Beekeeper registration and hive disposal
If you keep bee hives in Victoria, you are required to register as a beekeeper and give notice if you sell, give away or dispose of your hives.
Registration as a beekeeper
Anyone who keeps one or more hives of bees in Victoria must register with Agriculture Victoria as a beekeeper.
Cost to register
For beekeepers with up to 5 hives:
- no charge, if you register online
- $30 if you register and pay using the paper application form
For beekeepers with more than 5 hives:
- $30 to register 6 to 50 hives
- 60 cents per hive to register 51 or more hives
Registration enables the department to conduct disease prevention and control programs to benefit beekeepers. This includes the mailing of helpful information from time to time including legislative amendments and biosecurity alerts and advice.
Apply for registration as a beekeeper
Register or renew online using BeeMAX or use our application form.
BeeMAX beekeeper registration and surveillance database
Agriculture Victoria has launched the new BeeMAX beekeeper registration and surveillance database, to help all beekeepers work with us to protect Victoria's valuable apiary industry.
BeeMAX is free, quick and easy to use. All beekeepers will need a BeeMAX account to register as a beekeeper for the first time, or to renew their beekeeper registration.
Once you have created your BeeMAX account you can update your:
- contact details
- hive numbers
- apiary site locations.
The electronic diary function in BeeMAX is a central place to record all your biosecurity activities and observations including:
- pest and disease inspections and testing
- swarm collection data
- the movement of bees and equipment
- biosecurity training completed
Keeping a record of your biosecurity activities is now mandatory. Using the electronic diary in BeeMAX is a way to meet your record keeping obligations under the Livestock Disease Control Regulations 2017.
BeeMAX strengthens Victoria’s bee biosecurity by combining multiple existing databases used by beekeepers and Agriculture Victoria apiary staff. The information from more than 12000 Victorian beekeepers is shared with government improving our emergency preparedness and response capability.
Reporting and analysis of real-time beekeeper and surveillance data is important to:
- help us identify trends
- increase our understanding of potential or actual threats to bee health and the apiary industry such as an exotic pest or disease outbreak like varroa
For more information on BeeMAX see our factsheets:
- Factsheet: BeeMAX beekeeper registration and surveillance database (PDF - 241.2 KB)
- Factsheet: BeeMAX beekeeper registration and surveillance database (WORD - 840.6 KB)
Certificate of registration
A certificate of registration is issued by the Bees Registrar. It shows the beekeeper's registered number (brand) allotted by the department and the expiry date.
If you register online you can print your certificate of registration.
Registered beekeepers may have access to compensation for loss of bees and hives due to infection with the honey bee brood disease, American foulbrood.
Renewal of registration
Registration is for a period of 2 years, after which it must be renewed.
The department will send application forms or a renewal email to beekeepers before the end of the 2 year registration period by email or by post.
Cancellation of registration
A beekeeper's registration will be cancelled if biennial renewal of registration is not completed. It is an offence for a person to keep bees if the person is not registered as a beekeeper.
The Bees Registrar must be notified in writing within 7 days when a hive is:
- disposed of
- given away
The form is available from the selling or giving away a beehive page.