An apiary worker, often called a beekeeper, manage colonies of honeybees for the production of honey as well as pollination services.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Maintain colonies of healthy bees for pollination and production of honey
- Ensure sufficient food reserves
- Construct hives and replace combs
- Collect and package any hive products including honey, beeswax and pollen
- Make decisions on yards, treatment, splits, honey harvesting and all other beekeeping decisions
- Build and manage queen rearing operations
- Ensure breeding yards are kept at optimal level of production
- Maintain strict control over diseases and pests
- Identify and report hive health concerns
- Market honey products to consumers or distributors (in smaller work settings)
- Prepare colonies for both production and wintering during season changes
- Wear and maintain protective clothing and gear
- Train other beekeepers on your team
- Participate in ongoing R&D trials
- Clean and maintain beekeeping equipment
- Keep colony records
What education and training is required?
A high school degree will suffice for most employers, but if you would like a management or research position in relation to beekeeping, you may consider earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in entomology or biology. You may also attend short courses offered by colleges or extension.
To pursue a career as an Apiary Worker or Beekeeper:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, biology, mathematics, natural resources, horticulture, and Spanish.
Where can I work?
Apiary workers or beekeepers work for large companies that produce honey products, but many are also self-employed or work for smaller privately owned apiaries.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The future outlook for an apiary worker or beekeeper will be fair over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- American Beekeeping Federation
- American Honey Producers Association
- American Entomological Society
- State and local Beekeepers Associations