I work at apiculture, take the mental approach, as a trade. I believe that learning beekeeping in the style the same as one trains to become a carpenter, electrician, plumber or similar is a most beneficial one.
By going through a comprehensive training program in which one is applying the knowledge and skills they are learning at actual bee work, a person can be better prepared to be successful and profitable in their efforts.
Beekeeping knowledge can be attained by taking classes just about anywhere and skills can be practiced by assisting a mentor in a hobbyist approach as most beekeepers do. However, there is more, I truly believe, to apiculture than simple engagement.
For example, does having a hammer, saw, and some other tools in one’s garage make them a carpenter? No, not if we’re being honest. There’s much more to it than simply fixing a few things and knowing how to basically use some tools.
Trades, all trades, are a discipline. It’s equal parts knowledge, skill, creativity, and accountability. Yes, I included accountability. Because being a tradesperson is as much about doing something to the best of one’s ability as it is to meeting expectations.
To be a tradesperson, one must have an extensive knowledge of the materials, tools, and methods used. One must have the practical experience of doing most if not all of the common tasks to the point that they are done without having to think about it. It has become muscle memory.
While not every tradesperson is not necessarily an artist, some are, they develop a style all their own. There is nuance and creative flair in their day to day approach to doing what they do best. After awhile, a person can put the works of multiple tradespeople next to each other and without labeling them, they can be differentiated simply by their style alone.
A tradesperson is a specialist in their field. They are a focused not just on doing a job “good enough” but the way it ought to be done. Each job, each piece of work, each situation, has it’s own plan, goals and objectives to be met beyond simple assembly and installation.
A tradesperson is a craftsman. Idealistic in their own way and regardless of whether the work being done is for a client or themself the job must be done right as that tradesperson visualizes it.
Working with bees is not for everyone. Yes, it makes a fun hobby. It can be a part of being more self-sufficient and making something of a side gig that is different from most other things.
I work in the trade of apiculture. I train others to be apiarists in the trade, the craft, of apiculture.
I like to see hobby beekeepers out there having fun and being good stewards of bee colonies.
I love to see people with the passion to take it to another level. There aren’t many. For those interested in pursuing the passion and the discipline of apiculture beyond a hobby and not so mundane as simply a job, I would like to help you along that people path to the trade of apiculture.