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An ambitious amateur backyard beekeeper can expect to make about $20k a year. It depends on how many hives you have and how much time you have to devote to all the work that's involved (including the business end of it…of beekeeping, not the business end of the bee).

But if you work for a commercial beekeeping organization, such as one where your job is to keep the hives healthy, the bees healthy, deal with swarms, keep track of honey, wax, and royal jelly production, and also take part in the business end of it well, the pay is a bit more of a living wage, say $60k a year. It just depends on where you live and what the economy is like.

Keep in mind that beekeeping is an agricultural trade. You're a farmer (get a pair of overalls). Maybe honey is at a premium that year because of, well, weather, retiring beekeepers…anything. That makes your honey more valuable and you more likely to earn more.

We've got a sticky situation on our hands.

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