Bees – Intermediate Beekeeping Course

The Intermediate Course in beekeeping builds on the knowledge gained from the Preliminary Course and improves the understanding of both the scientific and practical aspects of beekeeping. It consists of three parts; Scientific, Practical and Apiary Practical, delivered over a period of at least two years and leading to the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations (FIBKA) Intermediate Certificate of Proficiency in Beekeeping. 

The Scientific and Practical parts each consist of 15 ‘winter’ evening classroom sessions, delivered in alternative years. The Practical part was delivered and will be delivered again in will be confirmed. The Scientific part will be delivered in due course.

The Ulster Beekeepers’ Association (UBKA) will deliver the Scientific part of this Intermediate level course at CAFRE Greenmount Campus Co. Antrim; Comber Co. Down; Dromore Co. Down; and Enniskillen Campus Co. Fermanagh, starting in September.

Who is the course for? 

Holders of the FIBKA Preliminary Beekeeping certificate (or equivalent) who wish to increase their knowledge, understanding and practical skills in beekeeping.

Those applying should be aware that independent study is essential in addition to attending classes and apiary workshops.

Course Content 

Practical: Natural History of the Honeybee, Nectar and Honey, Forage Plants and Pollination, Diseases, Pests and Pathogens, Apiary and Honeybee Management, Hive Products and their Preparation for Show and Sale. (15 evenings).

Scientific: The External Anatomy and Internal Feature of the Honeybee, its life cycle, the work done, methods of communication, reproduction, brood and  adult bee diseases, pollination, honey and swarming (15 evenings).

Apiary Practical: Candidates are recommended to refer to thedetail of the Apiary Practical syllabus on the FIBKA website and to use every opportunity to attend teaching and training sessions offered by UBKA and Local Associations where techniques such as colony assessment, disease identification and treatment, queen rearing, nucleus production, swarm control, apiary and honeybee management etc. will be covered.

The syllabus is available here


There is a three-hour written exam at the end of both the Scientific and Practical years. The Apiary Practical Assessment will be held in the candidate’s own apiary. There is no written exam and the candidate is examined orally and practically by two examiners. An important feature is the examination of three years hive records for each candidate. 

The Intermediate Apiary practical can also stand on its own as a step towards the Practical Bee-master Certificatefor those not wishing to take all three hour written examinations. For those planning to progress to the Senior Certificate it is a step towards completing the Apiary Practical part of the Senior Certificate.

The Intermediate Certificate will be awarded only when all three examinations have been passed.

The winter evening classroom sessions for the Scientific and Practical parts of the Intermediate Course are normally offered at several locations throughout Northern Ireland and details of locations, the course cost and application process for delivery of the Practical part in and will be available during summer.

Course Cost 

£140 for each of the Practical and Scientific years. Costs for the Apiary Practical course are to be confirmed by the UBKA.

To discuss the syllabus and confirm dates arranged for the Intermediate Scientific classes contact the Course Tutor for the centre of your choice and if you need to discuss in more detail contact Intermediate Course Convener Patrick Lundy: or Tel:028 9756 3165.


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