Do you have a passion for saving bees and want to make it a hobby or full-time career?

Oprah Winfrey surrounded by swarm of bees, with the caption

A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees.

Beekeepers create profit by selling honey, honeycomb, and wax.

What Does A Beekeeper Do?

  • Maintain healthy bees for pollination and honey production

  • Look at hives to ensure there are no diseases present

  • Collect and package honey, beeswax and pollen

  • Stick to food safety guidelines when harvesting and processing honey and other hive products 

  • Maintain records regarding the condition of the hive and associated production levels


Which is a responsibility of a beekeeper?

Types Of Beekeepers

Beekeepers are hobby beekeepers or commercial beekeepers.

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Hobby Beekeepers

  • Typically work on only a few hives

  • A single, healthy hive can yield 50 to 100 pounds of honey

Commercial Beekeepers

  • Have hundreds or thousands of bee hives

  • Produce millions of pounds of honey

Things To Consider

  • Are you afraid of being stung? Every good beekeeper will get stung at some point.

  • Are you allergic to insect bites or stings?

  • Do you have a good location to keep your bees? Will you keep hives in your yard? What about neighborhood restrictions?

  • Can you lift at least 25 pounds? Hives full of honey can get quite heavy.

  • Can you tend to the hives year round? You will need to check on your hives all year.

  • Can you afford it? It can cost at least $400 to buy the equipment you need.

Image of cartoon character from the show The Simpsons being stung by bees.


If you live in a neighborhood, who should you consider before installing a beehive in your backyard?

Salary For Commercial Beekeepers

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In the US, the salary for a commercial beekeeper is $47,562

In Canada, the salary for a commercial beekeeper is $39,750

Take Action

Now that you have a better idea of what it is like to be a beekeeper and what it takes, what can you do?  

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This Byte has been authored by


Stephanie Euland

Instructional Designer/Educator