The syllabus for the NDB is both broader and deeper than the Master Beekeeper, or equivalent qualification that is the normal minimum entry requirement to enter for the NDB exam.
Although such a qualification touches on some of the wider aspects of beekeeping, candidates for the NDB are expected to have a broader understanding of how honeybees fit into the natural world. This includes a much deeper understanding of entomology, botany and disease recognition. Candidates are encouraged to undertake study in these areas as early as possible, and courses by the Field Studies Council (FSC) have been found to offer suitable depth in specialist areas.
A selection of insects of relevance to bees
Candidates are expected to have a understanding to family level of the difference between the key insect groups, such as flies, moths, bees etc. This includes an understanding of the key physical features and a representative from each group.
Candidates will be expected to identify (to family level) and discuss a selection of insect samples during the exam. This discussion may also include insects identified by the candidate as part of their portfolio of insects.