Beekeeping for small landholders in Western Australia

Page last updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2018 - 9:57am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Transporting beehives

Transport beehives at night, as all honeybees should have returned.

While transporting the beehives it is preferable to cover them with a bee-net to stop them from escaping.

Keep accurate records of all beehive movements so that in case of a pest or disease outbreak, possible risk areas can be identified.

Purchasing used equipment

Only purchase equipment from an apiary that is regularly checked for pests and diseases.

It is important to ask for proof of the testing history and seek a vendor declaration to guarantee that the equipment is free from pests, diseases and chemical residues.

When returning to your property, isolate all equipment and clearly label. Sterilise to ensure that any pest or disease will not have been transferred to the rest of your hives.

Importation of bees, hive products and honey into WA

Bees (including queen bees and cells), used beekeeping equipment, honey, bees wax, pollen and honeycomb are prohibited or restricted from entering WA.

Chemical residues

It is important to ensure that when producing honey for human consumption there are no residue issues.

Residues can result from metal leaks in extracting/storage equipment, pesticides used in agriculture and horticulture and from the use of unauthorised bee repellents when extracting honey.

Any detection of residues can impact your market access.

The National Residue Survey operated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), is the body responsible for managing the risk of chemical residues in Australian food products and as a result monitors the chemical residues in honey.

Penalties do apply if chemical residues are detected.

Legal requirements

By law anyone who owns or has charge, care or possession of honeybees or beehives is required to register with DPIRD within 14 days of becoming a beekeeper. Registered beekeepers, both amateur and commercial, are allocated a hive identifier.

This identifier is printed on the certificate of registration and must be displayed on all beehives. Registration information assists the industry in the control of pests and diseases and the prevention of residues in hive products.

Branding of beehives also enables apiary inspectors to identify the owners of beehives and notify them of pests, diseases, vandalism, theft and other problems.

To register, download the Application for registration as a beekeeper or contact the Brands Office on +61 (0)8 9780 6207.

Quality assurance schemes

There are two main quality assurance schemes that have been developed specifically for beekeepers and honey producers.

These are:

These schemes aim to achieve quality in produce and working standards to ensure the consumer receives a safe and healthy product.

It is also necessary to comply with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Safety Standard, which requires food businesses to develop a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) based food safety plan.

When choosing a quality assurance system to incorporate into your enterprise, research which one will give you the best benefits, which one has features that will suit your enterprise best and fit easily in with your current activities and which one offers you the support and assistance you will need.