Moving bees interstate

The Livestock Disease Control Regulations 2017 specify restrictions on the introduction of:

  • bees
  • hives
  • used beekeeping equipment
  • bee products, including pollen

into Victoria from other parts of Australia.

Health requirements

All bees, bee products, bee collected pollen, used hive components and beekeeping equipment must:

  • be from hives free of pests and diseases including notifiable diseases
  • not be from a quarantine property or area
  • not be from an area subject to restrictions on movements imposed by other jurisdictions.

To apply to introduce bees, bee products or used beekeeping fittings into Victoria the following form must be completed:

For apiaries with 50 or more hives

You must now provide a honey culture test together with your health certificate application that is no greater than 12 months old.

Pollen used for feeding bees

You must provide an invoice or together with your health certificate to prove the pollen has been gamma irradiated at a minimum of 15 kilogray before its introduction to Victoria.

If irradiation is to occur immediately after introduction you must provide proof with your application.

In addition, there are conditions related to specific diseases and jurisdictions.

American foulbrood disease (AFB)

There are strict controls on importing items from hives affected by AFB into Victoria.

The following items must not be imported:

  • bees, including queen cells, queen bees, escorts and packaged bees
  • bee products.

The following items may only be imported after approval is granted by Agriculture Victoria and if labelled and treated as required:

  • honey and beeswax must be sent directly to a processing plant
  • pollen and used beekeeping fittings must be gamma irradiated at an approved plant.

The following form must be completed to seek approval before the introduction of any items from hives affected by AFB. Evidence of required treatments must be provided together with your application:

Introducing bee products and used beekeeping equipment from Tasmania

Due to the presence of Braula fly (Bee louse) you must not introduce any of the following items into Victoria from Tasmania:

  • bees
  • pollen
  • used hives
  • other used beekeeping fittings.

Comb honey can be introduced providing that:

  • before the comb is introduced it is frozen to minus 15 degrees centigrade for 24 hours
  • it is stored and transported in bee-free containers and vehicles
  • it is cut and packed in a bee free area
  • no other comb honey was on the premises whilst it was being processed.

This form must accompany the comb honey, as well as data temperature logs endorsed by a government apiary officer:

Important timelines

Health certificates must not be issued retrospectively for bees, bee products, pollen or used beekeeping fittings that have already entered Victoria.

An approved certificate must be provided to Agriculture Victoria:

  • one month or less before the introduction into Victoria of the bees, bee products, pollen or used beekeeping fittings or
  • four months or less before the introduction into Victoria of a queen bee, escorts, queen cell or packaged bees.

Enquiries and where to submit completed health certificate application

All enquiries and completed application forms should be sent to honeybee.biosecurity@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Providing copies of the approved health certificate

A person who introduces any bees, bee products, pollen or used beekeeping fittings into Victoria must ensure that a copy of the certificate

  • accompanies the bees, bee products, pollen or used beekeeping fittings, and
  • is given to the consignee specified in the certificate.

Movement of bees, bee products and used beekeeping equipment outside of Victoria

Each state or territory has their own requirements for the movement of bees, bee products and used beekeeping equipment.

The most up-to-date information about entry conditions, approval forms and requirements is on the government website of the state and territory you are seeking entry to.

If you are still unsure please contact an Apiary Officer at honeybee.biosecurity@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 14 Sep 2021