There are three levels in the program: A) Welsh Honey Judge Candidate, B) Welsh Honey Judge, and C) Senior Welsh Honey Judge. Below are the requirements for each level, a summary of which can be found in Appendix A.

One can become a WHJ in one year. It takes at least one additional year to achieve the rank of Senior WHJ, although Candidates for both levels may proceed through the certification process at their own pace. There is no time limit for the completion of the program requirements.

A. Welsh Honey Judge Candidate (Level 1)

1) Participate in introductory WHJ training.

To become a WHJ Candidate, one must attend the YHBI, UFBC, or INIB and participate in specified introductory WHJ training. The training includes a hands-on workshop on “Preparing, Showing, Exhibiting, and Judging Bee Produce for the Show Bench”. More information about WHJ courses offered can be found at the respective institutions’ websites:

 YHBI – http://caes2.caes.uga.edu/bees/young-harris/

 UFBC – http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/extension/welsh-honey-judge-program/

 INIB – www.inibeekeepers.com

B. Welsh Honey Judge (Level 2)

Individuals must complete five steps prior to becoming a WHJ. Steps one through five must be completed before the final exam (Step 6) is taken.

1) Achieve the level of WHJ Candidate.

2) Steward three honey shows under three different WHJs.

WHJ Candidates must document their experience as a honey show steward at a minimum of three honey shows, each under the guidance of a different WHJ. Guidelines for stewards can be found in Appendix B). Opportunities for stewarding may be available at the YHBI, UFBC, or INIB honey shows. WHJ Candidates must notify the WHJ board when stewarding a show that is not officially sanctioned by the YHBI, UFBC, or INIB prior to serving as a steward. Please note that reservations can be limited for steward opportunities at YHBI, UFBC, and/or INIB shows. WHJ Candidates additionally may be invited to steward a honey show or may self-initiate a honey show and volunteer to steward. If Candidates elect to do this, they must do it through a recognized organization such as the Florida State Beekeepers Association (http://www.floridabeekeepers.org/), Georgia Beekeepers Association (http://www.gabeekeeping.com), one of the many local beekeeper associations in Florida or Georgia, or through a county or state fair. WHJs and honey show stewards must wear proper WHJ attire (Appendix C). All stewarding activities should be documented in the Candidate’s Portfolio of Evidence (see WHJ -Step 4).

3) Earn 50 exhibiting points by showing bee exhibits at any honey show. Part of these points gathered at the FBC, YHI or INB by entering at least three different types of exhibits. These exhibits will be used as part of the candidates  Practical Training Assessment (PTA). See section 6 clause b.

WHJ Candidates must achieve a minimum of 50 points which are collected by winning ribbons or prize cards at any honey show (see Appendix D). All exhibiting activities should be documented in the Candidate’s Portfolio of Evidence (see WHJ -Step 4).

4) Develop a Portfolio of Evidence.

As a WHJ Candidate individuals are encouraged to participate in as many organized honey shows as possible, both as a steward and as an exhibitor. This participation should include exhibiting honey and hive products, judging small local shows, stewarding larger shows, etc.

Documentation of all honey show activities should be displayed professionally in a WHJ Portfolio of Evidence (e.g. organized by date in a three-ring binder with associated pieces of evidence). Activities should be documented with 1) completed Documentation of Participation forms (Appendix E) and 2) one additional Documentation of Evidence (e.g. an invitation from the honey show secretary, copies of prize cards, ribbons awarded, photographs of the Candidate at an event, sign up list, article about the show in a local paper, etc.). All evidence must carry a signature of authenticity from the show secretary or any show officer.

The first page of the WHJ Portfolio of Evidence should be a Portfolio of Evidence Cover Page (Appendix F) which is a compiled list of the Candidate’s achievements and activities. The WHJ Portfolio of Evidence will be collected and reviewed during the Oral Exam process (see WHJ -Step 6).

