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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    2

    Default Skills for hired help?

    Hi all,

    I am looking for some input from commercial beekeepers. When looking for hired help, what skills/knowledge are most valuable? I am a graduate student working on a project to create a vocational beekeeping training program and would like to know what information is most important to include. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    Erin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    Big shoulders, and a strong back
    TF - Year Two, Eight Colonies
    http://www.honeydrunk.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    796

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    the ability to live in motel rooms and not get homesick. ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    Thanks for the replies so far! Is most of the work truly just heavy lifting or does it help to understand some honey bee biology or things like making a split or requeening? If commercial beekeepers could make a wish-list of skills known by their hired help, what would they be? Or if you have worked in an operation, what skills did you use the most?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Plymouth County, MA, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    I worked a honey flow last year. Important skills DID include heavy lifting, but other things that would help include a CDL, very good forklift knowledge, knot-tying, resource cataloging if you're feeding.

    Having a basic knowledge of bee problems to be able to spot them, knowing what to look for in a healthy hive, how to do splits, how to feed, checking for brood during normal hive management, knowing when to add supers, and a basic understanding of extracting equipment and how to store unused equipment all seem like pretty good skills. Queen rearing and general colony timing also might be valuable.

    Edit - oh yeah, and treatment regimens and pest management are critical.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    worth,missouri,usa
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    A very tolerant and understanding wife.
    John Hargrave Northwest Missouri

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    The skills can all be learned. At first you will just need to be in shape to move the boxes and follow along. Knowing slip knots and truckers knots, and driving the trucks/forklifts comes soon after. Then getting to know the equipment and locations. Eventually knowing the bees can help, but for most operations the extent of the biology that you need to know is "is it alive?" and "is the queen on this frame?" and lastly "is this a honey frame or a brood frame?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,197

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    Ability to work around and handle stinging insects. An interest in the work, but not too many questions. Save them for lunch time or after work unless they are pertinent to what is in front of you such as "Am I doing this correctly?".

    All of the previous Posts are good. Mostly, if a person is physically and mentally able to do the job, skills can be learned. Guys I work w/ like a clean/inexperienced slate. It's easier to train someone who hasn't already been trained. Leave the "But this is how we did it at my last job." comments at home.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,238

    Default Re: Skills for hired help?

    What I look for (in approximate order)
    1. Honesty and sobriety
    2. A good work ethic
    3. Pleasing personality and an eagerness to learn
    4. The flexibility to be away from home for periods of time
    5 A CDL
    6. Physical strength

    Previous beekeeping experience isn't on here and talk about how fascinating and marvelous bees are gains you few if any bonus points with me though experiences of working long hard days in other endeavors most certainly will.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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