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Maintain hives, harvest honey, and keep your bees buzzing along.

What does an Apiarist do?

Though fresh honey is pretty great, you’d probably be too scared to get some from a hive of buzzing bees. That is, unless you’re an Apiarist (or Beekeeper, as they’re more commonly known). In this job, you get a natural high from this buzz as you care for bees and collect the honey they produce.

Since bees are fairly independent animals, the Apiarist’s job of caring for them doesn’t usually include providing clean water and plants to pollinate. Instead, Apiarists maintain hives, recapture them if they swarm, and help protect them against cold snaps. You might grow specific plants nearby for them to pollinate, but this is only necessary if you’re trying to influence the taste of the honey, creating something exotic like lavender honey.

The main thing you’re concerned with as an Apiarist is timing. Just like any farmed product, honey has a season for preparing and a season for harvesting. Beehives are usually set up in the winter, and then collection happens in spring. While honey is the primary product that comes from a hive, you might also collect honeycomb. You harvest by carefully opening up the hive and then cutting the tops off the individual combs to let the honey pour out.

While you’re harvesting, you wear a long-sleeved, white suit which includes a mesh mask that covers your face. The color of the suit means you’re not a predator, and the mask and long sleeves protect you from getting stung. Bee stings are an occupational hazard, so if you’re allergic to bees, you should probably look for another job.

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