Although many people pursue beekeeping primarily as a hobby, there are a growing number of commercial Beekeepers (also known as Apiarists) around the UK. It’s their job to maintain happy and healthy hives, to help pollinate the plants and produce honey.
Typical duties for a Beekeeper could include:
- Ensuring the bees are healthy and well-maintained, and inspecting hives for signs of disease
- ‘Hefting’ (lifting the corners of the hive to see how much honey has been produced)
- Maintaining the garden and surrounding plants to help bees pollinate them
- Harvesting honey, royal jelly and beeswax P
- Putting on ‘supers’ (chambers to form honeycomb)
- Using a ‘smoker’ to calm any agitated bees (N.B. amongst other things, bees do not like loud noises, heavy machinery working nearby and aftershave/perfume)
First and foremost, you cannot be scared of bees. That’s pretty much a no-brainer.
You will also need an incredible amount of patience, dedication, and enjoy working outside in a natural environment. Come rain or shine it is your job to ensure all bees are provided with everything they need to do their jobs.
An aversion to claustrophobia will also be essential, especially when wearing your traditional beekeeping veil.
Other key skills include:
- The ability to stay calm in times of crisis
- An excellent work-ethic
- A passion for bees and bee-related paraphernalia
I had a lot of land at home, and initially started out Beekeeping as a hobby. However, it didn’t take long until all of my spare time was being taken up with the things. I even started making some decent money on the side too. My top tip is to put the bees first. Work hard at it, and you’ll soon be surprised with the results. Although we do have to have honey on absolutely everything (try it on bacon), I can honestly say that it’s a real buzz. Sorry…
You will generally not need a degree to become a Beekeeper, although a relevant diploma will be beneficial and will require an in-depth knowledge of your subject matter, usually built up over time.
Learn how conventional and natural beekeeping differ and how (conventional) beekeeping came about. You’ll discover how the natural beekeeper puts the interests of the bee first, with honey-taking being secondary, while still maintaining bee colonies within hives.Buy now