In a beekeeping business, all employees will hold more or less the same position. In general, you will need one beekeeper for every 500-1,000 colonies.
All beekeepers perform the same roles in this business. The owner can start this business as the sole beekeeper and hire more employees as needed.
Typical Salary: $40,000 - 70,000 per year
What Does This Role Entail?
- Assembling and repairing hives and other equipment
- Extracting honey from the hives and bottling it for sale
- Feeding the bees
Who to Look For:
- Beekeeping experience
- No specific education level necessary
Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process
Plan to Staff Your Business
In the beginning, the owner of a beekeeping business can run the business alone. As they acquire more bees, however, they will need to increase the number of employees. Hiring beekeepers with experience is important, as you do not want bees to escape or harm any employees who don’t know what they are doing.
Alternatively, you could set up a thorough training program to bring inexperienced recruits up to the desired standard.
Develop a Recruiting Strategy
Beekeepers are often environmentalists, so consider advertising job openings at environmental protests or other events, outdoor shops, etc. If you are having trouble finding experienced beekeepers, it is possible to hire novices if you have the time to train them.
Interview with Confidence
If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.
Nonetheless, it is natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!
Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most beekeepers look for employees who are:
- Good working with insects
- Talented at building
- Fond of working outdoors
Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:
- Why do you enjoy beekeeping? What motivates you?
- Tell me about a time where you didn’t communicate that well. How did you handle it?
- How many hives do you look after and do you eat your own honey?
- Why are bees important for the environment?
Be Familiar with Hiring Laws
After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.
One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.
Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.
To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.
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