The BBE-Tech Apiary Services Apprenticeship program is a training program to help participants become certified in one of three areas from a beekeeping-as-a-trade perspective.

The five positions or levels of Apiarist that training is available for are;

  • Intern
  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman
  • Apiarist
  • Master Apiarist

Each training program has it’s own process and requires a set number of hours to be completed in one of the BBE-Tech training apiarys.  Classes are also required to be taken in conjunction with the training.

The primary way of training is…

  • As an Apprentice, this is a role in the paid registration training program which will result in certification in that position by BBE-Tech upon successful completion of each level.


Roles and responsibilities of each level

  • Interns: Internship costs nothing but time and commitment to become familiarized with being around many bees in an apiary setting.  They learn the types of bees, equipment and terminology of beekeeping.  They take notes and run errands as well as aid the Apiarists and apprentices as needed.
    • During the internship is when taking  basic beekeeping classes is important.  To become an Apprentice, tests must be passed indicating working knowledge of basic honey bee biology, behavior, management, IPM and more.  Once the tests are completed, the intern can enter an apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices: are assigned  to assist with the regular  management of hives that they are partly responsible for in the duration of their training.  They assist the Journeymen and Apiarists in all tasks related to the hives.
  • Journeyman: The journeyman is assigned to work a set grouping or number of hives on their own in the apiary.  Journeymen will carry out assigned tasks at certain times in order to meet Apiary goals and objectives as determined by the Apiarist.
    • In order to become certified by BBE-TECH Apiary Services as an Apiarist, it is during the Journeymen stage that advanced beekeeping classes are taken relating to queen rearing, honey sales and marketing, beeswax rendering and framework, etc…  testing will be required to demonstrate skill and knowledge in those topics in order to become a certified Apiarist.

The jobs in a production apiary

In a production apiary, that is, a beekeeping operation operated for production and harvesting of hive products in a commercial or professional goal situation, the people who operate the apiary have specific jobs to do which require shared knowledge, familiarity of operations and in depth communication of exact details in order to be successful and profitable.

The Apiarist is responsible for the day to day management and maintenance of a specific number of hives or all the hives depending on the size of the apiary.  They conduct all hive inspections, conduct all hive manipulations and management, complete detailed inspection forms, identify risks and concerns according to predetermined criteria and follow up with the Apiary Manager for all issues outside of the Apiarist’s responsibilities or experience.

The Apiarist is also responsible for all of the hives in the apiary.  They are also responsible for the management of the property in which they have authority and influence to maintain according to pre-established goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.  The Apiarist is responsible for queen rearing, meeting all criteria to meet expectations of the apiary owner and the Master Apiarist as related to certification requirements, permits, registrations, etc…

The Master Apiarist is a consultant, advisor, emergency support provider and works with the apiary owner to establish goals, objectives, strategies and tactics for the apiary.  The Master Apiarist is also responsible for training, class based education and certification of Apprentices.

In small scale operations, there may be only one person who is both Apiarist and Apiary Manager.  In other operations, there may be several Apiarists working with an Apiary Manager over several bee yard installations.  In even larger operations, there may be multiple apiaries with several Apiarists and multiple Apiary Managers.