Agricultural and fishing trades n.e.c. > Beekeeper
Beekeepers manage colonies of honeybees kept in hives to produce honey, beeswax and royal jelly.
37 to 42 variable (freelance / self-employed managing your own hours)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursestarting 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 get into beekeeping.
There are short courses for beginners and slightly longer ones for those with more experience, One of these courses includes the Level 1 Award in Introduction to Beekeeping.
There are no set entry requirements for this route.
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.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- observation and recording skills
- knowledge of biology
- the ability to work on your own
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with your hands
- thinking and reasoning skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to operate and control equipment
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
As a beekeeper, you'll:
- build, inspect or repair hives
- introduce a new colony or look after an existing one
- check the health of your bees
- treat your hive and bees to fight disease and pests
- breed queen bees and set up smaller, starter colonies
- collect honey from hives
prepare and bottle honey
- market honey and products like beeswax
- mentor or train new beekeepers
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
You could move into training or commercial bee farming and develop more hives over a wider area.
With qualifications in science, you could work in crop production and pollination research.