Long Term Vacant Sites Online Pilot

To keep beehives (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 accordance with the NSW policy framework for apiary sites on public land, the process for allocation of sites which have not been used for over 2 years (“Long Term Vacant sites”) is on a first-come, first-served basis for qualifying apiarists.

To improve visibility of potential vacant apiary sites the DPI in conjunction with Forestry Corporation NSW is conducting an online pilot where a map of potential beekeeping ranges will be published online. These sites have not had an apiary permit for at least two years or in many cases may never have been used as beekeeping sites at all.

Interested parties should note that these sites have not been inspected or reviewed before publishing and may not be suitable for beekeeping. Before applying for an apiary site, applicants must visit the site and ensure it is suitable for their operation.

The online pilot is planned to start on the 16th of July 2019 and will involve the publication of available potential sites in Forestry Corporation locations across NSW.

The following diagram shows the process to follow to apply for sites. Further detail will be published at the start of the pilot.

Long Term Vacant sites process diagram

Step 1 go online. Step 2 review potential sites on map. Step 3 submit request to check status. Step 4 visit site. Step 5 complete online form within 2 days. Step 6 DPI validates application. Step 7 agency check suitability of site. Step 8 permit issued

What do I need to do to prepare for the pilot?

  1. Ensure that your beekeeping registration is current.
  2. Ensure that your insurance is current and meets Forestry Corporation’s insurance requirements outlined in their Apiary Permit Terms and Conditions.

Can I request that a site be held for me while I visit the site?

Yes, during the pilot if you submit a request on the DPI website specifying the sites you wish to be held and you receive confirmation in writing that these sites have not already been held or applied for the site can be held for 2 business days. If you do not apply for the sites within 2 business days they will be available again for other applicants.

To ensure broad access to sites you can request up to 20 sites be held at any one time but you can only request a hold on a site once.

How long will it take to confirm a site has been held?

During the pilot the hold process will involve the manual review of each request by DPI. The time taken to respond will depend on the volume of requests. If delays are experienced, enquiries will be dealt with strictly in order of their receipt. This email address will not be monitored or responded to outside business hours.

How long will it take before a permit is issued once I have filled out an application form for a site?

DPI will provide allocation information to Forestry Corporation for review and issue of permits. Permit issue may take up to four weeks depending on number of applications received and other workloads such as wildfire management.

How will “First Come, First Served” be determined?

Whichever comes first:

  1. The receipt of an application for a specific site.
  2. The receipt of a written enquiry for a specific site that is followed by an application for the site within 2 business days.

Can my setdown site be anywhere within the range on the map?

Some ranges may contain “Exclusion Zones” where setdown sites cannot be placed. Exclusion Zones will be marked in red on the map and cannot be used as setdown sites. Setdown sites outside these areas should be identified in accordance with Forestry Corporation’s Apiary Permit Terms and Conditions and the location notified to Forestry Corporation within 90 days of the permit commencing.

Will the map be updated immediately when sites are held or allocated?

During the pilot the hold process and application process involve several manual steps and the map will not be immediately updated as enquiries progress. If you request a hold on a site DPI will review it’s availability and respond to you to confirm it’s available to visit or apply.

How can I enquire about Long Term Vacant sites on TSRs or in National Parks sites?

Long Term Vacant TSR sites (Local Land Services sites) are not part of this pilot currently. If you wish to enquire about specific LLS sites please contact the relevant LLS region via the contact details on the Beekeeping on Public Land page. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Apiary sites are subject to NPWS’s beekeeping policy which limits the number of apiary sites. There are no current LTV NPWS sites.