Beekeeper registration

Be a responsible beekeeper

Bees are amazing animals that play a critical role in global food security as well as providing income to professional beekeepers and enjoyment to hobbyists the world over. However, bees are constantly under threat from a range of devastating pests and diseases, many that are not present in Australia, as well as the impacts of chemicals and pollution.

In NSW, beekeepers who own European Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) must register with NSW DPI. If you are a beekeeper in NSW, play your part in protecting our bee populations and the role they play in pollination by registering your hives.

Compulsory registration helps us prevent the spread of unwanted pests and diseases including Varroa and tracheal mites. We are able to contact beekeepers and locate hives that may require treatment or inspection.

We are also able to offer registered beekeepers regular information on beekeeping biosecurity and training services.

Upcoming registration changes

NSW DPI endorses the Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice is based on the principles of good biosecurity and helps Australian beekeepers to protect the industry from pests and diseases. The standards in the Code are not onerous, they are things that all beekeepers should be doing to manage their hives.

From 1 July 2020, all NSW beekeepers will need to adhere to the Code of Practice as a condition of registration.

This means from 1 July 2020, as a beekeeper there are new minimum standards you need to meet related to:

  • Inspections
  • Disease management and reporting
  • Hive construction, branding and maintenance
  • Record keeping.

To help make this possible, NSW DPI:

  • is running information sessions on the Code of Practice so that all beekeepers can quickly and easily apply the code to their everyday beekeeping. Keep an eye on this page for upcoming dates near you.
  • has prepared template beekeeping recording forms to help with record keeping. You can download these here.

Compliance with the Code will deliver long term industry benefits by way of easier movement’s interstate, increased access to public lands and improved pest and disease management.

Once you have registered, you will be issued with a Certificate of Registration. This certificate clearly outlines your conditions of registration and should be kept for future reference.

Questions and answers

From 1 July 2020, it will be compulsory for beekeepers registered in NSW to ensure their management practices meet the minimum standards outlined in sections of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice (the Code).

Meeting these standards will not be a big change for beekeepers who already manage their bees in line with industry best practice.

This table summarises the Code conditions, specifying which requirements currently are legally enforceable and which new requirements will become enforceable from 1 July 2020.

The beekeeping industry has approached Government across Australia to make the Code a condition of beekeeper registration in NSW. Beekeeping is an evolving industry that has grown exponentially in recent years and changes are required to adapt to growth, ensuring that the NSW industry is adequately protected from the risks of endemic and exotic biosecurity threats.

The Code sets a nationally consistent framework for minimum standards for beekeepers and these changes are supported by all beekeeping bodies in NSW through the Bee Industry Consultative Committee (BIBCC).

Mandating compliance with the Code in NSW will bring NSW into line with other jurisdictions who are already regulating the Code to assist in a national push to harmonise beekeeping conditions across Australia. Currently SA and Vic are regulating the Code with other states coming online.

By adhering to the Code, beekeepers will be helping to protect their industry and honeybees from the impacts of pests and diseases like Varroa mite and American foulbrood.

Over time, compliance with the Code will become a fundamental requirement to move bees to interstate pollination events and to sell honey. This will lift biosecurity standards Australia-wide, reduce the impacts of pests and diseases and reduce red tape for commercial beekeepers.

Changes to beekeeper conditions of registration will be effective from 1 July 2020.

Between now and 1 July 2020, NSW DPI will be providing information, support and practical resources to industry to assist beekeepers to become compliant with the Code prior to the enforcement date.

All beekeepers are encouraged to begin review of their management practices as soon as possible to ensure that they are meeting the new requirements prior to 1 July 2020.

NSW DPI will be hosting a number of information sessions in the lead up to 1 July 2020, to ensure beekeepers fully understand these changes and what they mean for you.

For more information on the upcoming information sessions visit the Training and events page on the DPI website. We will also send regular e-newsletters to registered beekeepers with a valid email address.

  • Part A of the Code provides information on interpretation and scope, not management activities.
  • Part B of the Code includes mandatory conditions that must be met by all beekeepers who keep European honeybees (Apis mellifera), regardless of the number of hives.
  • Part C of the Code includes mandatory conditions that must be met by beekeepers managing 50 hives or more.
  • Part D of the Code includes conditions that will remain recommendations only (not mandatory) and will not be enforced by NSW DPI. However, it is highly recommended that beekeepers implement these recommendations.

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice has been developed by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) in collaboration with all states and territories to provide a national minimum standard for beekeeping practices.

The changes to NSW registration conditions to include the Code are supported by all beekeeping bodies in NSW through the Bee Industry Biosecurity Consultative Committee (BIBCC).

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice is available for download in multiple languages.

To assist with the new recording requirements, NSW DPI have developed the following record keeping form templates:

It is not mandatory to use these exact forms. You can tailor your record keeping style to suit your practices.  Your records can be digital or paper based.

The following form is available for sample submissions:

If you require a hard copy of the Code or any of these forms please contact bee.biosecurity@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

To report exotic pests or diseases call 1800 084 881 or use the online reporting form.

Many of the management practices required under the Code (listed in Table 1) are already existing requirements under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. New requirements summarised in Table 1 will become mandatory under the conditions of registration, from 1 July 2020. Most beekeepers will have been implementing these practices already as part of the Code, so the overall impact on beekeepers should be minimal. You should make sure you are complying with all relevant sections of the Code prior to 1 July 2020 to avoid possible penalties.

How to register?

Click on the following links to register or renew your registration through Service NSW.

Register online (for new beekeepers) Renew online (for registered beekeepers)


Alternatively, you can complete the Application for registration as a beekeeper form (PDF, 1246.54 KB) and send this with your payment to:

Beekeeper registrations
Department of Primary Industries
PO Box 232
Taree, NSW, 2430

Further information
Tel: 02 6552 3000
Fax: 02 6552 7239
Email: bfs.admin@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Cost of registration

The following fee (incl. GST) is payable at the time of beekeeper registration or renewal. A 10% discount is applied to registrations submitted online.

Business (50+ hives)RecreationalConcession
Online $90 $54 $36
Manual $100 $60 $40

A bee registration issued under the Biosecurity Act 2015 will be valid for 2 years.

There is no fee charged for the variation of a bee registration. Please ensure to keep your registration details up to date.

Factsheets