Apiary Worker / Beekeeper

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.
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 activities
  • Build and manage queen-rearing operations
  • Ensure breeding yards are kept at an 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
  • Participate in ongoing research and development trials
  • Clean and maintain beekeeping equipment
  • Keep colony records
Recommended High School Courses: 
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, biology, mathematics, natural resources, horticulture and Spanish.
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.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
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.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: 
  • American Beekeeping Federation
  • American Honey Producers Association
  • American Entomological Society
  • State and local Beekeepers Associations
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$35,000
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Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.