Beekeeper

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)

Variable

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

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills you need to do this job. Relevant subjects include the Lantra 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) 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:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • building, inspecting or repairing hives
  • introducing a new colony or maintaining an existing one
  • feeding or checking the health of your bees
  • monitoring the size of your colony and amount of honey produced
  • treating your hive and bees to fight disease and pests
  • collecting honey from hives
  • preparing and bottling honey
  • marketing honey and products like beeswax
  • mentoring or training new beekeepers, once experienced
  • breeding 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.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

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

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Introduction to bee keeping

  • Provider: Derbyshire County Council
  • Start date: 13 January 2019
  • Location: MIDDLETON MATLOCK

Bee keeping for Beginners

  • Provider: Eastleigh College
  • Start date: 30 January 2019
  • Location: Eastleigh

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