Beekeeper registration

Any person who keeps honeybees is required to register as a beekeeper every 12 months.

You must register regardless of the:

  • number of hives
  • purpose for keeping honeybees (i.e. you must register even if only keeping one hive in the backyard for interest)
  • type of hives (including: observation hives, nucleus hives, Top bar hives, Warre hives, and Flow hives).

Registration for new beekeepers

If you are a new beekeeper, you must register using the Beekeeper Registration and Hive Identification Code Form (PDF 362.6 KB).

New beekeepers must be aware of and comply with the same legislative requirements as renewing beekeepers, including those detailed under hive management.

At your initial registration as a new beekeeper, you are not required to provide copies of specified records, American Foulbrood (AFB) honey test results or course certificates. However you should be aware that these will be required in 12 months time when you renew your registration. Therefore, during your first 12 months, as part of this process, you:

  • should, as soon as possible, read and understand the latest PIRSA information on identifying notifiable honeybee pests and diseases
  • should, prior to purchase of any hives and/or introduction of any swarms, undertake an AFB honey test (a honey test of hives owned by the beekeeper must be undertaken if keeping 20 or more hives)
  • must commence keeping specified biosecurity related management records (generally commencing when you place out swarm catch boxes and/or purchase hives, including inspecting/testing for notifiable conditions)
  • should, as soon as possible, complete an approved course in honeybee pest and disease management delivered by an approved provider (completion of a course must be undertaken if keeping 50 or more hives).

Registration for renewing beekeepers

If you are renewing your existing beekeeper registration, you will receive an annual renewal notice and Beekeeper Registration Renewal Form (PDF 797.9 KB) approximately 6 weeks before your registration expiry date.

The form must be completed and received, along with the required information and correct payment, prior to your registration expiry date.

Renewing beekeepers – owning 1 or more hives

All renewing beekeepers are required to demonstrate compliance with specific regulations as part of your registration process.

This includes:

  • submitting a copy of either:
    • a re-certification certificate and re-certification audit report undertaken on hives you own and completed within the 24 months preceding your registration expiry date - if you are participating in a Chief Inspector of Stock biosecurity approved quality assurance program
      or
    • completed Chief Inspector of Stock approved biosecurity records of specified biosecurity practices undertaken on hives you own, within the 6 months preceding your registration expiry date.

Renewing beekeepers - owning 20 or more hives

Additionally, beekeepers who own 20 or more hives must also submit a copy of an American Foulbrood laboratory honey test result. The test must be undertaken on honey that has been:

  • collected from a Chief Inspector of Stock approved number of hives you own
  • collected within the 6 months preceding your registration expiry date
  • submitted to a Chief Inspector of Stock approved laboratory.

Gribbles VETLAB AFB honey testing and smear testing submission forms are available by emailing Glenside.Enquiries@Gribbles.com.au or phoning (08) 8202 3300 or 1300 307 190.

Renewing beekeepers - owning 50 or more hives

Additionally, beekeepers who own 50 or more hives must also submit a copy of a certificate of completion/attainment from a Chief Inspector of Stock approved course in bee pest and disease management, and delivered by a Chief Inspector of Stock approved provider, detailed in the Approval of courses in bee pest and disease management (PDF 274.4 KB).

The course must be undertaken by the beekeeper, and completed within the:

  • 36 months preceding your registration expiry date – if you have completed a Biosecurity for Beekeepers course, delivered by Plant Health Australia
  • or 72 months preceding your registration expiry date – if you have completed either:
    • the qualification Certificate III in Beekeeping, delivered by a Registered Training Organisation
    • or the 2 units from this qualification (a) Manage Pests and Diseases within a Honey Bee Colony, and (b) Apply Sampling Procedures; delivered by a Registered Training Organisation.

Registration changes

Compete the Change of ownership or address form (PDF 147.1 KB) if you have:

  • sold or disposed of any of your hives
  • sold or disposed of all of your hives and wish to cancel your registration
  • purchased hives
  • changed your address or other contact details (beekeepers must notify the Chief Inspector in writing within 14 days of changing their postal address).

Registration fees

Registration fees and hive contributions are based on the number of hives you keep.

Fees for keeping 1 to 4 hives:

  • No fee for registrations and renewals.
  • No fee for hive contributions.

Fees for keeping 5 or more hives:

  • An annual registration fee.
  • A hive contribution of $1 per hive for each hive owned (including the first four hives). These contributions go to the Apiary Industry Fund.
  • A late fee is charged for all registration renewals not registered and paid in full by the registration expiry date.

Fees are detailed in the beekeeper registration form.

Page Last Reviewed: 23 Apr 2019
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