Beekeeping can be an un-bee-lievably rewarding way to make a living. Not only will you get a real buzz from working in the great outdoors, you’ll also get to work closely with these hardworking, fuzzy little creatures; maintaining healthy beehives and providing them with everything they need to be able to pollinate plants and produce honey.
Beekeeping is about so much more than simply ‘keeping an eye on a beehive’ – the role involves a lot of hard work, dedication, and patience.
While a Beekeeper will monitor a hive to assess its health, check for mite infestations, and treat it when health problems arise, Beekeepers can also be responsible for feeding bees, cleaning and constructing hives, preparing equipment for pollination activities, raising and replacing queen bees, dividing colonies if needed, and replacing combs.
As a Beekeeper, you’ll usually work long hours during the summer months to provide the bees with everything they need come rain or shine. To do well in this role, you’ll need to be fairly brave and have a genuine passion for bees – it’ll also help if you can stay calm under pressure, as bees don’t respond well to erratic behaviour.
Think you’d like to make a beeline for a career in beekeeping? Then it’s worth taking a short online course to give you some basic background knowledge on beekeeping first, which will help you decide whether it’s definitely something that you want to do.
Whilst you’re getting familiar with your beekeeping responsibilities, it’s best to start small – for example, by keeping a small colony of bees as a hobby. It can also help to join the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA), who can give you plenty of advice and guidance.
Alternatively, to get a general idea of what Beekeeping involves, have a read of our Introduction to beekeeping guide where we cover everything from the pros and cons of beekeeping, through to all the equipment you’ll need to get going.
Once you’re comfortable in your role, you can think about the business side of things and start making a profit by selling honey, beeswax and royal jelly – and when you’re feeling confident enough, you can also offer a bee collection service, where you can safely remove bees nests from people’s homes and add them to your own bee farm.