FARM JOB: BC – BC Honey Producers Association, Tech Transfer Lead

Posted by Michalina Hunter on June 08, 2021

The BC Honey Producers Association is seeking to hire a Tech Transfer Lead!

Lead Position Description

BC Honey Producers Association is initiating a multi-year Technology Transfer Program to benefit the bee industry of the province. We are seeking someone to lead the effort, starting this summer. This lead will have and maintain knowledge of bee industry challenges and potential solutions, and as directed by a steering committee, will pursue and implement appropriate solutions in fields which may include Integrated Management of bee pests and diseases, advancements in queen rearing, increased success in winter survival of colonies, develop training and BMPs for British Columbia beekeepers to become more self-sufficient and profitable. Details are provided below. Applications will be welcomed until June 30, 2021.

Beekeeping in British Columbia

British Columbia has a diverse beekeeping industry, made up largely of small-scale and backyard beekeepers, with a growing number of commercial operators. The province has the largest number of beekeepers in Canada by province, (27%), representing 2,763 as of the last Statistics Canada report in 2019. However, it has a comparatively low number of colonies (55,781).

British Columbia’s diverse geographic regions, with its mountain ranges, central plateau and coastal wet areas account for much of this fractured beekeeping landscape. Much of the province’s beekeeping communities are located in its major population centres of Metro Vancouver, southern Vancouver Island and the fertile Okanagan Valley, with significant honey-producing regions in the Peace River, central plateau and eastern parts of the province. It produces annually about 3.9 million tonnes of honey worth about $6.2 million. Honey bees have an outsized impact on B.C.’s agriculture, contributing an estimated $538 million to Canada’s economy, largely because of the need by province’s extensive berry and tree fruit sectors for pollination services.

The province’s temperate climate is also ideally suited to an annual early start in beekeeping; while Canada’s main honey-producing regions in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario are still feeling the effects of winter, B.C. has milder winters and earlier springs, leading to ideal early production of queens and nucleus colonies for export to other provinces.

The province’s strong hobbyist and small-scale producer beekeepers also have an outsized impact on local consumer demand for fresh extracted honey, comb honey, pollen and other hive-related products available through the province’s diverse farmers’ markets, local stores and growing whole food providers.

This dynamic not only brings value to the industry through diverse honey production but also through greater public interest, pollinator advocacy and value-added innovation.


The main focus of B.C.’s new Tech Transfer Program Lead will be to provide leadership and expertise to facilitate the enhancement, sustainment and growth in the province’s beekeeping industry. This program, which has initial funding from the Province of B.C. and the B.C. Honey Producers Association, is being developed to support B.C.’s beekeepers, and to help develop the industry through education, demonstrative research, integrated pest management (IPM) monitoring, best management practices (BMPs) and industry development and communication. Our Lead will work towards bridging the knowledge gap between research and its practical adaptation in order to develop training and BMPs for British Columbia beekeepers to become more self-sufficient and profitable. This position involves working with a wide and diverse group of stakeholders, which include the beekeeping industry, all levels of government, different commodity groups and universities. 

Responsibilities and Activities

The main responsibility of the program Lead will be to develop and deliver training and demonstrative research activities that the Executive of the BCHPA and its TTP steering committee deem important for the advancement of beekeeping in the province.

The BC TTP lead will:

  • Mostly work from their home office (reliable internet required, computer supplied if needed) but may need to travel frequently to a partner institution lab and throughout the province to facilitate program activities.
  • Work directly with beekeepers to develop an IPM monitoring strategy and develop best management practices (BMPs) specific for beekeeping in B.C.
  • Work directly with beekeepers and others to develop queen-rearing practices suitable for B.C. through education and demonstrative projects, with a goal towards reducing the province’s reliance on queens imported from outside Canada.
  • Identify, evaluate, field test and communicate new and emerging technologies to determine suitability for B.C.’s diverse geographic and growing conditions and beekeepers’ management systems to enhance the growth and sustainability of our industry.
  • Coordinate and present at technical meetings, workshops, association meetings and other activities to industry stakeholders to enhance honey bee health, honey bee breeding, pollination and honey production opportunities.
  • Develop content for online and social media training and sharing platforms for new and experienced beekeepers.
  • Identify and apply for project funding for BCHPA’s TTP educational and research activities.
  • Manage summer student staff and TTP activity budgets.
  • Provide on-farm IPM and queen-rearing training to beekeepers and seasonal workers.
  • Perform research tasks, including data collection, analysis and management.
  • Perform record- and note-taking, writing and reporting.
  • Organize, co-ordinate, and schedule beekeepers for collaborative projects.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • M.Sc. in apiculture/entomology preferred, but candidates with other relevant combinations of education and experience will be considered.
  • Demonstrated experience working with bees and beekeepers, preferably in a commercial setting.
  • Extensive knowledge of honey bee biology, beekeeping and fundamentals of IPM practices.
  • Strong research background in apiculture with the ability to design and execute research projects.
  • Experience in doing basic laboratory experimentation and WHMIS training.
  • Experience using computers for literature searches, data collection, statistical analyses and communication (social media and web development).
  • A strong knowledge of grant writing and project management techniques and tools, with strong organizational, planning and management skills including human resources and budgeting.
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills, innovative, proactive, and responsive to change.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • An ability to effectively communicate via writing and oral presentations.
  • An ability to develop, design and execute training events.
  • Good leadership and partnering skills.
  • Ability to perform independently with minimum supervision.
  • Ability to lead a team and supervise staff.
  • Valid and clean driver’s license.
  • Clean Criminal Record Check
  • Willingness and ability to travel widely across the province.
  • Willingness and ability to work with hazardous substances.
  • Willingness to work weekends when required and overtime work during peak periods.
  • No allergies to bee stings or physical impairments that would prevent lifting heavy boxes.

Remuneration: Salary range: $60,000-$75,000, based on level of education and commercial and research experience

To Apply

Please submit your resume with references to:

Michalina Hunter, Secretary,

BC Honey Producers Association


Questions may be sent to:

Heather Higo, President, BCHPA

Deadline for Applications is June 30, 2021


Learn more about the BC Honey Producers Association


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