Hive management

American Foulbrood detected on Kangaroo Island 2020

American Foulbrood (AFB) is a highly infectious disease of honeybees caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae.

Whilst present in Australia (and detected from time to time in mainland South Australia), KI has to date remained free from any established presence of the disease.

AFB was detected during routine testing of a sample of KI honey in mid-May 2020. Biosecurity SA is now conducting an initial delimiting survey of the KI honeybee population in an effort to contain and eradicate the disease.

For more information on this detection, please visit the AFB detected on KI page.

Hive management

Keeping honeybees is regulated in South Australia under the Livestock Act 1997 and the Livestock Regulations 2013.

Hive management is an important aspect of beekeeping, with the South Australian honeybee industry following the latest best practice in biosecurity with five additional mandatory requirements now in effect. These requirements aim to increase productivity and improve pest and disease control.

Below are the 5 additional mandatory requirements relating to hive management:

  1. All beekeepers must record all specified biosecurity related management practices undertaken. More information:
  2. All 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, must additionally be branded with their name and telephone number. More information:
  3. All 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 course in honeybee pest and disease management approved by the Chief Inspector. More information:
  5. All beekeepers must read and understand the latest PIRSA provided information on notifiable conditions of bees, as part of the annual registration process. More information:
Page Last Reviewed: 27 May 2020
Top of page