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Beekeeper registration - Do I need to do it?

Compulsory beekeeper registration depends on the beekeepers country/state jurisdictions and even sometimes down to their local municipal authority (city or council).

Here in Australia, by law, it is compulsory for beekeepers to register themselves and their hive/s with the DPI (or equivalent local body) and maintain the legal requirements for managing the hive/s.

Why do governments reinforce the importance to register?

The strongest reason here in Australia is to help with the prevention of the spread of unwanted pests and diseases, such as Varroa mite which has yet to reach out shores (without detection and eradication) and devastate our land, honey bees and honey/agriculture industries.

If you’re unaware of what your local laws are, I recommend contacting your closest beekeepers association or search your local cit/councils website.

I’d love to know if anyone out there has had a great experience with their local registering body or would like to share the regulations which may differer in your region?

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Our local DPI sent me a free book on beekeeping upon registering, very handy! They also sent me a slide and tested for AFB when I had some concerns, this was free as well. I receive a newsletter from them periodically and updates if there is AFB in the area or anything else of concern. Registration cost about $60 from memory and took about 5 minutes, great service :slight_smile:

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Here in San Diego, California, USA we are required to register with the Department of Agriculture, but I would guess that the majority of people don’t. That is due either to ignorance of the rules, or being an unrepentant “scoff-law” (mild version of outlaw).

Our local Inspector (Jaime Garza) is actually a very nice young man. He is knowledgable and cares about bees. He frequently attends our local beekeeping society meetings. If you are registered, and there is a complaint against you (from neighbours, etc) he says that they act far more leniently on people who are registered than those who are not. The other benefits of registration include:

  1. Regular newsletters with educational information about bees
  2. Notification of disease/pest outbreaks. I was one of the first to report coastal SHB in our City, and he reacted by putting out a big circular to all registered beekeepers on how to manage hive beetles
  3. 48 hour warning of any City insecticide/mosquito spraying (was more important during the Zika outbreaks)

Overall, they are good people here, and not overbearing. I would encourage any local beekeepers to register. It is free for hobby beekeepers, and is more helpful than problematic. :blush:

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Here in Victoria registration is compulsory. The first five hives are free, then it’s $30 for 6-50 hives. They provide an alert service for biosecurity issues, but other than that, not much, which is unfortunate but understandable as I think there are only two inspectors in the whole state.

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NSW is always the most expensive state :pensive:

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Here in the ACT (Canberra) Australia, registration is free and valid for three years. Always get updates if there is a biosecurity issue in our local area.

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Registration is free here in Qld. for hobby beekeepers, however very few of the first time beekeepers I sell nucs to ask for my registration no., which they need when applying for their registration.

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that really sucks- by charging a high fee- I have no doubt they discourage many hobbyists from registering.

Here in SA it is free if you have less than 5 hives.

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I forgot to mention that registration is compulsory here in Queensland, however it’s free for hobby - non-commercial beekeepers

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Also in Queensland up to 50 hives is considered a hobby and free to register with DPI.

but we then have to look at local council rules to comply with.

on the gold coast there is no hive limit. You just cant have your hive within 10m of another residence.

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When does a hive become a hive? Is it a strong colony occupying a brood, plus a super? Can a 4 frame nuc (or even less than 4 frames) in the process of making a queen be classified as a hive? Maybe it could be called “a hive” once the colony is queen-rite. A hive is probably a structure containing a colony of bees.

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  • type of hives (including: observation hives, nucleus hives, Top bar hives, Warre hives, and Flow hives).
    The above is an extract from the south Australian registration. This clearly counts nucs.
    However I just noticed that it doesn’t include langstroths . :joy:
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Our local regulations define a hive as any “managed colony”. In urban locations, you can only have 2 hives, but during the peak season, you are allowed to have up to 5 for the purposes of swarm control, as long as they are kept for less than 3 months. Registration is renewed in December every year, and your annual hive count is the number that you expect to have on January 1st. Empty boxes and dead colonies don’t count… :wink:

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Hi Dawn, that sounds like a common sense approach & I doubt if any local authorities down my way have taken swarm prevention into consideration.

I have 6 hives in my yard at the moment, however if they were all combined, it would only make one good hive.

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We are lucky that the San Diego Beekeeping Society is very vocal and interactive with local authorities. They have credibility with the City and most local councils, so usually very experienced beekeepers get a say in how the rules are written. I think they do a great job. :blush:

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Wow, odd!

Still, pretty reasonable… and do other states include a book on beekeeping? From Outbeck’s comment, it looks like Vic doesn’t…

Jeff that’s how I’ve taken it too…

Wow interesting that they adjust for swarm management (and very sensible!)

Good to see comments form many regulars indicating that you are all registered (as expected!) Hopefully our other customers and forum members have too… if not, late is better than later :wink:

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Pretty cool that you guys get a mention on the official SA document though. :+1::+1:

I registered my hive-to-bee online, which is a new service in California. The website is BeeWhere California, and it took just about a minute to get my ID#. With that done, now I can submit my registration with the city of Lemon Grove, along with a sitemap that shows its location in relation to the property lines and neighboring houses. I had a nice email exchange with the inspector and he was very helpful.

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I love Jamie Garza (the county inspector). He is a really good guy. Very helpful and very responsive. We are lucky to have him in that position. :blush:

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I just discovered another benefit of being a registered beekeeper. As of today, all registered beekeepers in San Diego county are now eligible for COVID vaccination! Whoopee!! The only problem is, there aren’t any appointments… :thinking:

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