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.

How to register?

Click on the following link to the Biosecurity & Food Safety Portal to register or renew online.

Register or renew online

If you are registering for the first time:

  1. Click the link above to create a login
  2. Once you’ve done this, login and click Apply Now to apply for a Beekeeper registration. This will take about 5 minutes to complete.
  3. Licensing and Accreditation services will review your application within 10 working days and advise you of the outcome.

Alternatively, you can complete the Application for registration as a beekeeper form (PDF, 283.31 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.

  BusinessRecreationalConcession
Online $90 $54 $36
Manual $100 $60 $40

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

Business registration is for those intending to derive an income (part time/full time business) from the sale of bees or hive products (eg. honey, beeswax). If you are unsure and would like assistance in determining whether you are running a business please visit www.business.gov.au.

Business registration is not defined by the number of hives that you own. However, if you own 50 or more hives, there are additional requirements that apply to you under the Code of Practice.

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

Registration requirements

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.

The following requirements are conditions of beekeeper registration within New South Wales. Failure to comply may result in the suspension or cancellation of registration.

Requirements for hives

Under clause 84(1) of the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 registered beekeepers must only use a frame hive (a hive containing only movable frames which may be separately and readily removed for examination, OR a hive containing fixed frames in the honey-super boxes of the hive, and a broodbox (being the bottom box of an active hive) with movable frames, and a queen excluder which is fitted immediately above the broodbox of the hive in order to prevent the queen from gaining access to the honey-super boxes of the hive.

Note: Requirement 6.2 of the Code that provides for how hives must be appropriately constructed and branded does not apply.

Requirements for records and notification

Under clause 85(1)(b) and 85(2) of the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 beekeepers must keep written records (which may be in electronic form) of the following and retain that record in a readily accessible form for a period of 5 years:

  • if a hive of the registered entity that contains bees has been lost, stolen or destroyed; the date on which that occurred, and the number of hives to which this occurred.
  • disposes (including by sale) of a queen bee or colony of bees to another person; the date on which the disposal occurred, and the number of queen bees or colonies of bees disposed of, and the method of disposal (for example, by sale or gift), and the name, postal address and beekeeper registration number of the person to whom the queen bee or colony of bees was disposed.

Registered beekeepers must notify NSW DPI of a change in the contact details within 7 days after the change occurs.

Note: Requirement 11.3 of the Code that provides for additional reporting requirements for beekeepers with 50 or more hives, the annual reporting period has been replaced to the time of application for renewal of beekeeper registration, and any other time if specifically requested by the Department.

Maintaining minimum standards

A registered beekeeper must maintain minimum standards for bee keeping in accordance with the of Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice (the Code). See below for more information on the Code.

In addition to the above conditions of registration there are other legislative provisions that beekeepers:

  • must under clause 7 of the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 report notifiable bee pests and diseases to NSW DPI within 1 working day after the person first suspects or becomes aware of the presence; and
  • must under section 22 of the Biosecurity Act 2015 manage the hives to minimise risk of a nuisance or threat to the amenity or health of any other person or property.

Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice

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.

All NSW beekeepers will need to adhere to the Code of Practice as a condition of registration. As a beekeeper there are minimum standards you need to meet related to:

  • Inspections
  • Disease management and reporting
  • Record keeping.

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.

  • 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 was 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 were 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 recording requirements, NSW DPI have developed the following record keeping 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.