Bees are more important than they are given credit for. It is a proven fact that if bees happen to go extinct, all vegetation on Earth will also perish. This ultimately leads to the extinction of every other life form on the Earth too. To add to this, bees also produce honey. ?
Beekeeping is a very difficult and unconventional job. But it holds utmost importance, and people who pursue this career option are wise people who understand how important bees are.
A beekeeper can easily earn up to $43,236 per year. ?
This blog is a proper guide, and you should refer to it if you want to become a Bee Keeper. ?
Who is a Bee Keeper?
As the name suggests, a beekeeper is someone who cultivates bee colonies and harvests honey. They are also called apiculturists, honey farmers, or apiarists.
So, if anyone ever mentions these terms in front of you, understand that they are talking about someone who is a beekeeper. ?
An apiary refers to a ‘bee yard,’ and this is where they keep their bees. The job includes setting up apiaries, raising queen bees, maintaining the apiaries, pollination of crops, and selling bees to other farmers. ?
How much can a Bee Keeper earn?
Beekeeping is a growing field and will only progress more in the years to come. This also means that the salary trends will also improve as time goes by. ?
Now, the average salary of a Beekeeper in the United States as of June 2023 is recorded to be $43,236 per year. This pay solely depends upon the number of bee yards a person cultivates. An estimated 200 yards for the bees can help you earn a full-time income. ?
It also depends on the area, the weather, and market conditions. This is a given because some places can be more favorable for the bees and the business as compared to the rest. ?
How to Become a Beekeeper?
You need to understand how you would be able to become a professional beekeeper and hence, need the help of the guide given below that has been tailored accordion to your needs. It includes everything you should know and has information that is up to date. ?
Find out about the rules
The first and foremost step to take into consideration even before you set out for education is to find out all rules and regulations related to bees in your neighborhood.
This might come off as surprising to some people, but a lot of places have different rules and laws related to beekeeping.
Before you commit to beekeeping as your full-time career, you should research all such laws so that you know if it’s legal or not in your locality. If it is legal, then what are the rules you need to look out for, if there are any? ?
Find a course
The next step is to most definitely get a proper education. You should choose any program and degree that would help you understand more about bees, apiaries, and their cultivation.
The latter half of this article includes information about courses and schools that can provide you with degrees. ??
Connect with other bee farmers
When you are looking and researching the laws for beekeeping in your area, also try to find any local beekeeping community that might be there. It is a very high probability that one exists and is active as well.
Connecting to other farmers that you might befriend in this community can help get lots of advice and tips from more experienced farmers. If there isn’t any community nearby, don’t be disheartened. You can still find farmers from other areas and form a network with them. ?
Buy your apiaries and bees
You won’t be able to become a bee farmer without a farm and the bees, would you? No, right? This is why the next step we will be talking about is buying the farms and the bees. There are a lot of ways in which you can buy bees.
The most recommended method would be to buy bees from another local bee seller. You also need to get appropriate equipment. ⚒️
Cultivate your colonies
The last step is to start cultivating your colonies. Make sure that you have all the right information about the work.
You can gather more information by asking your network of beekeeping friends, as we talked about earlier. Find out about more beneficial techniques, and work towards improvement so that the bee colonies start thriving. ??
Responsibilities of a Beekeeper
A beekeeper has to take care of a lot of responsibilities because their job involves taking care of other living organisms. Hence, it might get hectic, but the beekeeper should always pay heed to some of their most basic responsibilities.
Take care of the hive
As we discussed, as a beekeeper, you take on the responsibility of taking care of other living organisms, that is, the bees. Where do the bees live? In the hives, you are going to make for them. Hence, it is of utmost importance that you do regular checkups of the hive and make sure that it is properly cleaned and maintained.
Doing regular inspections would help you better understand how your bees are living in the setups you have built for them. This will, in turn, help you improve their living conditions which will ensure a good yield. ?
Diseases and pests easily infest the hives and are a very common issue for all beekeepers. Look out for these, too, when you inspect your hives. If the bees do get sick, find out about the safest method to cure them.
Using your network of beekeeping friends, you should always keep an eye out for more information and news about the practices and techniques involved in the job. Remember, the more you know about your bee friends, the better you will be able to care for them.
And the better you care for them, the greater the results. The results include the yield as well as the growth of your apiaries. You can cultivate more and more apiaries if you get successful yields.?
Respect what your bees do
Honey bees are nice creatures, but when threatened, they can be very harmful to you. What you also need to remember is that you and your bees are partners in your business. You need to give them and treat them with respect.
It is also important because bees are more crucial for the environment and help it so much. That is why they should also be treated as such.
Don’t bother the neighbors
Due to the recent advances in technology, you can now keep and maintain bee colonies no matter where you are.
It is crucial for you to stay up to date with the laws and rules in your locality so that you don’t bother the rest of the people living around and in the locality. ?️
Feed the bees properly
What the bees feed on is also your responsibility. We have talked about diseases and how they are a very common problem for beekeepers. The right nutrition for the bees can help them tackle such issues.
You would have to study quite a lot and get advice from your network but get all the necessary information for feeding your bees. Always keep backup supplements ready because there might be unforeseen growth in the colony at times.
Simply put, you need to be ready in case your bees get sick or need more food. ?
