For the past 3 years, the honey bee industry and Plant Health Australia (PHA) have been working to implement effective biosecurity arrangements for beekeepers around Australia.
Ensuring the honey bee industry has the capacity to better manage established pests, and to have surveillance in place for early detection of exotic pests such as Varroa mite is critical to the future sustainability and viability of the Australian honey bee and pollination industry.
Unfortunately, established pests are causing ongoing and significant economic and social harm and a new system of management needs to be put in place to limit the impact to individual beekeepers and the broader industry and economy.
For this reason, AHBIC has been working with state governments, the commonwealth government and PHA to develop a mandatory Biosecurity Code of Practice and a National Bee Biosecurity Program for the honey bee industry in Australia. The recently successful honey levy process, which increases the honey bee industry’s biosecurity investment, allows for industry to contribute $400,000 per year to this proposed Program.
The following documents have been developed after extensive consultation with industry and government. They are considered final and the Biosecurity Code of Practice will be taken to industry conferences for support.
Biosecurity Code of Practice
The Biosecurity Code of Practice is based on the principles of good biosecurity and aims to provide a clear framework for Australian beekeepers to engage in best-practice biosecurity. The standards expected in the Code are not onerous, they are only things that all beekeepers should be doing anyway to manage and / or minimise the impact of pests and diseases on their hives.
Click here to download the document. (PDF 497KB)
Tracked Changes of the Code
This document contains track changed to demonstrate what changes have been made from the previous version of the Code. These changes have been made upon comments received by industry and government in the recent consultation process.
Click here to download the document. (W 533KB)
This document provides a brief overarching summary about the Code and what each section contains.
Click here to download the document. (PDF 391KB)
National Bee Biosecurity Program
The purpose of the National Bee Biosecurity Program is to improve the management of established pests and diseases, as well as increase the preparedness and surveillance of exotic pest threats of the honey bee industry. The Program will be underpinned by the Code of Practice, as well as the employment of a Bee Biosecurity Officer within each State DPI to conduct inspections, as well as educate and train beekeepers in biosecurity best practice.
Click here to download the document. (PDF 842KB)
Honey bee biosecurity arrangements – how it will all work
Overseas experience suggests that if major established pests are not properly controlled when a pest such as Varroa mite arrives, the dual effect is worse. For these reasons, greater national coordination and industry leadership is urgently needed to manage established bee pests, as well as prepare for the possible establishment of any of these exotic pests.
To learn more about what is being done to better manage established honey bee pests in Australia, as well as conduct surveillance for exotic bee pests, read the below document.
Click here to download the document. (PDF 559KB)