Beekeeping on public land

To keep bee hives (an Apiary) on public land in NSW you must hold a permit or license to do so from the government agency that manages the land.

In line with the new policy framework for apiary sites on public land, we are now standardising how permits are issued across all agencies.

Recently vacated available sites are now being allocated via an Expressions of Interest process and will be published on the EOI Process page of this website.

All Long Term Vacant sites are now published within the BPASS apiary sites portal. Read more about Long Term Vacant sites on the Long Term Vacant sites page.

To receive notifications about the publishing of EOI and Long Term Vacant sites please send an email to apiary.sites@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Apiary Site Pricing

An initial site fee is payable immediately on application for the site.  This includes access to the site until the end of the annual permit period. After this, fees are payable annually in accordance with each agency's schedule:

  • LLS fees are due in June for the July to June year,
  • Forestry Corporation fees are due in September for the October to September year, and
  • NPWS fees are due in December for the January to December year.

Note that applications for new permits close to the end of the permit year may require two payments: the initial fee on application and the annual fee for the new permit year (which will be invoiced once the original permit is issued).

The site fee is updated annually in accordance with Consumer Price Index figures from the ABS. From the 21st August 2022 the pricing will be $199.14 ex GST = $219.05 inc GST per site.

2022 Varroa Mite biosecurity response Waivers

To support beekeepers affected by the 2022 Varroa Mite incursion, NSW government will provide waivers for the 2022/2023 financial year for sites that are located within a Varroa Surveillance or Eradication zone (“Purple” or “Red” zones on the map). These will be applied automatically to invoices. To ensure waivers can be applied in a timely fashion the waivers will be displayed on invoices as “Drought Waiver”.

Waivers can also be requested if your hives have been euthanised as part of the Varroa Mite response and you have therefore been unable to use your public apiary sites. To request a waiver please contact the apiary service desk via apiary.sites@dpi.nsw.gov.au with your permit number(s) and the date and location of the euthanasia operation.

2022/2023 Fire Waivers

Following engagement with industry and visits to affected sites the NSW Government has extended existing waivers for certain apiary sites heavily damaged in the 2019/2020 bushfires. Waivers will be applied to invoices for the 2022/2023 financial year and will be displayed as Fire waivers on the invoices. Waivers for the 2023/2024 financial year will be evaluated during 2023.

Unauthorised Placement of Hives on Public Lands

It is illegal to place beehives on public lands without authorisation of the land manager.  Illegal placement of hives risks the biosecurity of other beekeepers on adjoining land and may be a safety risk for other public uses of those lands.  Fines may apply if hives are placed without permission and apiary permits may be cancelled if apiarists do not comply with the terms of their apiary sites terms and conditions including only placing hives within areas included in their permit.

Illegally placed hives on public lands should be reported through the Apiary Sites Service desk at  apiary.sites@dpi.nsw.gov.au or (02) 6391 3464 during business hours.

Contacts

If you want to seek permission to keep bees on public land, review the available sites on the BPASS portal. If you have any queries about new or existing permits contact the Apiary Sites Service Desk on apiary.sites@dpi.nsw.gov.au.  If you have an operational question about your existing sites (e.g. physical access, site information) please contact your local land manager contacts.

Forestry Corporation of NSW

Forestry Corporation NSW manage the majority of public forestry areas that are not in National Parks or Reserves. Current information about Apiary permits is on the Forestry Corporation Permits page. All available potential sites are currently published on the BPASS portal.

For operational questions about East Coast Forests contact Kim Drysdale, Public Information Officer
Phone: 02 6585 3744
Email: kim.drysdale@fcnsw.com.au

For operational questions about Western NSW Forests contact Kirrily Collings, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 0439 092 177
Email: kirrily.collings@fcnsw.com.au

Local Land Services

The Local Land Services (LLS) manage travelling stock routes (TSR’s) and other crown land which may be suitable for beekeeping sites. sites. All vacant sites are now published on the BPASS portal. For operational questions about apiary sites only contact the regional contacts below.

Table 1: Local Land Services regional offices

Region

Contact

Position

Phone Number

Email

Central Tablelands

Mary Roberson

Customer Service Administrative Officer

02 6392 3000

admin.ct@lls.nsw.gov.au

Central West

Chris Robinson

TSR Administration

02 6841 6521

admin.centralwest@lls.nsw.gov.au

Greater Sydney

NA

No permits being issued currently.

NA

NA

Hunter

Peter Fotheringham

TSR & Emergency Management SLSO

0409 034 557

admin.hunter@lls.nsw.gov.au

Murray

Judy Gillett

Customer Service Officer

03 5886 1203

admin.hunter@lls.nsw.gov.au

North Coast

Gabrielle Blackwell

LSO TSR

02 6623 3911

admin.northcoast@lls.nsw.gov.au

North West

Emma Budge

Customer Service Officer

02 6790 7600

admin.northwest@lls.nsw.gov.au

Northern Tablelands

Jess O'Brien

Customer Service Officer

02 6720 8300

enquiry.northerntablelands@lls.nsw.gov.au

Riverina

Hayley Johns-Woodland

Customer Service Officer

02 6923 6300

admin.riverina@lls.nsw.gov.au

South East

Bonty Burhop

Customer & Admin officer

02 6118 7700

enquiry.southeast@lls.nsw.gov.au

Western

Kerryn Hart

Senior Land Services Officer TSR

03 5021 9401

admin.western@lls.nsw.gov.au

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

The creation of new apiary sites in NPWS parks and reserves is not permitted under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 unless it can clearly and demonstrably benefit the conservation of nature in the park.

Please review the NPWS beekeeping policy or refer NPWS apiary enquiries to NPWS.ParkSupport@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Crown Lands

Beekeeping on other Crown Lands may be permitted on suitable sites if approval is granted by the land manager and a permit is issued under the Forestry Act.  To enquire about a particular crown land location please follow the process outlined on the Beekeeping on Crown Lands in NSW page.