Although not required, it is strongly suggested that Candidates begin assembling their Senior WHJ Portfolio of Evidence early to document participation in honey shows as stewards and exhibitors.

5) Assemble a WHJ Judging Kit.

All Candidates must assemble a WHJ Judging Kit. The kit must include certain items (Appendix G) that are important for judging honey. The Candidate must present the kit to the WHJ Board during his/her Oral Exam (see WHJ –Step 6).

6) Take and pass the final examination.

Candidates who have completed steps 1-5 of the WHJ level will be eligible to take the WHJ final examination. The final exam is made up of two parts:

a. Oral Exam: A Senior WHJ will question the Candidate who must exhibit competency and understanding of the principals of Welsh honey judging.  During this exam the Candidate will present their WHJ Judging Kit and must be able to state when and how each item is to be used in a honey show. Candidates will be penalized if any items (Appendix G) are missing from their WHJ Judging Kit at this time.

b. Practical Training Assessment (PTA): The Candidate will be required to enter three different exhibits in a honey show managed by the YHBI, UFBC or INIB at the time of his/her final exam. These exhibits include: (1) one piece of beeswax or candle, (2) one jar of extracted honey, chunk honey, or creamed honey and (3) one exhibit of the Candidate's own choice. The Candidate’s choice exhibit can be selected from the honey show schedule (i.e. what classes are available at that particular show) via the respective show’s website. The Black Jar Class cannot be one of the Candidate’s exhibits in the PTA. All three exhibits must be produced by the Candidate. The products will be discussed with the Candidate and a WHJ during the PTA and Oral Exam. Feedback will be provided to the Candidate on their exhibits.

Candidates must register for the final exam and this may incur additional fees. The oral exams are offered only at the annual or semi-annual honey shows held at the UFBC, YHBI, and INIB. Candidates successfully completing all of the required steps will become certified WHJs. New WHJs will be awarded a White Trilby Hat, Welsh Honey Judge Badge, and an official certificate during the relevant institution’s (YHBI, UFBC or INIB) awards ceremony.

*There will be ongoing continuing education, exhibition, and recertification requirements for ALL Judges and Senior Judges.  Those additional requirements will be announced as soon as they details are finalized.

C. Senior Welsh Honey Judge (Level 3)

Individuals must complete seven steps prior to becoming a Senior WHJ. Steps one through six must be completed before the final exam (Step 7) is taken.

1) Achieve the level of WHJ.

2) Participate in advanced WHJ training.

To become a Senior WHJ, one must attend the YHBI, UFBC, or INIB and participate in specified advanced WHJ training. The training can only be given and accepted by a Senior WHJ and has been developed to refine the skills of experienced WHJs. More information about WHJ courses offered can be found at the respective institutions’ websites:

 YHBI – http://caes2.caes.uga.edu/bees/young-harris/

 UFBC – http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/extension/welsh-honey-judge-program/

 INIB – www.inibeekeepers.com

3) Judge three Welsh honey shows under or alongside three different WHJs.

WHJs must document their experience as a honey show judge at a minimum of three Honey shows with a Senior WHJ in attendance. The training must be under different WHJs. Opportunities for judging may be available at the YHBI, UFBC, or INIB honey shows. Honey shows that candidates have stewarded before being certified as a WHJ do not count toward this requirement for the Senior WHJ level. WHJs must wear proper WHJ attire (Appendix C). All judging activities should be documented in the Candidate’s Portfolio of Evidence (see Senior WHJ -Step 5).

4) Earn 75 exhibiting points by showing items in a honey show(s).

WHJs must achieve a minimum of 75 exhibiting points which are collected by winning ribbons or prize cards at any Welsh honey show (Appendix D). These points cannot include the 50 points required to become a certified WHJ. The exhibits entered are to be chosen from the list of honey and hive products shown in Appendix G, thereby demonstrating proficiency and knowledge with a wide range of hive and bee products across the show bench. All exhibiting activities should be documented in the Candidate’s Portfolio of Evidence (see Senior WHJ -Step 5).

