Beekeeping can be a large commercial venture, sideline occupation, or a hobby. As well as producing honey and beeswax, honey bees are also very important pollinators of a range of horticultural crops and seed crops.
Registration and compliance
If you want to keep one or more hives of bees in Victoria you must:
- register as a beekeeper and
- comply with the Apiary Code of Practice May 2011.
Regardless of the scale of your beekeeping, there are safety precautions for apiarists and important management practices to ensure the health and productivity of your bees. The following links provide the resources to follow the correct process.
Anyone who keeps one or more hives of bees in Victoria is required to register with the department as a beekeeper. You can apply and pay for a Beekeeper's Licence online.
Download and read the public land apiculture policy and standard operating procedures for beekeeping.
Useful information for managing and raising bee colonies, research, best practice, pollination services and compliance including links to the Beekeeping and the Livestock Disease Control Act.
Information on diagnosis, reporting and common pests.
What to do if you detect or suspect American Foulbrood
This American Foulbrood information note discusses the 'next steps' including confirmation of disease, notification and best-practice biosecurity.
The Australian Honey Bee industry Biosecurity Code of Practice
The Biosecurity Code of Practice has been developed in consultation with beekeepers to provide a clear framework for beekeepers to engage in best-practice biosecurity and should be implemented by all beekeepers.
Fire danger period - guidance for beekeepers
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Victorian honey bee industry have developed the Guidance for Beekeepers during the Fire Danger Period and Total Fire Ban Days brochure that provides information for beekeepers during the Fire Danger Period and Total Fire Ban days. Fire restrictions or Total Fire Bans (TFB) apply to beekeepers across all of Victoria. Please take time to read this important brochure.
Australian Beekeeping Guide
The Australian Beekeeping Guide provides basic information to assist beginner and sideline beekeepers. It draws on the knowledge and experience of apiculture scientists, various state and territory apiary inspectors and apiary officers, and most importantly, the many beekeepers who enjoy keeping bees.
Read summaries of the projects funded in 2015-17 by the Honey Bee Compensation and Industry Development Fund.
- Honey money – NSW Department of Primary Industries
Software to assist beekeepers
- Mini Honey Money – NSW Department of Primary Industries
Monitors the cost of production and profitability
- Bee Connected - Croplife Australia
Application to help to ensure the safety of bees during normal farming practices.