Apiary Sites on Public Lands - Discussion Paper submission

Discussion Paper

The NSW Government is developing a whole-of-government policy framework for the management of apiary sites on public lands, including in State forests, travelling stock reserves and National Parks.

The framework will streamline administrative arrangements and support industry growth and development through:

  • a consistent and transparent process for allocation of sites
  • a single pricing structure across all public lands
  • long-term permits with greater clarity around tenure
  • a central point of information on site location and availability
  • standard permit terms and conditions.

Outcomes from the work to date are summarised in this Discussion Paper (PDF, 756.76 KB). All beekeepers are invited to have their say in the process by making a submission. This will be the final step in developing the policy framework, which is expected to released in the middle of the year.

The consultation period has been extended till Sunday 25 June 2017 to allow stakeholders more time to put forward their submissions

Review approach

Over the last 18 months, the NSW Department of Primary Industries has been leading the development of the policy framework in consultation with the NSW Apiarists’ Association and the three key land management agencies – Forestry Corporation of NSW, Local Land Services and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Following the review and scoping of a range of options, high level principles were agreed and announced by the Government in October 2016. These included:

  • A fair and transparent allocation system via an Expression of Interest (EOI) process that promotes and rewards best practice management by apiarists
  • A fee structure that takes into account the role and value of apiculture in supporting agricultural industries through pollination services
  • Permit terms that provide certainty of tenure, while balancing the interests of apiarists within the industry
  • Development of a central online portal that will simplify administration and improve access to information.

Since the announcement of these principles, DPI has undertaken further targeted consultation to develop the detail of the policy framework. The outcomes of this work are presented in the Discussion Paper (PDF, 756.76 KB).


The commercial beekeeping industry depends on access to floral reserves, including those on public lands, for honey production. Native floral reserves also maintain the health and productivity of bees used for pollination services. Those services support around 65 per cent of agricultural production in Australia and are estimated to contribute billions of dollars to the agricultural sector annually.

It is estimated that 40 per cent of apiary sites used by commercial apiarists in NSW are on public lands. There are an estimated 6,200 sites currently occupied on public lands, including state forests, national parks and travelling stock reserves. These sites are managed by the Forestry Corporation of NSW (approximately 63 per cent of permits), the National Parks & Wildlife Service (approximately 32 per cent) and Local Land Services (approximately 4 per cent) respectively.

Existing apiary site policies vary between the agencies. Different systems of permit allocation, pricing, tenure and conditions have created administrative burdens and uncertainty for industry. Agencies and industry are in agreement that a consistent and transparent policy framework is needed.

In response to these concerns, it has been agreed that a whole-of-government policy framework for the management of apiary sites on public lands in NSW should be developed.

Have Your Say

All beekeepers are invited to have their say in the process by making a submission on the Discussion Paper (PDF, 756.76 KB). Submissions can be made online or by email until 5pm, Sunday 25 June 2017.

Please ensure your submission addresses the questions listed in the Discussion Paper (PDF, 756.76 KB).

A Submission Template (DOCX, 49.42 KB) is available to assist with your submission.

Submission form

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Alternatively, submissions can be emailed to: policy@dpi.nsw.gov.au

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