© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bell Curve


The Sting. Salary: $16,000 or less 

You set up your first Langstroth box and receive your first swarm. About twenty minutes later, after being airlifted to the best hospital in the state, you wake to discover that you're deathly allergic to bee stings. The next sting you feel is the realization that you're out of a job.


Honey Marketer. Salary: $40,000 

You've set up your backyard hive and start to develop a strong local presence. It starts with the neighborhood block party, where you hand out your honey for free with a business card taped to the side of the jars. You're going to need a more expansive business plan in the future if you ever want to quit your part-time gig at the grocery store, but for now, it's an excellent start.


Beekeeper. Salary: $73,200 

After years of hard work, you've earned center stall at the city's largest farmer's market. Everyone in town knows you. And why shouldn't they? A low-res photo of your face is on every jar of honey you sell, and everyone you know has at least one such jar in their pantry. One of these days, you'll take some of these profits and buy a better camera.


Swarm Swami. Salary: $81,000 

You're paid top dollar to tackle the most difficult and dangerous swarms, collecting literally millions of bees each year from around California and delivering them to various companies dying to get their hands on some local, feral bees. You probably get stung more than your backyard counterparts, but there's just something about wrangling millions of tiny creatures that makes you smile.


Lord of Bees. Salary: $100,000 

You don't waste time collecting swarms anymore; you're the one requesting them. You employ a groundskeeper to take care of your several acres of land, beekeepers to maintain several hundred hives of various kinds, and your very own accountant to handle the business. Come to think of it, you can't remember what it is that you do anymore...