15 February 2016

BBKA Basic - Swarm Control for Beginners

The BBKA has made changes to the Basic syllabus and the way the assessment is to be carried out and marked. These changes apply from 2016.

The main change is that there is now a whole section on swarming and swarm control because it had been noted that those taking the assessment weren't really confident enough with their answers.

The BBKA asks that those taking the assessment are able to answer "Oral questioning on Swarming, Swarm Control and effects". A pass mark is 50%.

The syllabus is still quite clear  :-
The Candidate will be:
3.1 able to give an elementary description of swarming in a honeybee colony;
3.2 able to give *an elementary account of one method of swarm control; 
3.3 able to describe how to take a honeybee swarm and how to hive it; 
3.4 able to describe the signs of a queenless colony and how to test if a colony is queenless; 
3.5 able to describe the signs of laying workers and of a drone laying queen; 
3.6 able to describe a simple method of queen introduction; 
3.7 able to describe one method of uniting colonies and precautions to be taken;
* "An elementary method of swarm control" is not one which requires the beekeeper to search for the queen and then remember to manipulate doors in a special board or move boxes after a fixed number of days. There is no need to make things so difficult to remember, and so easy to get wrong.

An elementary method of swarm control is the one described by FERA as "Swarm Control When You Can't Find the Queen" or the one in the BBKA leaflet "Swarm Control for Beginners"

Swarm control doesn't have to be hard, it can be very easy.