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Farm Supervisor - 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 Supervisors spend much of their time overseeing work, as well as working in the office.

  • Farm supervisors operate farm equipment and acquire skills/knowledge through a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and experience. Typically, Farm Supervisors need some combination of two to three years of post-secondary education; or two to five years of apprenticeship training; or three to four years of secondary school and more than two years of on-the-job training, specialized training courses or specific work experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • Apiary Foreman/Forewoman
  • Apiary Supervisor
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Beekeeping Farm Supervisors supervise activities related to growing, raising, and harvesting livestock.

  • Supervise the implementation of the strategic plan
  • Supervise employees
  • Supervise risk management
  • Build customer relations
  • Supervise health and safety
  • Supervise food safety and security
  • Supervise production
  • Comply with legislation and regulations
  • Ensure compliance with SOPs for farm production systems
  • Supervise biosecurity policies and procedures
  • Supervise environmentally sustainable work practices
  • Supervise spring management
  • Supervise the maintenance of hive equipment, supplies and storage facilities
  • Supervise bee health
  • Supervise pollen harvest
  • Supervise bee nutrition
  • Supervise handling and transportation of bees and equipment for pollination
  • Supervise queen rearing
  • Supervise honey harvest
  • Supervise fall and winter management
  • Supervise the use of production equipment, tools and technology
  • Apply knowledge specific to bee operations

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
  • Decision Making
  • Results Management
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Developing Others

What attracts people to this job?

Leadership and supervisory skills and experience are valuable on beekeeping operations, as well as in other sub sectors of agriculture and other industries. People who want to lead other people are attracted to supervisory work.

  • Supervisors are people who can deal with almost any situation on the farm. On small operations, the owner often works as a supervisor.

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Beekeeping Farm Supervisors with extensive training and experience can become Managers. To do this it may be necessary to work for (or go to work for) a larger operation.

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

Depending on the operation and the region of Canada, pay for Beekeeping Farm Supervisors ranges.

  • Benefits include the use of company vehicles.