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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,582

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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    working long hours seasonally for minimum wage. it is better to have no family.
    Working long hours? Yes, at times.
    Better to have no family? Yeah, maybe, but not necassarily. Having one that can get along w/out you for a period of time will work. Kinda like being deployed, w/out someone shooting at you. Usually.
    Minimum wage? I don't want to cause a rush here, but I don't know any of my beekeeping buddies who pay minimum wage. Not even Farm Minimum wage. We all know that you pay for what you get. And we, my buddies and I, want someone who can work and is interested in learning about bees or preferably already knows something about working bees. So better than Minimum Wage is the norm w/ those that I work w/ and for. Room and board are included too.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
    Posts
    1,725

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    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Working long hours? Yes, at times.
    Better to have no family? Yeah, maybe, but not necassarily. Having one that can get along w/out you for a period of time will work. Kinda like being deployed, w/out someone shooting at you. Usually.
    Minimum wage? I don't want to cause a rush here, but I don't know any of my beekeeping buddies who pay minimum wage. Not even Farm Minimum wage. We all know that you pay for what you get. And we, my buddies and I, want someone who can work and is interested in learning about bees or preferably already knows something about working bees. So better than Minimum Wage is the norm w/ those that I work w/ and for. Room and board are included too.
    man I tell you, as soon as my kids get out of college and I divorce my wife and she takes everything, I am moving in. a job I enjoy and dont have to hear a women gripe about the sun coming up
    Ted

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    beemandanwrites:
    I was polite with my initial invitation. Im not sure that I should be here. But Im going to try.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tecumseh
    tecumseh writes: well I suspect cow pollinator (I am definitely profiling here) that given the kind of work you do (which is basically agricultural in nature.. correct?) that you know exactly what I am talking about...

    What, exactly do you mean by that?

    tecumseh: polite... I think NOT. , you first accuse me of insulting someone who ask for our unfettered opinion... straight up with no shuck and jive.

    so why do you see this little comment (with the snip about it always being a decision based on the individual being conviently removed) as insulting? once again are you actively searching for insult.


    lastly if cow pollinators pm to me is believable (and personally I find cow polinators ways quite refreshing... although we are quite likely to disagree on almost everythings political) then he understood quite directly what I was talking about....

    although this summary is not in cow pollinators own words... I will let you in on our little secret. most of the work that can be described as agriculture is undervalued especially when it comes to any understanding by the populace as to the PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE that is required to be even marginally successful. By the nature of the beast you can bring the very best qualification and information to the job and mother nature can still toss you a screw ball. Just the lack of understanding about why one does certain things and doesn't do other things can be something of a large disability in the world of agriculture.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

    Default Career in Beekeeping you ask???

    Hmmm?? I still haven't made any $$$ in beekeeping...in fact, every year I write my company off as a loss. If I were you, first I would eliminate the word career from your mind...this ain't no career, believe me. HOWEVER, you could just do it for the love of bees and HONEY, LOL!!!
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

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    If your not making money in beekeeping your not trying. I have 2 homes in one in Michigan and one and Georgia. I drive a new truck and I owe less than $140,000. This business is very profitable if your willing to work for it. Many lonely nights in a sleeper cab and endless hours on the road. During busy times I can easily forget what day of the week it is, I've even looked at my watch a 6 o'clock and wondered, am or pm? The biggest challege I face as a larger operator is not how to work the bees. If you know how to keep one alive and making honey just muliply that timesa few thousand. My biggest problem is employees. When I read an article about Adee's 100,000 hives I wondered how in the world do they manage that many employees?
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyndi View Post
    Hmmm?? I still haven't made any $$$ in beekeeping...in fact, every year I write my company off as a loss. If I were you, first I would eliminate the word career from your mind...this ain't no career, believe me. HOWEVER, you could just do it for the love of bees and HONEY, LOL!!!
    Maybe you should work for a beekeeper and then you would make some money from beekeeping. But I know what you mean, Cyndi.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    dbest, what do you pay your help? $10.00/hr? $15.00?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Warne, North Carolina
    Posts
    551

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    Actually, I was posting in all fun. BUT, You're right, I don't work hard enough at the money aspect of it...mainly because I enjoy beekeeping too much to make a career out of it and because, IMO and what works with my life, is that when money is involved, then it becomes stressful, and not worth it. It simply takes the joy out of my fun. So, having that said...

