Commercial Beekeeping Program*

                                                                                                                                                                                Congratulations to the 2017 Graduating class!

Are you a leader? Do you want to make a difference? Do you like working outdoors? Then Commercial Beekeeping could "bee" for you!

Commercial Beekeeping is a full-time, 11-month program. Through classes, hands-on training, and work experience, you’ll have the skills to start and manage an operation of up to 300 colonies. This career training is a non-university credit program.

BC, 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 a diverse and in-demand industry.

Admission Requirements:

  • Be 19 years or older on the first day of classes.
  • Have a valid driver's licence on the first day of classes.
  • Complete the application form and self-declaration form on this website.
  • Attend an information session to learn about the commercial beekeeping industry and careers in beekeeping. Note: attendance is recommended but not mandatory. (See dates available on the information session link and click to register.)
  • Completion of English 10 with a C or better. Applicants invited to an interview may be required to submit a transcript.
  • Applicants whose first language is English, but who have not successfully completed English 10 in Canada with a C or better may be required to write the ACP Accuplacer test and attain a minimum score of writing level 7.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English and who have not completed English 10 in Canada may be required to take IELTS testing. The minimum required score is 6.0 and proof of testing may be required.


The program begins in January each year, following the annual apiculture cycle in BC and runs in three sessions:

  • Session 1 (January - May): Theory and Practice of Apiculture
    • Includes such classes as Bee Biology, Integrated Pest Management and Hive Management.
    • Includes Introduction to Carpentry, Introduction to Welding, First Aid Training and Forklift Certification.
  • Session 2 (May - August): Work Term
    • 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: For those with their own bees and some beekeeping experience, students can work their own hives and start their business under the close supervision of the Beekeeping Instructor and/or a local beekeeping mentor*.
        *other options may be entertained
  • Session 3 (September - December): Principles of Bee Business Management
    • Includes such classes as Rules and Regulations,  Business Management and Product Processing, Packaging and Marketing.
    • Includes a field trip to prominent commercial apiaries, and includes the Annual General Meeting of Canadian Commercial Beekeepers.

Tuition: The cost of the Commercial Beekeeping program for domestic students is $11,990 plus GST= $12,589.50 CDN. This program is not subsidized by the university and therefore must operate on a full cost-recovery basis. This means that all 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, which should be purchased before the first day of classes. A list of supplies will be provided.

Potential Scholarships:

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.

International Students

The Commercial Beekeeping Program is open to applications from international students. Interested applicants are invited to apply online using the online application. Short-listed applicants will be contacted by the Office of International Recruitment & Admissions. Tuition for international students is $17,500 plus GST = $18,375.00 CDN.

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.





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