Journey Level

Next Journey Level application deadline: January 31, 2021


  • Must own/manage a minimum of three colonies for at least two years prior to testing.
  • Must have at least three registered hives where possible (Certain counties do not have the ability to provide this service to beekeepers. Confirmation required prior to acceptance in the program).
  • Must be an active Apprentice in the California Master Beekeeper Program
    • (Effective 2021, active Apprentices are required to perform 10 hours of BEEs/year to maintain active status in the CAMBP)

Attend 2 main + 1 additional course  of the following core courses:

  • Advanced Honey Bee Anatomy and Physiology (UC Davis) (Main)
  • Queen Rearing Techniques Short Course (UC Davis) (Main)
  • Queen Rearing Basics (UC Davis) (Main)
  • Pest Management Strategies or Managing for Varroa (UC Davis) (Main)
  • Pollination and Non-Apis Pollinators/Gardening for Bees (UC Davis) (Additional) 
  • Wax Working, Honey and Hive Products (UC Davis) (Additional)

If you have already attended any of the courses listed above they will count towards the program. You will still be responsible for the knowledge in these courses which you will be able to obtain from the study guide and readings. Pass the Apprentice written and practical exams with a 75% or more and receive the Journey level study guide.

Expectations and Goals:

Upon completion, Journey Level Beekeepers will be able to:

  • Perform all skills required in the Apprentice Level
  • Be able to identify internal and external anatomy of all castes
  • Understand function of various structures of all castes
  • Understand in-depth aspects of honey bee queen biology
  • Understand and perform multiple queen rearing methods
  • Understand major hive pest biology
  • Implement various pest management strategy
  • Understand and apply various chemical treatments for hive pests
  • Understand and implement non-chemical methods of pest control
  • Identify plants that are pollinator supportive
  • Be familiar with sample preparation for pollen analysis
  • Understand the role of and identify non-apis pollinators
  • Understand basics of conducting effective outreach and mentoring
  • Understand various laws and regulations regarding beekeeping (CA)
  • Understand various laws and regulations regarding pesticides (CA and Federal)
  • Understand Africanized honey bee biology
  • Understand the nuances of working with Africanized honey bees
  • Be able to extract honey from a hive and understand honey handling
  • Understand honey properties and varietals
  • Process wax from a honey bee hive
  • Understand various other hive products and their use
  • Effective 2021, 20 hours of BEEs are required for the CAMBP Journey level members to maintain active status. Two credits must include continuing education such as attending conferences, CAMBP webinars or other trainings (verify before attending). The following activities are pre-approved for satisfying Journey Level CAMBP BEEs requirements:
  1. Presenting a bee-related lecture or workshop to non-beekeeping group (youth or adult).
  2. Holding office in a local beekeeping association.
  3. Assisting members of youth organizations (4-H, Scouts, FFA), etc. with a bee-related project.
  4. Successfully mentoring a new beekeeper through at least one season.
  5. Giving a public demonstration on beekeeping topic at fair, festival or similar public event.
  6. Other related volunteer work in the areas of hive management, bees and gardening such as swarm removal.
  7. Publishing an article in a newsletter, a blog, or in a beekeeping trade journal.
  8. Social media/online beekeeping mentorship

Program Content

Required Text:

  • The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition – Diana Sammataro, Alphonse Avitabile, Dewey M. Caron (2011)
  • CAMBP 2020 Journey Level Study Guide – E.L. Niño and B.D. Niño
  • Honey Bee Health Coalition Manual
  • Queen rearing and bee breeding: “Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding” by Harry H. Laidlaw Jr and Robert Page. However, if you have a different book in mind or have read additional books please contact us for approval.

Recommended Supplemental Classes/Events:

  • Honey Sensory Experience
  • World of Honey
  • Introduction to Mead Making
  • Basics of Honey Bee Breeding
  • Gardening for Pollinators offered by Dr. Chris Casey

Recommended Reading:

  • Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary, 3rd Edition – Keith Delaplane (2007)
  • The Biology of the Honey Bee – Mark Winston (1991)
  • Honey Bee Pests, Predators, and Diseases, 3rd Edition – A.I. Root (Morse and Flottum, eds.) (1998)
  • ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture – A.I. Root (2007)
  • The Hive and the Honey Bee – Dadant and Sons, Inc. (1992)
  • Anatomy and Dissection of the Honeybee - H. A. Dade (2017)
  • Understanding Bee Anatomy: A Full Colour Guide - Dr. Ian Stell (2012)
  • Backyard Beekeeping, Weeks Ringle – Kim Flottum (2005)
  • The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 3rd Edition – Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile (2006)
  • Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary, 3rd Edition – Keith Delaplane (2007)
  • The Backyard Beekeeper, Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden – Kim Flottum (2010)
  • First Lessons in Beekeeping – Keith Delaplane (2007)
  • Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping – Dewey Caron (2013)
  • Queen Bee: Biology, Rearing and Breeding - David Woodward (2014)
  • Queen Rearing Essentials - Larry Connor (2009)
  • California Bees and Blooms (Heydey Press)
  • California Native Plants for the Garden (Cachuma Press)

Recommended Periodicals:

Other Recommended Internet Resources:

Exam Format: Written exams  Online examinations are 2 hours. The exam consists of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and matching questions. No outside materials are allowed during the online exam.

Practical field exams will take place at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility located on 1 Bee Biology Rd., Davis, CA 95618 (UC Davis campus). Additional exam locations include Southern California (San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County), and in future will include Central California (Fresno/Madera Counties), and Northern California (Humboldt County). Candidates will be assigned a 30 minute time slot for a one-on-one exam with an examiner. 

To pass, candidates must receive a score of 80% or higher on both practical and written examinations. Candidates will be notified of their written exam score before taking their practical. Candidates that do not pass the online exam may retake the exam for an additional examination fee of $50 prior to their practical.

Exam fee ($250): Includes the Journey Level Study Guide, live online Study Hall Q & A events, certificate of merit and CAMBP Journey Level pin. All E. L. Niño Bee Lab classes and short courses are extra. Journey Level Application
Click here to apply for 2021