If you want to keep one or more hives of honey bees in NSW, you’ll need to be registered as a beekeeper with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), even if you're already registered in another state or territory.

You can apply and pay for your registration online.

What you'll need

  • your personal details
  • your business or residential address
  • your postal address
  • details of the number of hives you plan to have
  • a valid debit or credit card for payment of the registration fee
  • your concession details (if applicable)
  • a NSW OneGov account.

How to apply

  1. Check the eligibility requirements.
  2. Select the 'Apply online' button.
  3. Register or sign in to OneGov.
  4. Complete the online application form.
  5. Enter your payment details.
  6. Read and confirm the declaration.

Who's eligible?

You must comply with the Biosecurity Act 2015 (NSW) and other legislation, plus 4 key conditions of registration:

  1. Hives:
    • bees must be kept in a frame hive.
    • each hive must be identified with your registration number, and must comply with any conditions of your registration.
  2. Written records of the following information must be kept for 5 years:
    • if hives are moved from one location to another:
      • the date they're moved
      • the details of each location
      • the number of hives moved
      • the name of the person who moved them.
    • if a hive has been lost, stolen or destroyed:
      • the date of the occurrence
      • the number of hives involved.
  3. The DPI must be notified of the disposal or sale of any beehives, within 28 days.
  4. Location of hives:
    • the hives must be managed to minimise the risk of nuisance or threat to the amenity or health of any other person or property – with revised location requirements including primary address

In addition, you should examine your hives regularly for signs of any notifiable bee disease or pest.

For more information on the obligations of beekeepers please refer to the Bees Fact Sheet – PDF.

An unregistered person must not keep bees. However, you don't have to be registered as a beekeeper in NSW if all of the following apply:

  • you're registered in another state or territory
  • you bring your bees into NSW for no more than 3 months in any 12-month period
  • you notify the DPI on 1800 808 095 within 7 days of bringing your hives into NSW, and provide your name, address and contact details
  • your interstate registration number is displayed on each beehive. 

Things to keep in mind...

The registration fee varies depending on the licence class:

  • business: carrying on the business of beekeeping, having an ABN and registered for GST
  • recreational: keeping bees primarily for recreational purposes
  • concession: a recreational beekeeper holding a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Seniors Card.

Management arrangements for bee biosecurity risks in NSW changed on 1 July 2017.  The changes recognise the importance of maintaining the beekeeping industry, bee population and human health across NSW. To find out more about the changes please refer to the Bees Biosecurity Fact Sheet – PDF

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