Master Beekeeping Program

Are you interested in furthering your education?

Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program makes its debut in Missouri!

By Gregg Hitchings -

Another chapter in Missouri beekeeping was opened at MSBA’s October 18-19, 2019 fall conference in Moberly. Sheldon Brummel, Master Beekeeping Project Coordinator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), spoke to the large group in attendance about Missouri’s partnership in the new Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program (GPMB).

GPMB is a new regional collaborative effort connecting beekeepers and organizations from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming, coordinated through UNL. Its purpose is to bring structured, science-based beekeeping training, education, outreach and mentoring to the beekeeping community.

Sheldon explained the April, 2019 roll-out of the GPMB program and discussed the overall goals and structure of which he and many others are working towards. He discussed the challenges we will face here in Missouri as this program moves forward, and particularly in the roll MSBA will play in developing a cadre of instructors qualified and certified to bring the curriculum to our state’s potential and already established beekeepers.

This is truly exciting stuff. MSBA recognizes the importance of science based, university-led education for beekeepers and is proud to partner with GPMB in this effort. The fall conference provided our first look at how some of this training will look with two separate break-out sessions for which participants may claim credit in the GPMB program.

These opportunities will continue and be expanded at future MSBA conferences and field days and, as this train keeps chugging down the track, qualified instructors will be available to assist with courses and training at the local club level. For further information about GPMB, check out:

So You Want to Be a Master Beekeeper?

By Charlotte Ekker Wiggins -

If you also want to be a master beekeeper, you will be joining Missouri beekeepers who took the first GPMB classes at MSBA’s fall conference. The Train the Trainer and Tips on Running a Bee Club sessions were the first ever certified classes for credit for a scientifically based and University sponsored Missouri master beekeeping program. Gregg is right, very exciting!

Developing a master beekeeping program for the state has been a long standing MSBA goal. The challenge was to find a scientifically based, cutting-edge research university with experienced beekeepers and entomologists who could help Missouri develop a cadre of vetted beekeepers. The idea was to increase available beekeeping mentors to help established beekeepers with the ongoing beekeeping challenges as well as work with the increasing numbers of Missouri hobby beekeepers.

At an earlier MSBA conference, Dr. Judy Wu-Smart from the University of Nebraska was one of MSBA’s guest speakers. She heard about the challenges of finding a professional master beekeeping program and offered to add Missouri to the new Great Plains Master Beekeeping program she was establishing with Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. The program launched in Missouri April 2019 and is now adding Wyoming.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get Your Beekeeping Classes Certified

Local bee clubs and associated classes can now be submitted for review and GPMB certification. Once approved, they will be notified by email, get a logo to use on websites and class materials, and the approved classes will also be listed on the GPMB website.

Once beekeepers are certified at the master’s level, they will be provided with updated materials and additional tools to teach and mentor others.

How to Begin Your Missouri Master Beekeeper Certification

To start your GPMB certification, register online:

MSBA will also offer more classes at their upcoming conferences. The next one will be March 13-14, 2020 in Kansas City. More details at

Can I get the class materials now so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel?
You need to first demonstrate your beekeeping knowledge and presentation skills. Once certified as a master beekeeper, class program materials and other updates will be provided to you.

How do I know what to include in my classes?
Great Plains Master Beekeeping lists the learning objectives on their website. If you follow that outline and cover the topics in your class presentations, you should be certified for those topics.

Can I fast track through the program?
There will be opportunities starting spring 2020 to take exams and demonstrate your knowledge to speed up the certification process. More details will be posted on the GPMB website as they are finalized.

What kind of resources do they have that I can tap into now?
You will find a number of helpful resources on GPMB’s website including a hive inspection sheet, varroa sugar sampling and, one of my favorite subjects, honey bee plants.

Are there fees associated with the classes?
There are fees as you transition from one level to the next to cover testing and some classes may include fees. Check the GPMB website links to classes for fee details.

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