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Farm Labourer - Apiary Production

 Lee Townsend

Beekeeping Farming Overview

The 'apiculture' or beekeeping industry includes operations that are primarily engaged in raising bees, collecting and gathering honey, and performing other beekeeping activities. While the number of apiaries has shrunk, the average size has grown, with the net result that the industry’s workforce has grown since 2011.

  • The industry is primarily located in the Prairies. Together, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan account for 60% of apiaries and three-quarters of all product sales. While honey production has seen limited growth over the past decade, the apiculture industry has a very strong outlook for future growth.

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Beekeeping Farm Labourers perform a wide variety of tasks that depend on the type of operation.

  • Farm Labourers are fully supervised, may operate farm machinery, and acquire skills/ knowledge through on-the-job-training. Typically, farm labourers need no formal education or prior farm experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • Apiary Labourer
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Farm Labourers assist with activities related to growing, raising, and harvesting livestock.

  • Follow legislation and regulations
  • Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Maintain health and safety of self and others
  • Follow biosecurity policies and procedures
  • Follow environmentally sustainable work practices
  • Follow procedures for spring management
  • Assist with the maintenance of hive equipment, supplies and storage facilities
  • Assist with the maintenance of bee health and biosecurity
  • Assist with pollen harvest
  • Assist with the provision of feed and water
  • Assist with the handling and transportation of bees and equipment
  • Assist with honey harvest
  • Follow procedures for fall and winter management
  • Use equipment, tools and technology

What competencies are required for this job?

These competencies were identified as most important for successful job performance.

  • Agriculture Health and Safety
  • Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices
  • Apiary Production
  • Animal Health and Welfare
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptibility
  • Continuous Learning
  • Attention to Detail 

What attracts people to this job?

This job is a good starting point for people seeking temporary or long term employment. In most cases it is not necessary to have farm experience or even any formal working experience, nor is it necessary to have a high school diploma or formal education. This job:

  • Provides people an opportunity to work with animals
  • Gives people an opportunity to work with machinery and equipment

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Beekeeping Farm Labourers will gain experience, and will learn to perform more complex tasks and activities to become an experienced Worker. With more production experience and some training courses, they can become specialized in some aspect of production, or can become farm supervisors to manage a crew.

What are the typical pay rates and benefits for this job?

Depending on the operation and the region of Canada, pay for this job ranges, but tends to be hourly at minimum wage or slightly higher.