How to become a beekeeper: May's story

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 be a beekeeper

  • Beekeeper average salary: Variable
  • Beekeeper typical working hours: 37 to 42 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a beekeeper?

You could get into this role via a college course or starting as a hobby and learning on the job. You can also join a beekeeping group where you'll learn from experienced beekeepers, and work towards qualifications offered by The British Beekeepers Association.

Sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service

This information is a guide and is constantly changing. Please check the National Careers Service website for the latest information and all the qualifications needed.

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