Registration now compulsory for Tasmanian beekeeping activities
Under the Biosecurity Act 2019 (the Act), beekeeping is considered to be a ‘regulated dealing’ (under Part 5, Division 3, Section 77). Under the Act a person must not engage in a regulated dealing unless they are ‘registered’.
This requirement has been formalised in the new Biosecurity Regulations 2022 which came into effect on 2 November 2022.
Therefore, registration of beekeeping activities is compulsory – for all Tasmanian commercial and recreational beekeepers.
Tasmanian beekeepers can register their beekeeping activities using the online form.
There are new conditions associated with registration, meaning any Tasmanian beekeepers currently registered voluntarily with Biosecurity Tasmania will need to re-register using the new online form.
There is no cost to become registered and registration will remain free for at least the first two years (from 31 March 2023).
Once you have applied to be registered or re-registered, you can also use the online form to advise us if you sell or destroy any hives, wish to de-register or need to update to any of your registration information including supplying supporting documentation.
Please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email@example.com if you are having trouble accessing or using the online form.
Conditions of Registration
Beekeepers agree to adhere to the following conditions of registration:
- A requirement to re-register and update details every 24 months. If your situation changes significantly in terms of hive locations or hive numbers within the registration period, beekeepers are strongly encouraged to update their registration details using the online form.
- A requirement to adhere to the Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice which includes a Certification of Compliance form.
- A requirement to comply with current import requirements for bees, apiary products and used apiary equipment including the General Biosecurity Direction [Emergency].
- A requirement to use best efforts to ensure that any apiary products fed to bees are free from pests, diseases, or chemical contaminants.
- Tasmanian-specific requirements in relation to the Code (i.e. variations from the Code) that must also be noted and followed:
- Code Requirement 2.0 (Reporting of Notifiable Disease) – prompt reporting on all suspect notifiable diseases however specific maximum reporting timeframes in Tasmania for American Foul Brood (AFB) and European Foul Brood (EFB) are 24 hours and 7 days, respectively.
- Code Requirement 4.0 (Disease Management) – The Tasmanian Foulbrood Best Management Practice Guideline takes precedence over this section for apiaries located in Tasmania.
- Code Requirement 6.4 (Labelling of all hives):
- In applying Code requirement 6.4 , the following transition period is proposed (applicable to all beekeepers):
- Within 12 months from the commencement date of the compulsory registration - a requirement to have a minimum of 50% of hives clearly and legibly marked with at least the beekeeper’s allocated hive identification code (registration number). If a keeper owns just one hive, then that hive must be clearly and legibly marked with at least the hive identification code (registration number).
- Within 24 months from the commencement date of the compulsory registration - a requirement to have 100% of hives clearly and legibly marked with at least the beekeeper’s allocated hive identification code (registration number).
- All new hives (purchased or constructed – including second-hand hives purchased by a new owner), must be clearly and legibly marked with at least the beekeeper’s allocated hive identification code (registration number) as per Code Requirement 6.4.
- Appropriate labelling means – at least the hive identification code displayed on an external vertical face of the hive in lettering that is:
- Indelible; and
- at least 25 mm high; and
- of a contrasting colour to that face of the hive
- Code Requirement 6.5 (Swarm catch boxes) – labelling with at least the allocated hive identification code (registration number) will also be required on catch boxes for all beekeepers – this requirement will attract a 12-month transition/grace period:
- Appropriate labelling requirements – see above
- Code Requirement 9.2 (BOLT “Honey Bee Biosecurity” Training) – applies to all Tasmanian beekeepers. Details of the BOLT training are available on the Plant health Australia website.
- AFB testing in line with Code Requirement 10.2, however testing by all beekeepers is encouraged.
- Code Requirement 12 (Apiary sites should be identified) – Please note that Code Requirement 12 applies to all beekeepers and should be considered alongside current site signage requirements on land managed by Parks and Wildlife Service, Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Hydro Tasmania.
The conditions of registration can also be viewed in the below document:
Tasmanian Beekeeper Registration - Conditions of Registration (PDF 267Kb)
Useful information to help you meet your registration requirements
Australian Honey Bee Industry Code of Practice
Your registration as a beekeeper asks if you have complied with the National Bee Biosecurity Code of Practice (COP).
If you have more than 50 hives you must provide a Declaration of Compliance
with the COP.
In addition to AFB annual testing beekeepers with more than 50 hives must also comply with section 9 of the Code to demonstrate knowledge of pest and diseases identification and management. One way to do this is by completing the Biosecurity for Beekeepers online training course
. Participation in this course is currently free for all Australian beekeepers.
The Plant Health Australia - BeeAware website
provides access and a step-by-step guide to the Biosecurity for Beekeepers
online training course, or go straight to the Biosecurity for Beekeepers login page
on the Plant Health Australia BOLT site.
American Foulbrood (AFB) honey testing
If you have more than 50 hives your honey must be tested annually for AFB. See section 10, National Bee Biosecurity Code of Practice (COP) for details of specific testing requirements.
Complete the Honey or Comb Sample Submission Form to request an AFB honey test:
Honey or Brood comb submission form (PDF 107Kb)
Honey or Brood comb sample list form (PDF 538Kb)
Instructions are available to help you fill out this form here:
AHL LabFact Honey Brood Comb submissions (PDF 240Kb)
You will be invoiced directly by the Animal Health Laboratory, and there is no limit to the number of AFB spacing tests you can request.
Beekeeper Vendor Declaration (Hives & Used Equipment) (PDF 87Kb)
For further information on Vendor Declarations please refer to the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) website.