Bees

There are more than 2000 beekeepers registered with Biosecurity SA and approximately 68,000 hives in South Australia.

Honey production contributes about $11 million to the South Australian economy with the value of pollination services estimated at $550 million.

In South Australia, any person who keeps honeybees must register as a beekeeper every 12 months.

The European honeybee contributes directly to the Australian economy, responsible for the production of in excess of $101 million in products including honey, beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, venom and package bees. Its most significant contribution is in pollinating agricultural and horticultural crops.

In Australia 65% of all plant based industries depend to some extent on honeybee pollination. Plant industries most reliant on honeybee pollination include almonds, apples, cherries, blueberries, lucerne and clover.

Legislation changes

The South Australian honeybee industry now follows the latest in biosecurity best practice with changes to the Livestock Regulations 2013 now in effect.

Aimed at increasing productivity and improving pest and disease control, the changes to the regulations follow on from industry consultations in 2017 and include:

  1. Beekeepers must record specified biosecurity-related management practices undertaken.
  2. Bees must be kept in approved hives, including being bee proof, with honeybee access only permitted via specifically designed entrances, whilst swarm catch boxes must only contain foundation, and if not located at the apiarists residence, be additionally branded with their name and telephone number.
  3. Beekeepers must provide water suitable to sustain bees at a distance of not more than 200 m from any hive.
  4. Beekeepers with 50 or more hives must successfully complete a free online Plant Health Australia course in bee pest and disease management approved by the Chief Inspector (contact Teagan Alexander, details below, for login details).
  5. Beekeepers will be required to view and understand information on notifiable conditions of bees as part of the annual registration process.

Online course in bee pest and disease management

Beekeepers with 50 or more hives must successfully complete a free online Plant Health Australia course in bee pest and disease management.

This can be completed:

  • online, or
  • in person at a regional session in July 2018. This session can support those requiring assistance with completing the course.

Please contact Teagan Alexander to get access to the online training.

Beekeepers with less than 50 hives may undertake the course as well if they want. They must contact Plant Health Australia directly, and pay them a fee.

Information for beekeepers

Bee health

More information

Teagan Alexander - Bee Biosecurity Officer
Phone: (08) 8429 2170
Email: teagan.alexander@sa.gov.au

Page Last Reviewed: 22 Feb 2018
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