Basic Assessment 2024

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) has an entire framework of assessments and exams, and the Basic is the first step on that road. Even if exams are not for you, the Basic Assessment is an important milestone – the driving test for beekeepers.

The study group aims to help students prepare for this oral andpractical assessment. It will consist of 4 theory sessions and 2 practical sessions, followed by a complete practice of the exam, on all parts of the syllabus. The theory will be led by Fee Cooke – Kennet Honorary member and Bee Farmer. Fee and Richard Oliver – County Education Officer – will also offer Practical opportunities and will carry out a full Mock Assessment.

The assessment can only be taken if you have kept your own bees for a minimum of 12 months, and in that time (though you may not feel it) you have learned an enormous amount. The Basic syllabus covers the knowledge you should have accumulated in that time, and if you feel your knowledge is lacking, please attend the Study Group and fill in those gaps – you may be surprised at how much you do actually know!

The most common comment from people after taking their assessment is that they now have a lot more confidence in their bee-keeping.

The syllabus does get reviewed periodically, so please ensure you have the latest (January 2020). This and some other useful articles are available from the BBKA website: BBKA Basic.

Mid Bucks Beekeeping Association has put together a fantastic set of study notes for the Basic (and the other assessments) and have made them available to all.
Note: June 2015 notes are the most recent and can be found: Mid Bucks Basic assessment notes

But please don’t limit your reading just to the study notes – this is not about just passing an exam, it is about expanding your bee-keeping knowledge. The BBKA Basic link (above) includes a suggested reading list – many of these books are available in our library.
Yates “Beekeeping Study Notes for BBKA basic” has been found especially helpful by some students.

Note: Assessments can only take place in the active season – i.e. while there are still drones in the hives, and they can take time to schedule, so please ensure that your application is in to the County Education Officer in plenty of time.

Study Group Sessions

Theory : Wednesday evenings, 7:00-9:00pm
                    Meetings: See Education main page for course dates

Practical : Sunday – PM
                    Meetings: See Education main page for course dates

Mock Assessment including Practical : TBC likely weekend days – PM
                    Meetings: See Education main page for course dates

Please contact Emma Morley (education @ if you would like to attend and for further details.

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