    If I wanted to make alot of money at beekeeping, I believe it takes many, many years of experience to make it in this industry. Not just the actual chores of beekeeping, but the marketing yourself to the public, the bookkeeping aspect, the everything involved is alot. It also helps if you have a couple of persons assisting you. I do everything alone and by myself. Therefore, I personally like having a life and I like to do other things. It's a balance that I feel is necessary if your gonna bee successful. Personally, I don't have the desire to spend endless hours on the road traveling, much less go without my precious sleep. What good could come out of being stressed out, sleep deprived and not too mention my health?? Thanks, but no thanks. (Yikes, I can't believe I said that!! ) Besides, I'm not really crazy about the commerical beekeeping industry, period.

    Meanwhile, I'll keep poking along with my little apiary and my bees...and no money, LOL!!!
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

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    I pay my high schoolers between 7 and 9 and my full timers up to 18, if they can drive a 13 speed and drive forklifts. I also pay a production bonus. The harder they work the more they get paid. If we can turn a 10,000 pound day extracting everyone gets more to take more home for that day. Same goes for pulling or even assembling equipment. So far my best workers are young women they're smarter and better workers than anyone (including me). In Michigan its easy to get UAW retirees for seasonal projects.

    --I couldn't agree more about working for a beekeeper. I have had years where one or more of my workers took home more than I did. I figure they didn't take on the risk and they did they best they could so they deserve to.

    --I'm also not a very stressful person, I actually love what I do. Watching the sun rise though my windshield or watching it set over an orange or almond grove, seeing a big queen laying her heart out on a frame mixed with pollen and honey. We are by far the oddest batch of people in the world, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Thanks dbest. Couldn't agree w/ you more. Love your tag line.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    st-andrews,quebec canada
    Posts
    62

    Smile

    I would have to agree with Dbest .You have to enjoy what you do . I hire employees for assembling equipement (pay by unit) For everything else 10$ an hour , when no expeience. There's $ in beekeeping, you must be innovative and top of things Why wholesale when you can retail , cut out the middle guy . Stop giving away honey at low prices, make new products. If you have something people want , they will find you.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Macomb, Mo
    Posts
    45

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    Come on man.... any dern fool ijit can make a small fortune at beekeeping!




    Just start with a large one.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,553

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    >>>Bring a veil , a smoker and a hive tool with you. Pack a lunch somebody will hire you on the spot and good luck. <<<
    We will tell you the time and place in California mid November and if you are there we could sure use you. We'll even supply the veils, smokers and hive tools.

    Seriously, as to hiring you, your limited resume is not the liability you may think it is. We have found it is better to hire someone with NO history of bees but a good work ethic, than to hire an experienced hobby beekeeper with no work ethic. It is easy to teach you to drive a forklift, but by the time we hire you, it is too late to teach a work ethic or sense of responsibility.

    Hobby beekeeping, while it can be hard work, is really play. You can quit when you want, your next meal doesn't count on your finishing. Hobbyists can stop and smell the roses, the commercials are more likely to run over the roses with the Swinger.
    I don't have enough fingers to count the folks we know who thought they wanted to be commercial keepers but changed their minds once they were.
    I would not burn too many bridges until I knew this was the path I really wanted, but if you aren't afraid of long hours or hard work, have beekeeping in the blood and are flexible on location there are a ton of opportunities out there.
    Sheri

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    sheri writes:
    We have found it is better to hire someone with NO history

    tecumeh:
    years ago an old hand told me he would rather hire someone not ladened with bad habits... these can be very difficult to correct.

    the bumps in the road in regards to commercial beekeeping can be tough. I would guess finding folks that will stick when the road get rough would be important?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,791

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    "I should say that beekeeping is a good business to let alone, for the same amount of brains and energy that will make you a living at beekeeping will make more than a living at almost any other business."--C.C. Miller, A Thousand answers to beekeeping questions 1917 edition Page 18
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,553

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    "...the same amount of brains and energy that will make you a living at beekeeping will make more than a living at almost any other business."
    LOL, John always says it takes a strong back and a weak mind to be a beekeeper. Seems to me if the mind were a little stronger you could hire someone to do the hard work and not need quite that strong a back, but I think he's just a glutton for punishment.

