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This course will focus on the general introduction about bee-keeping. It will go into the general morphology and alimentary systems of the bee and into special organs related to its social activity. Knowledge about the reproductive system and the differences between queen, workers and drones will also be given.
This is a 20 hour guided learning course. Students need to invest further hours in the course, which will include private study and home assignments.
This course has been designed to provide the basic skills for learners to successfully start their own apiary:
Learning Outcome 1: Name the stages of the life cycle of the honey bee
- Honey Bee’s Life Cycle: Life cycle and metamorphosis of the honey bee; Time periods of metamorphosis; Average life expectancy of honey bees
- Basic Scientific Facts: Scientific name; Characteristics of honey bees; General insect morphology
- Anatomy of the Honey Bee: Respiratory system; Circulatory system; Alimentary system; Nervous system; Reproductive system
- Annual Honey Bee Cycle in Malta
- Honey Bees and Malta
- Traditional Maltese Bee Keeping (including some statistical data)
Learning Outcome 2; List the roles of honey bees within a colony
- Honey Bee Colony: What constitutes a healthy colony; Anatomical differences between workers, drones, queen; Bee-wax production
- Roles within the Colony: Work inside and outside the hive; Bee’s division of labour; Role of nurse bees, guard bees and foragers;
- Bee food dances; Functions in the hive – the queen, the drone, the worker
- The Queen: the queen and its mating process, marking and clipping the queen
- The Bee Sting: the bee sting and its various effects on human beings, how to control the effect of the sting
Learning Outcome 3; Mention the steps involved in preparing and maintaining a hive
- Bee Keeping Equipment: Different equipment that is needed for bee keeping and its use; Protective clothing and its features; Different hive boxes; Layout of bee hives
- Preparation of Honey Frames: Practical session how to prepare frames with wax foundation
- Cleaning and Maintenance of Hive Boxes: Practical session how to clean and prepare hive boxes for use, using the blow lamp
Learning Outcome 4; Inspect a hive by using appropriate equipment and following the correct procedures
- Inspecting the Hive: Practical sessions how to inspect a bee hive
- Steps to Follow when Inspecting a Hive: Use of smoker; Practical session how smoker is lit and used; Simulation how a hive is opened using the equipment; What to check during a hive inspection; Precautions the bee keeper must take during inspection
- Equipment needed to inspect a Hive and Personal Protective Equipment
Learning Outcome 5; Harvest honey from a capped honey comb using the honey extractor
- Honey: Flowers for food; Honey composition; Honey harvest in Malta; Type of honey found in Malta (spring honey, wild thyme honey, autumn honey), Coloration of three main honey found in Malta, Crystallisation of honey; Honey extraction.
- Honey Harvesting: Practical session how to decap and extract honey from frames, how honey is stored and bottled, labeling of honey jars
No pre-requisites and/or entry requirements are required.
Course participants may be awarded either an MCAST Certificate of Attendance or an MCAST Certificate of Achievement.
MCAST Certificate of Attendance
- An MCAST Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to those candidates who attend at least 80% of the lessons.
MCAST Certificate of Achievement
- An MCAST Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to those candidates who satisfy the 80% attendance criteria and also choose to sit and pass the course assessment/s.
- Students who opt not to sit for the assessment or fail (the assessment/s) will however be awarded the MCAST Certificate of Attendance provided that they fulfill the minimum attendance criteria as stated above.
If the student intends to obtain a Certificate of Achievement, she/he is required to sit for an assessment/s. Assessment/s may take various forms such as a home assignment, class assignment, practical test and time constrained test. However, the assessment/s is not compulsory and an applicant may choose not to sit for it.
There are no additional costs or special materials/equipment to bring.