Starting in 2006 with the media coverage of Colony Collapse Disorder and the rapid decline of honeybees around the world, the number of beginning beekeepers has increased exponentially. There have been reports that the number of backyard beekeepers has increased three-fold in areas such as London and New York City since 2008. In response to this interest, the Midwest Master Beekeeper Program (MMBP) was developed. This training and certification program will help beekeepers develop their skills through six levels of competency.
You can read about the background of the program here.