Apiary Worker/Beekeeper

An apiary worker, often called a beekeeper, maintains and manages colonies of honeybees for the production of honey as well as to provide pollination services. Beekeepers will also construct hives, replace combs, and collect and package any hive products including honey, beeswax and pollen. Additionally, they must maintain strict control over diseases and pests and identify and report hive health concerns.

Career Also Referred To As:

  • Beekeeper

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Maintain colonies of healthy bees for pollination and production of honey
  • Ensure sufficient food reserves and maintain appropriate records
  • Make decisions on yards, treatment, splits, honey harvesting and all other beekeeping activities
  • Build and manage queen-rearing operations
  • Ensure breeding yards are kept at an optimal level of production
  • Identify and report hive health concerns and maintain proper documentation of all concerns
  • Market honey products to consumers or distributors
  • Prepare colonies for both production and wintering during season changes
  • Train other beekeepers
  • Meet the objectives set by the lead and keep them informed of objective progress throughout the season
  • Participate in ongoing research and development trials
  • Adhere to safety and cleaning policies based on industry standards to maintain beekeeping equipment and environment
  • Keep colony records

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education, especially horticulture
  • biology
  • mathematics
  • natural resources
  • Spanish as a second language (depending on geographical area)

Education/Training Required:

A high school degree will suffice for most employers, but if you would like a management or research position in relation to beekeeping, earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in entomology or biology is beneficial. You may also attend short courses offered by colleges or extension offices.

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