Reimbursements for registered beekeepers now available

30 Sep 2022

Registered commercial and recreational beekeepers impacted by Varroa mite in the eradication zone can now access reimbursement payments under the agreed National Response Plan.

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said beekeepers who have had their hives, honey or equipment destroyed to control the spread of the mite will be eligible from today.

“Beekeepers have been at the centre of our emergency response since Varroa mite was confirmed through routine surveillance in sentinel hives near the port of Newcastle in late June,” Mr Saunders said.

“While we know our eradication measures are crucial to the ongoing viability of our industries, they have significantly impacted beekeepers, which is why this package of support measures is so critical.

“Beekeepers have been through some really difficult times in the past few months in the fight to eradicate Varroa, and this funding will help them get back on their feet and start to plan for the future.

The owner reimbursement cost (ORC) evidence frameworks were developed by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) and Plant Health Australia (PHA) and have been agreed to by all Government and apiary industry bodies.

For commercial beekeepers it includes the estimated market value of:

  • The particular hives destroyed.
  • The Queen bee destroyed.
  • A bee colony component.
  • Replacement value for any other capital items destroyed.
  • Any other costs incurred by the beekeeper as a direct result of the Response Plan.
  • The value of any destroyed honey stocks.
  • An estimated Farm Gate Value of products foregone, less beehive operating costs, resulting from a requirement under a Response Plan that bees be quarantined in, or excluded from, a specified area.

Recreational beekeepers will receive a $550 payment for each hive destroyed, or $200 for those who wish to keep their hive ware, which will cover the cost of the euthanised bees.

A $200 reimbursement will also be given for each single recreational nucleus hive that is euthanised, regardless of whether the hive ware is kept.

“Now that the evidence frameworks are in place, we want to make this process as smooth as possible, so our control centre will be contacting affected beekeepers by phone over the coming weeks,” Mr Saunders said.

“An authorised officer will visit each site and work closely with the beekeeper, record details of the hives, complete the relevant paperwork and then provide a link to the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) application form to apply for the reimbursement.

“In terms of hives that are to be euthanised in the red eradication zone, authorised officers will work with beekeepers during this process about what they want done with their hive and their reimbursement options.”

5,742 hives have been euthanised to date and surveillance and testing has been carried out on 26,849 hives across the State.

You must be a registered beekeeper with NSW DPI to be eligible for reimbursement.

For more information and the latest updates visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa.