Perhaps a few people could help me. My Wife is studying Business Studies and is currently writing a paper on the beekeeping Industry
She needs help with answers to the following questions.
1. How is wage inequality measured and if it is present in Bee Keeping.
2. Are there any current or past news events related to wage inequality in Beekeeping
3. What was the industryâ€™s method for determining that there was an inequality.
if anyone can come up with any ideas we would both appreciate it.
You realize after I answer this question I want credit in the report.
First off defining wage inequity in beekeeping is going to be a bit difficult. You are dealing with one specific part of the agricultural industry. And while the agricultural industry is rampant with wage inequality narrowing that issue down to just beekeeping becomes far more difficult.
In order for there to be wage inequality in beekeeping we must limit ourselves to those who are commerical beekeepers. Hobbiest may produce income from beekeeping. They may even be profitable however they are not an economic force in regards to wage inequity. Small business beekeepers may have employees but they are not enough of a labor force to qualify for the statistics in the overall numbers of wage inequality. Large scale commerical operations may have many employees but the issue of wage inequity as factor is questionable at best.
Even a commerical beekeeper does not tend to have more than 30 employees. The commercial beekeeper tends to look at his bees as employees more so than perhaps even his staff. From my limited understanding the average staff member of an apiary can make anywhere from $12-$18 an hour depending on job description and experience level. Long term employment with an apiary will also be a factor. The average commerical beekeeper is probably earning anywhere from $20,000 and up. http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=beekeeper&l1=Gackle%2C+ND
Some are more than likely earning more however you will not see many beekeepers in the upper income tax bracket or the Forbe's list of 100 richest people.
The labor aspect also does not contain the number of immigrant employees who are willing to work for below minimum wage levels. Bees sting there is an inherent risk in dealing with these insects. It's not a job everyone wants. That tends to have an effect on the wages
There are also many aspects to beekeeping. While honey and pollination are the most common, perhaps the most lucrative is queen raising. This is perhaps the profitable aspect of the industry. Once again even this does not create millionaires. The most expensive queens are generally put out by Universities or Labs that have a much more diverse set of interests or products.
The beekeeping industry while a small aspect of agriculture is quite diverse. You have honey producers, pollinators, package and queens sellers. Some are a combination. You also have the co-ops like Sue Bee honey which does nothing more than collect honey from apiaries and try to get the best price for the honey. You also have the research leg of beekeeping which tends to be the job of the universities. You have the suppliers of beekeeping equipment. This may be the only certain area of profitablity in the beekeeping industry. Beekeepers need supplies lots of them and they don't come cheap. A beekeeper can have a great year and then suffer a devistaing loss and have to replace bees and or equipment. Pest control companies make money removing bees from homes and public areas. Chemical companies that make products to keep bees free of pests are also a factor.
However even with all of that is there wage inequity? In my opinion, no. There is not a huge gap between the employees and the owners.
I do not believe the beekeeping industry addresses wage inequity ( I could be wrong).