environments prior knowledge and learning is taken into account to determine the starting level for different students. That seems to be absent in this series of certificated organisation. That seems very typical of particular organisations, if that is, in fact, the true position. Please feel free to correct me if my perception is incorrect.

Regards, RAB
If you have significant prior learning, of course it's taken into account as you have to study less to achieve the benchmark position. From experience, I was able to pass Module 1 with very little revision. I had a good depth of experience on things like advising beginners on apiary location, sourcing equipment, hive types etc. A beginner with a few years experience may have to study those areas if they are going to teach beginners.

I disgree though on account of previous learning etc. Nearly all examination systems are benchmark levels, GCSE, A-Level, etc etc. Prior to starting Modules I *thought* I was a well read beekeeper. I'd read a lot on-line, been to a few conferences, read any number of books. It wasn't until I sat down a studied for specific modules that I really started to understand the breadth of reading required. It really does require you to research various sources in a way you don't need to when you just browse around. It's not the exam as such that turns people into Master Beekeepers it's the breadth and depth of the reading to get there. I thought I was reading to those levels but now realise I wasn't even close. Even when you read some new topic or something of interest. You don't normally go and check what a further 5 authors said, or cross-reference it to the original paper or whatever.

Once you've learnt all these new techniques, methods, suggestions, what I found is you then start modifying your practical beekeeping, trying new methods, techniques etc. So the exams directly improve your practical beekeeping.

Adam
 

tonybloke 

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I'd recommend the 'basic' exam to all beekeepers.
some with many yrs experience are scared of failure, so don't even enter?:leaving:
 

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