DPIRD’s Operation Flower Meadow is underway to reinforce biosecurity traceability in WA’s valuable bee and honey industry.

DPRID Media Release 2 December 2022

Apiarists are being reminded of the importance of maintaining vital traceability records, as part of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD’s) Operation Flower Meadow biosecurity campaign.

Department officers are visiting commercial and recreational beekeepers throughout the agriculture region to ensure they are keeping up to date with movement records and identification requirements.

DPIRD biosecurity compliance coordinator Paul Cassidy said the operation would help protect the State’s pollination and honey industries from the risk of bee pests and diseases.

“The recent detection of the significant pest Varroa mite in the Eastern States has highlighted how valuable this information is to aid a rapid and effective emergency response,” he said.

“With bee threats on our doorstep, the importance of apiary traceability to aid early detection and containment of a biosecurity threat has never been so clear.”

Under the Western Australian Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 all beekeepers must keep written records of the establishment, movement and sale of all apiaries.

Bees must also be kept in a device where frames are easily removable for the purpose of inspection.

Mr Cassidy said apiarists must not supply, lease or otherwise dispose of an apiary or part of an apiary to another person without confirming the person is a registered beekeeper.

“A crucial component is that all beekeepers register with DPIRD, upon which they are issued a certificate and provided with their unique brand identifier,” he said.

“This registration ID must be burnt, stamped, carved or scored onto each hive box, so they are clearly identifiable.”

Not correctly identifying hives or failing to keep movement records can result in an infringement of $200 and/or other penalties of up to a $2000 fine.

More information on beekeeping requirements can be found on the DPIRD website www.agric.wa.gov.au/bees.

All suspect bee pest or disease concerns should be reported to DPIRD via the MyPestGuide Reporter app or the Pest and Disease Service on 9368 3080 or email PBHoney@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Report illegal or suspicious agricultural matters, such as the sale, importation and movement of plants, animals (including bees), agricultural items and produce to Crimestoppers’ AgWatch www.crimestopperswa.com.au/organisation-report/agwatch/.