Beekeeper

Environments

Menu

Bee Broker

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Practical or MechanicalNature or RecreationSkill Level 1



Beekeepers operate beehives to produce honey and related products such as beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, propolis (bee glue and bee antiseptic) and queen bees, and to pollinate seed, fruit, nut Future Growth Strong and vegetable crops.

Alternative Names: Apiarist or Apiculturist

Specialisations:
After gaining adequate experience, beekeepers may choose to focus upon one of four main industry segments:

  • apiary,
  • queen bee production,
  • marketing and packing, or
  • pollination.

Some may specialise as apiary inspectors/advisers or laboratory diagnostic technicians.

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • enjoy botany (plants) and entomology (insects)
  • free of allergies and able to work with bees
  • able to work in isolated areas
  • willing to work long and irregular hours
  • able to lift heavy weights
  • happy to work alone
  • able to keep accurate records.

Duties and Tasks

Beekeepers may perform the following tasks: Beekeeper at work

  • Breeds and raises bees for the production of honey and related products and for pollination stock.
  • build or put together parts of ready-made beehives
  • Maintains equipment.
  • Monitors and maintains the health and condition of bees.
  • treat and paint beehive parts to prevent wood rot
  • negotiate with property owners and government agencies for sites on which to keep their bees
  • transport hives to sites which have been assessed for honey and/or pollen production potential
  • insert sheets of wax stamped with a honeycomb imprint into frames to be placed into hives
  • remove honeycombs from the hive and extract honey
  • look after and repair beehives and honey-extracting equipment
  • Maintains appropriate nutritional levels and control bee diseases, pests and parasites in working hives
  • package and sell honey, pollen, propolis and beeswax
  • re-queen colonies and raise queen bees for own use or sale
  • negotiate with farmers to provide pollination services in the growing of nut, fruit, seed and vegetable crops
  • process and clean beeswax.
  • Organises the sale, purchase and transportation of stock and produce.
  • Maintains and evaluates records of activities, monitoring market activity and planning production accordingly.
  • Manages business capital including budgeting, taxation, debt and loan management.
  • May select, train and supervise staff and contractors.



Working Conditions

Beekeepers travel a lot, examining honey and pollen flora and transporting beehives by truck from site to site as plants start flowering.

A beekeeper working hours will vary depending on the time of year and the number of hives they have. They will spend more time inspecting their hives during the spring and summer when the bees are active and producing honey.

Most of the work will take place outdoors. Bees don’t react well to being handled in wet and cold weather so beekeepers may use this time to maintain their equipment or process their honey and other products like royal jelly.

Much of their time is spent outdoors and away from home.

Many wear protective clothing such as overalls, gloves and hats with nets attached to protect their faces.

Bee


Smoking out bees

Have a look at this video about bees: NATURE: Silence of the Bees, Inside the Hive, PBS
https://youtu.be/lE-8QuBDkkw


Beekeeping Industry in Australia

The beekeeping industry is responsible for the raising of bees and the collection of apiary (bee) products.

There are about 10,000 registered beekeepers in Australia operating approximately 600,000 hives.

By location, NSW is the largest honey producer (39 per cent), followed by South Australia (19 per cent), Victoria (17 per cent), Queensland (14 per cent), Western Australia (7 per cent) and Tasmania (4 per cent). Most commercial honeybee keepers are regionally based.

The prime area for beekeeping and honey production in Australia is a large temperate land stretching from southern Queensland to central Victoria.

NSW is in the heart of this region and has the majority of beekeepers. In 2003 there were 3,575 registered keepers with 256,055 hives. The industry is in its infancy in the Northern Territory with only six registered keepers and fewer than 2,000 hives in 2003.

Honey is the most common apiary product. Beeswax is the other major product, produced at a fairly constant ratio of 1kg of wax per 60 kg of honey. Queen bees can also be a valuable product for specialised sectors of the industry.

There is a growing market in renting bees for pollination services, especially in South Australia and Victoria where changes in agricultural practice and land management means that there a fewer wild bees to pollinate crops.


There are few professional beekeepers in Australia who depend solely on bees and apiary products for their living. The majority of beekeepers do keep bees for a profit, but supplement their income with some other activity, as earnings are volatile.

Apart from a career as a beekeeper/apiarist there are associated areas including transport, food processing, retailing and marketing of honey and honey products.


Landline
A team which has worked on the Mars Rover project have designed a beehive using tiny cameras and artificial intelligence to detect and prevent hitch-hiking varroa mites from entering our ports.
(Source: Landline 25 July 2020)

Or at ABC News


Did You Know?

Bees can be used to detect landmines. Tiny radio plates the size of a rice grain will be attached to honey bees to detect antipersonnel landmines, of which there are about 100 million in 70 war-torn countries.

Bee on Flower

The tiny radio plates are engraved with serial numbers to keep track of the bees, which are being conditioned to develop a preference in addition to nectar, in this case TNT, or any other material that releases metamphenamine.

Special spectrometers that can “smell” TNT are placed in movable beehives to indicate landmines in specific areas.

Bees that “smell” of explosives can then be tracked to the landmine. The bees won’t detonate the landmines.
(Source:
The Remarkable Busy Bee)

Beekeeper

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Civil Engineer

Viticulturalist

Horticulturalist

Surveyor

Landscape Architect

Lifeguard

Horse Trainer

Forester

Electrical Linesperson

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Crop Farmer

Livestock Farmer

Aquaculture Farmer

Miner

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Jillaroo Jackeroo

Arborist

Horse Manager

Wool Classer

Farrier

Waste Water Operator

Horse Groomer

Grain Oilseed Pasture Grower

Tree Faller

Animal Attendant and Trainer

Coastal Engineer

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Civil Engineer

Viticulturalist

Horticulturalist

Beekeeper

Surveyor

Landscape Architect

Lifeguard

Horse Trainer

Forester

Electrical Linesperson

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Crop Farmer

Livestock Farmer

Aquaculture Farmer

Miner

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Jillaroo Jackeroo

Arborist

Horse Manager

Wool Classer

Farrier

Waste Water Operator

Horse Groomer

Grain Oilseed Pasture Grower

Tree Faller

Animal Attendant and Trainer

Coastal Engineer

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Civil Engineer

Viticulturalist

Horticulturalist

Surveyor

Beekeeper

Landscape Architect

Lifeguard

Horse Trainer

Forester

Electrical Linesperson

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Crop Farmer