    Seriously, there are few professions where you have the potential to realize such a quick return of capital as in beekeeping. I say potential cuz there is also the potential to go bankrupt your first season, but that potential is in every business.
    Sheri

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Prague, Czech republic
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Careers in Beekeeping

    I am gethering an information about api jobs in New Zealand. I am still young, I hate my office work and I want to change direction of my life - explore something new and hard work in beautifull country will help.

    How real is to catch a job like beekeeper assistant in NZ, if I am newbie? Can you advice me where is good to focus attention?
    Or contact to some czech/slovak/ukraine guys mentioned above for administrative advices..

    many thanks for relevant feedback.
    Andrej.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Careers in Beekeeping

    If you like a lot of sleepless windshield time, if you like working until you feel like your going to drop and then working another 16 hours, if you are willing to work in all weather conditions because commercial beekeeping doesn't wait a minute for you then your in the right place. If you like having every plan you made for the next week thrown out the window because a phone call from 1000 miles away has you on the road in an hour then this is the right work for you. Last month, January, our slow month - we did 2900 miles between home and SC and home and NYC. We figure we average 50MPH on the highway so just the driving time is 58 hours, or a regular work week and 18 hrs. OT. (not sure we got paid for the OT ) Spent a week in SC going through hives. We built 500 frames last week, organized 2 outbuildings, Sorted a couple hundred bee boxes confirming comb condition, painting etc and then loaded the good ones on the on a trailer headed south in 3 weeks and the less than ones are stacked for repairs, painting, new frames etc. next week. We processed 50 lbs of wax into candles, replaced an injection pump on our diesel truck in our shop, got through our honey house inspection and did a ton of business planning, equipment cleaning/organizing and snow plowing. Did I mention our phone rings off the hook and I spend an hour a day responding to e-mails. January is our slow month. I'll be away from family and home friends for 6 - 8 weeks in Mar/Ap/May tending hives in SC and as much as I love spring beekeeping the thought weighs on my mind and those who will miss me when I'm there.

    Sheri's observations are mine also. We have had to run down the roses many times. We've had a couple of full timers come through and full time beekeeping is a very different and committed life style. I have NYC staff who have been with us for years, my farm help usually realizes they can work less somewhere else for the same money. More often it's the wife or girlfriend who doesn't want them away from home for a week at a time or longer in most cases. I can't count the awesome days we have working bees. It is still beekeeping and those great summer bee days happen. Having said that beekeeping as my job and beekeeping as my hobby are two vastly different experiances. Although we love what we do, I love working with my son and we still live inside and are able to eat most months - I would suggest spending a couple of weeks in a commercial outfit shadowing , during busy season, before I gave up the day job and moved to New Zealand.

    Hmm 45K - where was that job listing :-)
    Last edited by Joel; 02-02-2013 at 09:50 AM.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Careers in Beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Beekman View Post
    My $0.02:

    To move to the front of the class, get a CDL (commercial drivers license). Getting good people to move bees is hard.
    Well said, a CDL would put you right up on top of the list of applicants in my book. Key phrase is "good people" with CDLs... not easy to find indeed.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Careers in Beekeeping

    I am also looking for good job opportunists in beekeeping in Australia or new Zealand?
    I am a new beekeeper 36 years old, I own 10 beehives managing them healthy and successfully
    i am physically strong and the most important thing i enjoy working with bees.
    I thought about working in a big apiary abroad to enlarge my knowledge and experience,
    then coming back home and establishing my own apiary.

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