Hive construction and labelling

Hives must be appropriately constructed and branded

For all beekeepers

variety-of-hive-typesHives will be much easier to manage if they are appropriately constructed and branded (labelled). While there are many different hive designs, in order for a hive to meet Code of Practice requirements bees must only be able to enter and exit through specifically designed and manufactured access points. Additionally, combs must be able to be individually and separately removed from the hive for inspection. Hives with holes or cracks through which bees can pass through will be more susceptible to robbing, whereas if combs cannot be individually inspected, it will be impossible to detect diseases such as AFB or pests such as Varroa.

If you use catch boxes to capture swarms, these must only contain foundation. Drawn combs, honey or pollen will attract pests as well as robber bees and could facilitate the spread of pest and diseases through robber activity (see Protecting hives).

In addition, all hives must be clearly marked with the beekeeper’s allocated hive identification code in accordance with relevant state or territory legislation. Catch boxes that are kept off the beekeeper’s property must be clearly labelled with the beekeeper’s name and contact details.

REQUIREMENT
6.1 A beekeeper must ensure that each hive (including swarm catch boxes) is manufactured and maintained so as to have intact external surfaces with bee access only permitted via specifically designed and manufactured access points.
6.2 All hives must be maintained in way that allows combs to be individually and separately removed from the hive for easy inspection.
6.3 A hive placed for the purpose of catching bee swarms (a swarm catch box) must only contain foundation. Frames already drawn or that contain brood, honey or pollen are not permitted.
6.4 Each hive must be clearly and legibly marked with the beekeeper’s allocated hive identification code in accordance with relevant state or territory legislation.
6.5 A hive placed for the purpose of catching bee swarms (swarm catch box) that is not on the property where the beekeeper normally resides must also be identified with the beekeeper’s name (or company name) and a contact telephone number, in characters at least 25 mm in height.

Download the Code

Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice