Bees on top bar, photograph by RPN on Pixabay

Journey Certification

We welcome applications for the 2023 Journey level certification. You must be a certified CAMBP Apprentice in good standing to apply. Thank you for your service to your community in education and outreach. Please record and submit your minimum of 10 service hours of Beneficial Education Experiences (BEEs) and 12 hours in Continuing Education (CEs) before completing your Journey level application. Thank you!


  • Must own/manage a minimum of three colonies for at least two years prior to testing.
  • Meet the registration requirement where possible (certain counties do not allow beekeeping, or do not offer registration service to beekeepers) at BeeWhere .
  • Must be an active Apprentice (10 BEEs and 12 CEs uploaded to the member form in the past 12 months)

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

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

Candidates are responsible for the skill and knowledge in both the Apprentice and Journey study guides and readings. Pass the Apprentice written and practical exams with a 80% or more and receive access to 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
  • 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 and locally defensive behavior
  • Understand the nuances of working with and re-queening locally defensive 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
  • Describe and perform a basic honey tasting

Volunteering: Journey level members are responsible to perform 20 Beneficial Education Experiences (BEEs) and 12 Continuing Education hours (CEs) per year (1 hour = 1 BEE or CE), to maintain active status in the program. Members record their hours (BEEs and CEs) in the "Members" section of the CAMBP website. The following activities are pre-approved for satisfying CAMBP BEE requirements:

  • Presenting a bee-related lecture or workshop to non-beekeeping group (youth or adult)
  • Holding office in a local beekeeping association.
  • Assisting members of youth organizations (4-H, Scouts, FFA), etc. with a bee-related project.
  • Successfully mentoring a new beekeeper through at least one season.
  • Giving a public demonstration on beekeeping topic at fair, festival or similar public event (working from a stage, booth or table)
  • Swarm removal.
  • Writing a science-based honey bee or beekeeping article for a newsletter or a trade journal.
  • Social media support/online mentoring of new beekeepers and answering hotline questions (where available).
  • Ride-a-longs with county apiarists (where available).

The following activities are pre-approved for satisfying CAMBP CEs requirements:

  • Attending science-based lectures 
  • Listening to science-based podcasts lectures and webinars
  • Attending beekeeper trade shows and conventions
  • Reading science-based beekeeping journals and magazines

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, UC Davis Bee Gardening Resources

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:

Recommended Internet Resources:

Online Exam Format: Candidates have 2 hours to complete the online exam which based on the Apprentice Asssistant, Apprentice and Journey level study guides and consists of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and matching questions. Exam opens on the 3rd Saturday in August and closes after 48 hours. Once the exam is opened, you have 2 hours to complete it. 

Practical Field Exams: Candidates are responsible for bringing their own protective gear, but all other equipment is provided by the program. In person practical field exams are held at Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility (UC Davis campus) and other CAMBP Satellite Hubs in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Northern California (Humboldt County). Candidates are assigned a 30 minute time slot for a one-on-one exam with an examiner. Practical exams over Zoom or YouTube video submissions can be arranged upon request. 

Exam fee ($250): Includes the Journey Level Study Guide, live online Study Hall Q & A events, certificate of merit and CAMBP Journey Level pin, and access to the Master materials in the membership portal.  All E. L. Niño Bee Lab classes and short courses are extra.

Passing score is 80% on both written and practical exams.  Candidates are notified of their written exam score prior to their practical field exam. Candidates can retake the online written exam for a fee of $50 prior to the practical exam.


Journey Level Application for 2023