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.

2 people in beekeeper gear looking at a frame

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.

Online registration or renewal as a beekeeper

Application form for registration as a beekeeper (WORD - 48.8 KB)

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 1000 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:

If you are having trouble with your BeeMAX account call the Beekeeper Registrar on 1800 356 761 or email beekeeper.registration@agriculture.vic.gov.au

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.

Compensation benefit

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.

Contact the Bees Registrar on 1800 356 761 or beekeeper.registration@agriculture.vic.gov.au if you don't receive a renewal of registration form.

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.

Hive disposal

The Bees Registrar must be notified in writing within 7 days when a hive is:

  • disposed of
  • sold
  • given away

The form is available from the selling or giving away a beehive page.

Page last updated: 23 Jun 2020