Please note that until 2008 the theory part of the examination consisted of two exam papers, A and B. There is now only one theory paper to be taken.
The following past papers are available for downloading:
1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000
2002 2004 2008 2011 2013 2015 2017 2019 2021
Written assignment examples
The following are examples of topics for the written assignment. One new topic is chosen as the assignment for each assessment year. Candidates will be allocated that assignment topic when accepted for the NDB examination.
- The role of honey bees as pollinators in the UK; and how can recognition of the role be increased?
- Construct a business plan for a beekeeper interested in becoming a commercial beekeeper in UK area ‘xxxxx’.
- Obtain, evaluate and interpret the latest ‘x’ years of research on bee communication and its potential impact on beekeeping in the UK.
- Obtain, evaluate and interpret the latest ‘x’ years of research into the nutritive value of different pollen sources of relevance to UK beekeeping.
- Obtain, evaluate and interpret the latest ‘x’ years research and reports on poor queen performance and offer an opinion on how beekeeping practices might have to change.
- Obtain, evaluate and interpret the apitherapeutic claims for honey / propolis / pollen / beeswax.
- Identify the possible impacts of climate change (especially global warming) on beekeeping practices in the UK / England / Scotland / Wales / NI.
- Identify the possible impacts of Environmental Stewardship Schemes on beekeeping practices in the UK / England / Scotland / NI.
- Identify, investigate and evaluate the success of techniques that beekeeping associations use in the UK to communicate with their members and the general public.
- Investigate and propose ways in which the understanding and appreciation of honey bees by children / young people / adults etc be achieved
- Evaluate the success of beekeeping projects in developing countries.
- Evaluate and contrast recent developments in varroa control and their role in Integrated Pest Management strategies.
- Evaluate scientific risk assessment studies in the chemicals imidacloprid and fipronil and critically examine concerns by beekeepers about their use.
Portfolio of beekeeping experience
Candidates are required to produce a portfolio demonstrating their beekeeping activities, evidence of teaching and other involvement in beekeeping.
There is no set format to the information which can be included in the portfolio. The purpose of this section of the assessment is to give the candidate the opportunity to describe and demonstrate how their beekeeping knowledge and experience has been gained and what beekeeping activities the candidate has undertaken. Involvement in the activities of their local and area beekeeping associations could also be included. Related and relevant experience such as interests and involvement in biological and natural history subjects are also worthy of inclusion. Experience in teaching and mentoring beekeepers are of particular relevance.
Ideally the portfolio will be a loose leaf, but organised, document containing a mixture of description, photographs, press cuttings and other literature which augments the written description.
Candidates are advised to compile their portfolio progressively during their preparations for the assessment and not leave it to the last minute. The botany aspects should necessarily be addressed across the seasons as and when various specimens become available for study and recording.
Portfolio of Plants of Relevance to Bees
Candidates are required to produce a portfolio of plants of relevance to bees and beekeeping. There is no set format to the portfolio, but it will need to be submitted in conjunction with the portfolio of beekeeping experience. Plants for inclusion will be at the discretion of the candidate but could include plants from major and minor nectar sources, of benefit for pollen, which are nutritionally deficient, affected by pesticides, of historical relevance, local relevance or other criteria as determined by the candidate. It is likely to be in a loose leaf, but organised document containing a mixture of description, photographs, diagrams, graphs or data and any other relevant information. It is recommended that this portfolio is started as early as possible to allow candidates to fully appreciate the forage over a full year in their local area.
Portfolio of Insects of Relevance to Bees
Candidates are required to produce a portfolio of insects of relevance to bees and beekeeping. There is no set format to the portfolio, but it will need to be submitted in conjunction with the portfolio of beekeeping experience.
Insects included will be at the discretion of the candidate, but could include insects from each of the major groups, with a further number of particular relevance to beekeeping, such as members of the hymenoptera family for example. Other insects could include those considered pests, or economically damaging to beekeepers and farmers.
It is likely to be in a loose leaf, but organised document containing a mixture of description, photographs, diagrams, or any other relevant information.
Candidates should expect to discuss their portfolio as part of the exam, and should retain a second copy for themselves.
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