Alternative titles for this job include Apiarist, apiculturist

Beekeepers manage colonies of honeybees kept in hives to produce honey, beeswax and royal jelly.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become a beekeeper

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • starting as a hobby and learning on the job


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills you need to do this job. Relevant subjects include a Level 1 Award in Introduction to Beekeeping.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course

More Information

Other Routes

You can keep bees as a hobby and learn how to successfully set up and manage healthy colonies of honeybees.

You can also join a beekeeping group where you'll learn from experienced beekeepers, and work towards qualifications offered by The British Beekeepers Association.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a beekeeper through The British Beekeepers Association and the National Bee Unit.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • observation and recording skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As part of your day-to-day duties, you could:

  • build, inspect or repair hives
  • introduce a new colony or maintain an existing one
  • feed or check the health of your bees
  • monitor the size of your colony and amount of honey produced
  • treat your hive and bees to fight disease and pests
  • collect honey from hives
  • prepare and bottle honey
  • market honey and products like beeswax
  • mentor or train new beekeepers, once experienced
  • breed queen bees and smaller, starter or 'nucleus' bee colonies

Working environment

You could work on a farm or at a bee yard.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into commercial beekeeping and develop more hives over a wider area. 

You could also train new beekeepers.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a beekeeper right now.

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Courses In England

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