Is it required for a person to be a “Certified Beekeeper” in order to move from being a hobbyist, to keeping bees as a business?

I am new to beekeeping this year, but I have quickly fallen in love with all that it includes. Everything about it is fascinating to me. That being said I feel like a lot of the questions I come up with may seem silly, or have an obvious answer to others. One question I have though: Is it required for a person to be a “Certified Beekeeper” in order to move from being a hobbyist, to keeping bees as a business? Like I said I’m new to it, and I am a ways away from making a business out of it. But I know for sure I will be investing in more hives in the future and was just wondering about ways to supplement the cost of it all. Any advice is welcome. Thanks in advance!

Qande McKenna: So heres my view… I don’t like having a paper trail of me being a beekeeper. I don’t want any agency, government or not, knowing that I have bees. A few years ago there was an apiary.. listed and registered, people complained about mosquitoes and “other bugs” (including bees). They sprayed indiscriminately for everything and killed over 500 (possibly wrong on number) hives…

Daniel Prowl Estep: That is something to think about. One, I for-sure don’t want anyone killing my hives. And two I typically try to stay off of the grid as much as possible to begin with. Thanks for the advice.

Liz Savage: No Certified Beekeeping. It’s all in your willingness to learn from a number of different people. Start networking, asking questions, visiting commercial beekeepers. You will find out lots that you do not know and people that you do not want to deal with. Everyone has their own way of doing things and situations vary from location to location. Ask any and all questions you have. We have Beekeepers from all over the world here. Good luck in your information gathering!!

Daniel Prowl Estep: Thanks for the input, I am eager to learn as much as I can from those who have have knowledge to share. I am currently attempting to find a local mentor, its been a bit difficult because there aren’t many hobbyist around my area and the guys who do it …See more

Liz Savage: Daniel Prowl Estep Take the time and cultivate those relationships with the commercial beeks. Free labor is always good and they can teach you at the same time. Also, look up Beekeeping Associations in your area. They would usually have monthly meetings.

Daniel Prowl Estep: Thanks! will do, Im pretty sure there is an association that meets about an hour and a half from where I am. But it would be worth the drive if theres nothing closer.

Liz Savage: Daniel Prowl Estep Most definitely.

Jeff Shouse: I’m by no means an experienced beek, but I’ve met some professional beekeepers that were poor excuses for stewards, rampant nosema with no attempt at treatment, only in it for the harvest. If you’re intending to make a business of it, I encourage you to keep learning and being a responsible steward, the bees need it more than they need folks out to make a buck on rising honey costs

Daniel Prowl Estep: The number one thing I want to be sure of is making sure I am being a good steward of my bees. Im not looking to “get rich quick” off of them, I really just enjoy the hobby. Ive spent hours sitting near my hive just watching foragers come and go. As far as making a business out of it, anything I envision would be small, and just a way to make enough extra income to keep pay for the hobby.

Jeff Shouse: Sounds like your heart is in the right place, and I commend you for it. I’m not sure I’ll ever break even on my gals, but I’d be pleased if they could some day provide the bulk of my mead making supply.

Bob Mann: Supplement the cost of future colonies and hive equipment? Beyond digging deep in your own resources, depending on what you envision in growth, make the ones you have profitable and grow with those funds. As far as a certification it’s a personal thing I guess. Definitely not a requirement but would hold some benefit in knowledge surely. The best education would be to buddy up with a sideliner.

Daniel Prowl Estep: Thanks for the advice. And yes I was referring to supplementing the cost of future colonies and hive equipment, as of right now I only have one hive. I know some recommend starting with two, but as a college student I have limited funds and wanted to start somewhere. I will be doing as you said, and focusing being a good steward to the hive I already have.

Kevin McCormick: It is all what you want out of beekeeping.We want to produce queens.So that is where we focus all of our energy.Unlike some that just want honey.It is all how you go into beekeeping that will come out of it.

Daniel Prowl Estep: I hadn’t even though about the fact that there are several routes to take, thank you. Its something to think about in the future for sure.

Kevin McCormick: I am sure you will find your way.It is very interesting.

Daniel Prowl Estep: Indeed it is, I’ve been interested in beekeeping since I was young and saw an exhibit at the state fair. But if I’m being honest, I would have never thought I would have developed such a strong connection to it all haha.

Kevin McCormick: The best advice to you would be read watch videos,take a bee class and when you are ready start out with two hives.So you can share resources from the two.

Kevin McCormick: After re reading your post you might already have hives.So hope you have a great season with your bees.

Eros Biasiolo: short answer is no.