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UM's Online Beekeeping Certificate program consists of three university courses at the apprentice, journeyman and master levels, culminating in a certificate designating the participant as a "Master Beekeeper." The program is endorsed by the Montana State Beekeepers Association and taught by UM faculty members and owners of Bee Alert Technology, Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, Scott Debnam & Phillip Welch.
Honey bees are faced with more diseases, more pests, and more challenges of all sorts than ever before. Traditional beekeeping practices are no longer sufficient to keep bees alive, much less producing at full capacity. UM’s Master Beekeeping Program is designed to help modern beekeepers understand what honey bees need to face these challenges.
The courses meet online with instructors guiding the lessons, participating in discussions and being available to answer questions. Each course culminates with a hands-on session in an apiary, under the supervision of an approved proctor.
Although each of the courses is only a few weeks in length, the full program takes three years to complete. It is structured to give participants a full year of experience between courses. Earning this certificate will distinguish you as a beekeeper grounded in science and versed in the latest discoveries in honey bee health.
Students have the option of taking the courses for academic credit through the University of Montana, or for Continuing Education Units.
Both hobbyist and commercial beekeepers have taken the courses. To gain the most benefit from the program, students should have at least entry-level experience handling bees, an awareness of current bee health issues, and a commitment to learn what they can in an effort to be a part of the solution.
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