Congratulations to the 2017 Graduating class!
British Columbia, along with many other parts of the world, are facing a shortage of beekeepers. Pollination services are currently in high demand, especially in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley region, and the price of honey is at an all-time high. Students who complete the program will be prepared to enter this diverse, in-demand career. The program features classroom, hands-on training, and work experience. This career training is a non-credit university program.
NEW for 2019: Students now have several options for the Commercial Beekeeping program:
1. Session 1 & 2: full-time 9-month program, Monday to Friday (February 4 - November 22, 2019), or
2. Session 1 only: full-time, Monday to Friday (February 4 - September 20, 2019), or
3. Session 2 only: full-time, Monday to Friday (September 30 - November 22, 2019)*
*NOTE: International students would not qualify for a study visa for Session 2 but may choose to come to Canada with a visitor's visa.
Students who take the full program will gain the skills to start and manage an operation of up to 300 bee colonies.
Classes are held at KPU Tech and the Honeybee Centre in Surrey. Class times are Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
- Complete the student application form on this website.
- This program is taught in English. Students should have sufficient English reading, writing, speaking and comprehension abilities to participate in the program. Note: For the practicum work term, placements are available in English, Spanish and Tagalog.
- Full boxes of honey can weigh up to 40 kg (88 lbs). Students should have a strong back and hands and be physically capable of lifting this weight if their intention is to work in a bee yard. Student who are not capable of lifting this weight may not be able to find a Session 1 practicum employer.
- Students should not be afraid of bees or allergic to bee venom.
- Local students are strongly encouraged to attend an information session to learn about the Commercial Beekeeping industry and careers in beekeeping. (See availability and schedule on the information session link and click to register.)
- Students should have their own transportation to get to classes at KPU Tech, Surrey, the Honeybee Centre in Surrey and for the practicum work term.
The program follows the annual apiculture cycle in BC.
The program content includes the following:
Session 1 (February - May): Theory and Practice of Apiculture
- Bee biology
- Introduction to honeybee management
- Introduction to bee diseases and pests
- Integrated pest management
- Hive management
- Introduction to Carpentry
- Small engine operation and maintenance
- Introduction to record keeping, finance and business of beekeeping
- MS Word and Excel (independent study)
(May - September): Practicum Work Term
Students will be matched with Commercial Beekeepers/Farms according to their availability, skills and interests. Students have two options for this portion of the program:
- Option 1: To work a full time, paid position with a large scale commercial beekeeper in Western Canada. The work term positions may be in BC, Alberta or Saskatchewan.
- Option 2: This option is ideal for students who cannot relocate. Students will apply their knowledge and gain practical experience maintaining the KPU hives at the Honeybee Centre, 1 day per week. This option is an unpaid practicum.
Session 2 (late September - December): Principles of Bee Business Management
- Advanced honeybee management
- Advanced bee diseases and pests
- Rules and Regulations
- Advanced business of beekeeping
- Preparation of an individual Business Plan
- Product processing
- Value-added products
- Packaging and marketing
- Apitherapy (healing with honey)
- Field trip to prominent commercial apiaries, and the Annual General Meeting of Canadian Commercial Beekeepers (costs included in tuition)
Taking this session as a stand-alone is most appropriate for beekeepers who want to launch a commercial business and for those who have taken Session 1. Students who enrol in Session 2 with no previous beekeeping knowledge or experience should first enroll in Session 1.
The following electives are offered during the program:
- Fabrication and Design
- Farm Welding
- Forklift Certification
- Statistics and Mathematics (independent study)
Study Breaks for 2019:
- March 18 - March 22, 2019
- September 21 - September 28, 2019
2019 PROGRAM OPTIONS
BEES CFTE C10 CRN 60001
Sessions 1 & 2 - Full Program – Feb 4 -Nov 22
$11,990 + GST = $12,589.50
$17,499 + GST = $18,373.95
BEES CFTE C11 CRN 60002
Session 1 only – Feb 4 – Sep 20
$9,799 + GST = $10,288.95
$13,499 + GST = $14,173.95
BEES CFTE C13 CRN 60003
Session 2 only – Sep 30-Nov 22
$3,999+ GST = $4,198.95
$ 3,999 + GST = $ 4,198.95 NOTE: (Not eligible for Study Visa)
This program is not subsidized, Fees paid are directly used to cover the cost of the training and the program. People who accept a seat in this program are responsible for the full, non-refundable tuition costs.
Specialized tools and clothing are required for beekeeping. These supplies will be supplied for an additional cost of approximately $200, prior to the first day of classes. Registered students will be contacted prior to the course start to make arrangements.
To register for this program:
- Fill out the student application form on this website.
- Register and pay your non-refundable $1,000 commitment fee online (click on Register now link below)
- For Session 1 & 2 (Full program), choose Commercial Beekeeping BEES CTFE C10, CRN 60001
- For Session 1 only, choose Commercial Beekeeping BEES CTFE C11, CRN 60002
- For Session 2, choose Commercial Beekeeping BEES CTFE C13, CRN 60003
- Note: International Students should follow step 1 above and then await instructions from CPS and KPU International prior to registering.
We will be contacted by CPS to confirm your registration and arrange for the payment of the balance of fees.
The Commercial Beekeeping program sessions are non-credit and grading is based on Mastery/Non-Mastery.
This program demands a clearly defined high standard of performance, in which the student must demonstrate mastery of all knowledge and/or performance requirements. Because of the nature of this grading system, credits earned will not be used in calculating a grade point average.
MAS = Mastery. Student has mastered a clearly defined boy of skills and performance to required standards. For this program, Mastery is achieved with 65% overall average as well as a pass (50%) in all individual disciplines of the program undertaken.
NCG = No credit granted. Student has not met the required standard for the course and/or has not participated to the required level in learning activities.
Upon successfully achieving mastery in a course, students will be awarded a "Recognition of Achievement" document. MAS or NCG will be applied to the student's transcript.
This program may be eligible for a Canada-British Columbia Job Grant, which could cover up to two-thirds of your tuition costs. Work with your employer to confirm your eligibility and share tuition costs with the Government of Canada.
The Commercial Beekeeping Program is open to applications from international students. Interested applicants are invited to apply by filling out the student application and self-declaration forms on this website. Short-listed applicants will be contacted by the Office of International Recruitment & Admissions. International students may take Session 1 or the full program. NOTE: Session 2 of the program as a stand-alone program does not qualify for international student visas.
Since the Commercial Beekeeping Program is a non-credentialed program, International students are not eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).
This program was sponsored in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture through programs delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. This program was also sponsored in part by Western Economic Diversification Canada, and Project Apis m.
In partnership with Honeybee Centre.