Interpretation of the Code

The Code contains elements that a beekeeper must do and some elements that a beekeeper should do.

Where ‘must‘ is used, industry will be seeking agreement from governments to mandate (regulate) these sections of the Code so that a beekeeper will have no discretion about complying – failure to comply with a ‘must’ will be an offence that may render the beekeeper liable to be fined or prosecuted. These are identified in the Code as a ‘REQUIREMENT‘.

Where ‘should‘ is used, this is considered highly desirable or best practice and beekeepers are strongly encouraged to comply with the element. It is not, however, mandatory and failure to comply will not be illegal. These are identified in the Code as a ‘RECOMMENDATION‘ and are grouped in PART D.

Scope of the Code

PART B of the Code (sections 1 – 8) applies to ALL beekeepers and specific requirements are marked in green.

PART C of the Code (sections 9 – 11) applies only to beekeepers with 50 or more hives. Requirements are marked in purple.

Therefore, beekeepers who manage 50 or more hives must comply with ALL of Part B and Part C of the Code. Although Part C is not mandated for smaller beekeepers, they are encouraged to adopt these requirements as best practice where appropriate.

PART D of the Code (sections 12 and 13) contains two further recommendations that are considered to be best practice. These recommendations are marked in blue. Although not a requirement, all beekeepers are strongly encouraged to adopt these two recommendations and incorporate them into their apiary management plan.

State and territory legislation takes precedence over the Code

All states and territories have legislation applying to beekeepers and the practice of beekeeping. The Code does not replace this state or territory legislation but is complementary to it. For the most part, the Code aligns with state and territory legislation but this is not always possible. Where the Code contradicts local state or territory legislation, the state or territory legislation takes precedence.

Download the Code

Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice

The Code of Practice is also available in Greek, Arabic, Italian and Turkish