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Farm Worker - 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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Similar to Labourers, Beekeeping Farm Workers perform a wide variety of tasks that depend on the type of operation.

  • Farm workers require minimal or no supervision; operate farm machinery and equipment; and acquire skills/knowledge through a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and experience. Typically, farm workers need some secondary school education and up to two years of occupational training or farm experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • Experienced Apiary Worker
  • Senior Apiary Worker
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Beekeeping Farm Workers perform 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 environmentally sustainable work practices
  • Follow procedures for spring management
  • Maintain hive equipment, bee yard and storage facilities
  • Maintain bee health and biosecurity
  • Follow procedures for harvesting pollen
  • Maintain bee nutrition
  • Handle and transport bees and equipment
  • Rear queens
  • Harvest honey
  • Follow procedures for fall and winter management
  • Use 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
  • Problem Identification and Problem Solving
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Achievement Orientation
  • Initiative 

What attracts people to this job?

Workers are at the core of any farming operation – the people who actually do the work. They are also the people who are promoted to supervisory roles and/or trained to become technical specialists. 

  • Ambitious people become Beekeeping Farm Workers to learn how to supervise or manage a beekeeping operation, so that one day they can manage their own

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Beekeeping Farm Workers may be moved laterally – from one job to another within the same category. This gives them broader experience and prepares them for technical or supervisory roles. On smaller operations experienced workers cover more tasks.

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

Depending on the operation and the region of Canada, pay for experienced farm workers ranges from $16 to $18 per hour.