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International Study Programs

Commercial Beekeeping Grad Cert NC

Commercial Beekeeping Grad Cert NC

Niagara College, Canada

About This Program

Take this opportunity to learn about pollinator health strategies for both managed and wild pollinator bee species! 

This Commercial Beekeeping Graduate Certificate program will prepare you to work in a rapidly expanding apiary industry in Canada due to the huge global demand for a skilled labour force for managed pollinators with the decline in the number of wild pollinators.  In fact Stats Canada, in their most recent agricultural census, estimated a need for an additional 3,619 commercial beekeepers across Canada to meet demand by the year 2023.

The highlight of this program is an on-campus apiary with 30 actively managed hives.  This innovation is part of Niagara College's continued focus and commitment towards sustainability.


Course Delivery

This program is being offered in 3 consecutive terms at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus of Niagara College.


Completing this program may result in the following career opportunities:

  • Owner/Operator – Commercial Beekeeping 
  • Apiary Manager 
  • Apiary Technician 
  • Apiarist
  • Honey production supervisor 
  • Honey and beehive related product production 
  • Pollination services
  • Seasonal Beekeeper 
  • Apiary labourer

Note: A Beekeeper in Niagara, earns an average of CAD93,638 per year.  Source: Job Bank, Government of Canada. http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/.  Last visited August 2, 2016

Learning Outcomes

This Commercial Beekeeping Postgraduate Certificate program will coincide with the normal annual lifecycle of a honey bee from winter slumber to honey extraction to putting the honey bees back in their hives for overwintering and everything else in between.

Course Outline


  • Honey Bee Health
  • Ecology of Pollinators
  • Principles of Bee Business
  • Entomology of Bees
  • Transitory (Mobile) Hive Management


  • Apiary Management I
  • Apiary Construction Techniques
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Queen Rearing
  • Commercial Beekeeping Project I


  • Communications of Beekeeping
  • Apiary Management II
  • Sustainable Commercial Beekeeping
  • Commercial Beekeeping Regulations
  • Commercial Beekeeping Project II

Course Info

Course Code : 0770

College : School of Environment and Horticulture

Duration : 3 semesters

Qualifications Level : Ontario College Graduate Certificate

Fees :

All fees listed below are in Canadian Dollar (CAD):

  • Tuition Fee: 20,325 for the entire program
  • Service Fee: 1,575 for the entire program
  • Medical Insurance: 70/month
  • Bus Fee: 279.48 for the entire program
  • Airport Pickup: 175/person

Other fees may apply such as material fees, laptop fees, books and supplies

Housing Cost (your choice):

  • Landing Pad for 4 weeks:  750/month
  • Homestay for 2 months minimum:  750/month
  • Dormitory
    • September to April:  6,900
    • January to April:  3,450
    • May to August:  595/month

The above figures represent what the college expects will be your reasonable international fees. Other fees may not have been included.  

You may have to estimating living expenses such as insurance, rent, weekly supermarket shopping, some meals on campus, electricity bills, heating bills, refuse bills, parking fees, mobile phone expenses, travel, clothing, snacks on campus, socializing, health.

As expenses are subject to change, the above figures may be changed at any time without notice by the college.  Please check with your IVC-assigned Visa or Education Counselor periodically for any changes.

Intake Dates :

There is currently one intake date per year and this is every JANUARY. 

IVC has a 3-month preparation period that includes, among others:

  • Review by Niagara College department/school for your eligibility;
  • Processing by the International Admissions Office;
  • Enrollment;
  • Processing of insurance;
  • Payment of tuition fee;
  • Payment and processing of your living expenses fund if you are applying under the Student Direct Stream;
  • Seeking accommodation.

It is important to apply early as this course may have many applicants.  Moreover, beginning an application well in advance of the intake date will allow you a lot of time to prepare for the IELTS and consolidate your academic and professional credentials for your visa application.  So make sure you apply early!

Entry Criteria

Admission and entry requirements for this qualification are in accordance with the academic regulations.

  • You must hold a Diploma or Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in one of the following areas:
    • Agribusiness or
    • Agricultural Sciences or
    • Environmental Resource Studies or
    • Environmental Science or
    • Horticulture or
    • Natural Sciences
  • OR an acceptable combination of related work experience and post-secondary education (as determined by the College)
  • AND Proof of English proficiency.  As an international student, you must be able to demonstrate a level of English competency. You must therefore meet the minimum scores in ANY of the following tests:
    • IELTS (Academic Test) 6.5 overall band score with no individual band under 5.5
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      • Paper: 550, TESL 600
      • Computer: 213, TESL 250
      • iBT: 7980minimum, 22 writing, 22 Speaking

Due to the nature of the program working with live bees, prospective students are advised that persons with known bee sting allergies are not suitable candidates. Prospective students/applicants who are unsure if they will have a reaction to a bee sting are strongly encouraged to undergo allergy testing before committing to the program.

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