FARM JOB: Armstrong, BC – The Okanagan Honey Company, Beekeepers Apprentice

Posted by Michalina Hunter on February 15, 2022

The Okanagan Honey Company in Armstrong, BC is seeking a Beekeepers Apprentice!

ABOUT The Okanagan Honey Company

We are a small bee breeding and honey farm 3 minutes north of the town of Armstrong in the North Okanagan Valley. We produce nuclei and queens for sale within western Canada, pollinate crops, and produce a sweet dry high quality Okanagan honey. Our bees reside at multiple locations throughout the valley with amazing landowners and beautiful backdrops.

It is our desire to increase the resiliency of Canadian beekeepers and farmers, with respect to the beekeeping industry. Currently Canada is highly dependant on the importation of hundreds of thousands of mated honey bee queens annually, as well as tens of thousands of package bees from abroad. The Canadian honey bee industry imports bees from New Zealand, Australia, South America, Hawaii and the continental US, among other suppliers. This dependence is long lived. This leaves our beekeepers and the growers who rely on pollination of their fruit crops at a disadvantage. With this importation we cannot control for cost, quality, injury during transport, pests and diseases, changes in international regulations, etc. The industry is also vulnerable to supply chain disruption as we have seen the past few years. The logical conclusion is that we need more locally produced bee stock here in Canada, and that is what we are doing at The Okanagan Honey Company. We raise our own stock and our breeding program feeds larger commercial operations in BC and Alberta with quality stock that is in high demand. We are not certified organic but do appreciate placement of our colonies on many organic farms including our home farm, as an organic environment surrounding our bees help to ensure high quality pollen availably as well as a reduced risk of chemical exposure and acute poisoning. Our vision is to continue to grow, build a team of learned bee breeders and expand our capacity to produce and delivery the stock that our beekeeper’s so desperately need.

DESIRED QUALITIES

An ideal candidate for this position arrives each day with a positive attitude, ready to work and learn about bees. They are energetic and inquisitive, with an interest in apiculture. They will have their own transportation to arrive daily at the home farm. They will be physically fit so that they are able to open colonies and move hive boxes around within the yard as part of daily hive management. They should be comfortable being around honey bees, and not allergic to bee stings. We do wear protective clothing but bees can sting through suits from time to time.

The ideal candidate will also possess great attention to detail, the ability to work under pressure, and the ability to problem solve on the go.

JOB TASKS

The beekeeping apprentice will shadow the beekeeper on all daily tasks, include loading and unloading the truck(s) with the daily bee equipment. On a regular basis we will assess and feed colonies, diagnose colonies for strength, feed requirements, queen health, the presence of brood disease, as well as colony manipulation for the production of queen cells. We will split colonies to produce nuclei, catch and cage mated queens, move hives to locations for pollination and for honey flows, and harvest and extract the resulting honey.

JOB DETAILS

Term: The position starts the beginning of April and ends at the end of September. It is an entry level seasonal position with the option to come back the following season.

Hours per week: 35+ hours a week. There may be some overtime in May, with more relaxed hourly weeks in June and July.

Wage: $20/hr and honey for you and your family.

TO APPLY

Please provide a resume and a cover letter. Please include if you are in university and are only available May to August. For the right candidate that could be made to fit with some flexibility. I’m hoping that this job can help advance you as well. Perfect fit for someone studying biology or entomology for example. Send applications to okanaganhoney@gmail.com

Deadline to apply: March 20

When applying, please mention you saw this posting at youngagrarians.org

LEARN MORE ABOUT The Okanagan Honey Company

Website: https://www.okanaganhoneyco.com/about
Facebook: https://facebook.com/okanaganhoneyco/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/okanaganhoneyco/

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