A bee sting nearly killed me – now I’m a beekeeper

May is 17 and she’s a beekeeper.

A fan of beekeeping from a young age, even a near-death experience couldn’t dampen May’s love for our pollinating pals.

May's journey

May’s parents introduced her to beekeeping when she was in primary school. She found that the more she did it, the more passionate she felt about it:

I love being around nature all the time… and honey!

When she was 11, May was stung by a bee. She experienced a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction, called an anaphylactic shock.

May underwent three years of immunotherapy and is now "totally immune" to bee stings. Despite being nervous, she was eager to brave beekeeping again and now loves it more than ever. She's not afraid of honeybees, and she urges us not to fear them either.

How can beekeeping help the planet?

Bees play a really important role in pollinating our plants, flowers and trees so they can continue to grow.

Without bees, there could be shortages of many of the vegetables, fruits and crops we rely on to survive. There would be also be a knock-on effect for wildlife too, as their natural habitats would change.

Beekeeping is one of the ways we can help to protect our fuzzy flying friends as it provides them with a safe environment to live and reproduce.

What to expect if you want to become a beekeeper

  • Salary: variable

  • Working hours: variable – you could be freelance or self-employed

What qualifications do you need to become a beekeeper?

Typical entry requirements: Many people get into beekeeping as a hobby. To get started, you could join a local beekeeping group. The British Beekeepers Association have information on where to find local groups

You can also learn to be a beekeeper through a college course such as a Level 1 Award in Introduction to Beekeeping. To access this course you’ll usually need at least one GCSE.

This information is a guide (source: National Careers Service)

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