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Code of Practice and National Bee Biosecurity Program


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Beekeepers and pine trees

Bee Biosecurity Officers will be on-hand to work with beekeepers to deliver greater education, training and inspection services

The Code

In an effort to improve the management of established pests and diseases, as well as increase the preparedness and surveillance for exotic pest threats, the Australian honey bee industry, through the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC), has developed a national Biosecurity Code of Practice (the Code). The Code has been developed in consultation with beekeepers and governments to provide a clear framework for Australian beekeepers to engage in best-practice biosecurity. The objectives of the Code are to:

  • Increase productivity in the Australian honey bee industry by improving the general level of pest and disease control by Australian beekeepers.
  • Assist beekeepers to recognise exotic pests and diseases of bees and prepare for an exotic or emerging disease response.
  • Ensure beekeepers conduct regular surveillance for the presence of notifiable exotic and established pests and diseases.
  • Assist in the management of significant established diseases of bees, particularly American foulbrood.
  • Facilitate the cross-border movement of bees and products in certain zones through adoption of a single national code for biosecurity practices.
  • To ensure the future viability and sustainability of the Australian honey bee industry.

National Bee Biosecurity Program

National Bee Biosecurity Program

As part of the Code, the National Bee Biosecurity Program will commence in 2016. This program is a national partnership between the Australian honey bee industry, Plant Health Australia (PHA) and state governments that promotes best management practices for beekeepers in Australia.

To ensure that Australian beekeepers are following appropriate biosecurity practices, the Program aims to have a Bee Biosecurity Officer (BBO) in each state. These positions will be within each state department of primary industry (DPI), funded by a combination of beekeeper levies and state government contributions.

The role of a BBO is to provide extension services for industry, training and education for beekeepers and to monitor industry’s compliance with the Code. In the event of an incursion of an exotic pest (such as Varroa mite) a BBO will be on hand to provide expert support to industry, help to design and implement response measures, and provide training and education for beekeepers.

For more information about the National Bee Biosecurity Program, and to access resources to help beekeepers comply with the Code (such as online training and record keeping templates) visit the BeeAware site.