Unusual Ways People Make Money: Beekeeping

Gremlindog.com is always interested in expanding our horizons. You just never know when the next big thing is going to hit, and that will be the answer to all our problems. It might be playing the stock market, a new investment, or new invention… but we’re bound and determined that there’s a new and exciting opportunity just waiting around the corner.

So, we’re featuring a new segment on Gremlindog called “Unusual Ways People Make Money.” The segment will feature oddball jobs that you may or may not have known exsisted with a little history and insight. Who knows, we might help you find your next big career.

Today’s feature is: Bee Keeping

Ahh, honey. It goes good on biscuits, bears love it, and it’s made by bees. But, as of today, we are unable to train bees to drive tiny sized 18 wheelers to deliver the honey to little bee factories where it’s packaged in those fun bear shaped plastic containers. So, humans are forced to raise them. And harvest their honey. Which leads to being around a lot of bees. Which is crazy as hell.

Legally Insane

The Beekeeper profession has been around for awhile, with major operations beginning as early as the 1800’s when Petro Prokopovych set up shop. Prokopovych, a Ukrainian with a military backround, began studying bees as a hobby during retirement. He’s credited with developing a special frame that the bees would build honeycombs on, which could be removed from their hive box to acquire the honey itself. This method was applauded by the beekeeping community which up until that point had relied on the tried and true “stick your hand in and see what comes out” method originally invented by Winnie the Pooh.

Petro Prokopovych had at the peak of his career some 6600 colonies of bees on his property. Today farms have numbers totalling in the tens of thousands. The Adee Farm in South Dakota alone has over 40,000 colonies of bees.  Enough bees to kill approximately 400 Macaulay Culkins if we’ve done our math correctly. Other than the obvious prize of honey, beekeepers acquire pollen and beeswax, and also act as a service to produce farmers by providing pollination for fruits and vegetables.

So what’s the perk here? Why would someone want to take on the responsibility of raising a couple million bees? Because the average beekeeper makes around $40,000 a year. Couple that with all the honey you can eat, and beekeepers have it pretty good.