5) Develop a Portfolio of Evidence.

WHJs must document all honey show activities in a Senior WHJ Portfolio of Evidence. Activities should be documented with 1) completed Documentation of Participation forms (Appendix E) and 2) one additional Documentation of Evidence (e.g. an invitation from the honey show secretary, copies of prize cards, ribbons awarded, photographs of the WHJ at an event, sign up list, article about the show in a local paper, etc.). All evidence must carry a signature of authenticity from the show secretary or any show officer. All portfolios are expected to be assembled and presented in a professional manner (e.g. organized by date, in a 3-ring binder with associated pieces of evidence).

The first page of the Senior WHJ Portfolio of Evidence should be a Portfolio of Evidence Cover Page (Appendix F) which is a compiled list of the WHJ’s achievements and activities. The Senior WHJ Portfolio of Evidence will be collected and reviewed during the Oral Exam process (see WHJ -Step 6).

6) Critique five personal exhibits.

The WHJ must assemble five honey and hive product exhibits (produced by the WHJ) chosen from the list in Appendix H without repeats (e.g. two of the five items cannot be liquid honey). The WHJ must then write a critique (maximum of one page per critique) of each exhibit. These critiques must note any faults or problems that the WHJ observes with their own exhibits. Each critique will be worth 100 points and individuals will lose points for any faults that the WHJ does not recognize in their written critiques. The individual must send their critiques by post or e-mail to the Chief Examiner at least one-week prior to the examination. Contact the hosting organization of the honey show to reach the Chief Examiner. These five exhibits and critiques will be examined and discussed during the Senior WHJ Oral Exam (see Senior WHJ -Step 6).

7) Take and pass the final examination.

WHJs who have completed steps 1-6 of the Senior WHJ level will be eligible to take the Senior WHJ final examination. WHJs testing for the Senior WHJ level will be examined by two or more certified Senior WHJ examiners at the YHBI, UFBC or INIB. Individuals testing for the Senior level must wear the official WHJ attire (Appendix C). The final exam is made up of three parts:

a. Submission of exhibits: Individuals who are taking the final exam for the Senior WHJ, must enter three of the five exhibits for which they wrote critiques (see Senior WHJ –Step 6) into the honey show corresponding with their exam date.

b. Oral Exam: A Senior WHJ will question the WHJ who must exhibit competency and understanding of the principals of Welsh honey judging.  During this exam, the WHJ will present their WHJ Judging Kit and must be able to state when and how each item is to be used in a honey show. Individuals will be penalized if any items are missing from their WHJ Judging Kit (Appendix G) at this time or if they are not wearing the complete WHJ attire (Appendix C). Additionally, the WHJ’s five critiqued exhibits will be reviewed and discussed. A cross-section of topics will be covered during the Oral Exam to confirm the WHJ’s knowledge of the whole range of bee products and bee related exhibits from across the show bench.

c. Practical Training Assessment (PTA): During the PTA, individuals testing to become a Senior WHJ will be asked to judge honey and hive products; these exhibits may include, but are not limited to, the exhibits listed in Appendix G. Furthermore, individuals may be asked to explain any faults, provide any positive remarks, and complete the judging process for any submitted exhibit. The examiners are free to ask questions related to judging Welsh honey shows and about honey and hive products in general.

Candidates must register for the final exam and this may incur additional fees. The oral exams are offered only at the annual or semi-annual honey shows held at the UFBC, YHBI, and INIB.

These six steps can be completed at the candidate's own pace. Upon successful completion, the candidates will be certified as a Senior WHJ by the YHBI, UFBC or INIB. Senior WHJs hold the highest rank and are expected to serve as leaders and standard bearers for judging honey and hive products in the USA.

*There will be ongoing continuing education, exhibition, and recertification requirements for ALL Judges and Senior Judges.  Those additional requirements will be announced as soon as they details are finalized.


Welsh Honey Judge Program Requirements

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