A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees for the purposes of securing commodities such as honey, beeswax, pollen, royal jelly; pollinating fruits and vegetables; raising queens and bees for sale to other farmers; and/or for purposes satisfying natural scientific curiosity. People who keep bees are usually classified as hobby beekeepers, sideliners, or commercial operators, depending on the number of colonies maintained.
Beekeepers are also called honey farmers or apiarists. The term beekeeper usually refers to a person who keeps honey bees in hives, boxes, or other receptacles. Honey bees are not domesticated and the beekeeper does not control the creatures. The beekeeper owns the hives or boxes and associated equipment. The bees are free to forage or leave (swarm) as they desire. Bees usually return to the beekeeper's hive as the hive presents a clean, dark, sheltered abode.