Top Bee Keeper Courses in the United States
While educational qualifications are always necessary, you might just need to be a step above the other people in this business, and for that, you need to delve into extra courses and programs that specifically focus on the building of a skill set. ??
This course is offered by Udemy, which is a very useful and active online learning platform for learners who want to take one more step to gain more knowledge on whatever topic they want.
This course is divided into nine sections that are further divided into 95 lectures. This makes it a total watch of 13 hours for the students.
You will also get a lifetime of access to the study material and also a certificate of completion after finishing the course. The instructor for this course is Dr. Thomas Caroll, who is an educator, researcher, and author. ✏️
Another course you can access on Udemy is Beekeeping 101: An Intro to Beekeeping Class. This course is divided into eight sections which are further divided into 24 lectures. The total watch time for a student rounds off to 2 hours.
The instructor for this course will be Margaret Smith. You will also get a lifetime of access to the study material and also a certificate of completion after finishing the course.
Upon completion, you will be able to identify hives, maintain them, use smokers for your bees, feed your bees, do a bee inspection, and use the equipment properly. ?️
This course is offered by the PerfectBee Academy, as the name suggests. This academy offers you to join their colony of beekeepers and avail all the resources they might have to offer.
You will find more than a hundred lessons on the site specially tailored for you to understand beekeeping.
These lessons are separated and included in three courses that you can complete from this source.
The first course is all about learning about bees, the second is about setting up hives, and the last one teaches you about maintaining the hive. It also includes quizzes, webinars, and other activities to check your knowledge. ?
This source – eCornell – is the online platform for Cornell University. You can find this program there, which requires you to have three years of experience before applying. The format of studying is both online as well as offline, and the duration of the course is 15 hours.
The authors for this course are Eleanor Andrews, Ben Carpenter, Kimberly Carpenter, Tom Seeley, Emma Walters, and Katherine Urban-Mead. Upon completion, you would have learned everything bout honey bee biology and other things at a master’s level.
You would also need to appear for exams at the end. ?
Top Bee Keeper Schools in the World
Since we are done with extracurricular courses, we should now take a look at proper programs and the colleges that are offering them. ?
Southern Institute of Technology
Located in New Zealand, the Southern Institute of Technology offers you a degree in a beekeeping program readily. The good news is that you can avail of this course via online mode as well.
The tuition fee is going to be $14,300 per year. It is a 36-week course. After finishing this course, you will be to cultivate apiaries and bee colonies with the latest techniques and methods in the field as of now.
University of Montana
The University of Montana also offers you an economics, law, or business online beekeeping program at its premises located in Montana, as the name suggests. It is a three-level program – apprentice, then journeyman, and finally master.
After finishing the program, you will be designated as a Master Beekeeper. Montana State Beekeepers Association, Project Apis m, and the American Honey Producers Association are the organizations endorsing this program.
University of California
The University of California offers you a beekeeping program at its premises. It is a four-level program – honey bee ambassador, apprentice, then journeyman, and finally, master. The honey bee ambassador level was previously known as the apprentice’s assistant and includes basic theory.
At the Apprentice level, you would learn how to manage bee hives. At the Journeyman level, you would delve into deeper theoretical and practical skills. And finally, at the Master level, you would become designated as a Master Beekeeper as you would have learned all that is there to learn about beekeeping.
University of Florida
The University of Florida has more than a few programs that are interlinked to beekeeping, which would ensure that you have enough foundational knowledge before trying out for a proper beekeeping license.
It has a certification program for just beekeeping as well, which teaches you basic theory about honey bees and the maintenance of their hives. Other than this, the Department for Agricultural and Life Sciences has a lot of other courses you can choose from as well.
When you are deciding where you want to go study, you should sit down, think about it and choose the best one for you properly, as it will pave the path for your career. ?
Where to find Bee Keeper opportunities online?
Online job platforms have increased a lot in the past decade and this rise is very advantageous for employment. You can find a lot of online communities that are dedicated to beekeeping and cultivating apiaries. ?
Indeed is one of the many job-hunting websites that have become more and more popular now because of the increase in internet users. Almost everyone owns an online CV/resume now and prefers applying for jobs according to their comfort. This is because of the ease that these platforms offer. You only need to have a secure net connection, and then you can start applying.
Indeed offers a lot of beekeeping jobs that you can take up, so make sure that you are active and apply to each opportunity you get. ✅
AGCareers is another great source for job-hunting, which you can access easily online. What’s also added is a small overview as to what the job you are applying to looks like and a guide for gathering information about what you would need to do.
Other than this, it also requires you to make an AGCareer account and then start applying for jobs. After applying, it provides all of the information you’d want to know – the salary, closing date, and other requirements. ?
American Beekeeping Federation
This source is primarily built for Beekeepers. It has a lot of resources that would be able to use. Firstly, it has a membership system that you can most definitely apply for so that you get more benefits out of the platform.
Other than this, it has more resources that can help you get a better hang of the job. It helps you sort out the information on a regional level because, as we have already discussed, beekeeping rules are very different from region to region.
The community also holds regular conferences so that the members can interact with more professionals and build a beekeeping network for themselves. ?
This job we just talked about above is a job that requires utmost responsibility and care. It is a job that is going to help millions of lifeforms as it tackles the recent environmental problems that have arisen.
It is very unconventional, for sure, but the ones who choose to go work in this field don’t feel an ounce of regret when they realize how great the job and its benefits are. ?
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