Journey Level

Application for Journey Level is now open for 2020. Acceptance to the program will be confirmed after January 15th, 2020. 


  • 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
  • Attend 2 main + 1 additional course out of 5 following core courses:
  • Advanced Honey Bee Anatomy and Physiology (UC Davis MAIN)
  • Queen Rearing Course (UC Davis) (MAIN)
  • Pest Management Strategies (Varroa and other) (UC Davis) (Additional)
  • Pollination and non-apis pollinators/Gardening for bees (UC Davis) (Additional)
  • How to perform an Outreach and how to mentor effectively + Laws and Regulations with emphasis on understanding Africanized Bees (UC Davis) (Additional)
  • Honey and other Hive Products (UC Davis) (MAIN)

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 exam 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
  • In order to maintain an active status in the program individuals will be responsible for Eight Beneficial Educational Experiences (BEEs) per year.  Two credits must include continuing education such as attending conferences, UCD Bee Symposium, CAMBP webinars or other verified 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.
  7. Publishing an article in a newsletter, a blog, or in a beekeeping trade journal.

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)
  • 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)

Recommended Periodicals:

Other Recommended Internet Resources:

2020 Exam weekend: August 15 - 16. 

Exam Format: Written 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).  Examinations will begin at 9:30 AM and candidates will have 2 hours to complete the exam. The exam consists of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and matching questions. No outside materials will be allowed during the written 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). In the future, additional exam locations will be offered depending on the number of candidates in specific California regions: Southern California (San Diego County), 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. Practical exams will be scored upon the completion of the examination session and the candidates will be notified of their written exam score within one week via email or phone.

Exam fee ($250): Covers the cost of exam materials and preparation, breakfast and catered lunch.

Candidates that do not pass the exam may retake the exam for an additional examination fee of $50.

Journey Level Application Apply now for 2020