21 Feb 2012

Legal obligations

A number of people have recently asked for clarification (or quotation) of the legalities around beekeeping with top bars (as opposed to using full frames).

Here's the relevent extract for Victoria:
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Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 - SECT 123

Construction of hives

123. Construction of hives

(1) A person must not keep bees or permit bees to be kept in a hive-

   (a)  which does not have moveable frames which may be separately and
        readily removed from the hive to allow examination of the honeycomb;

   (b)  from which the honeycomb cannot be readily removed without cutting or
        tearing;

   (c)  which cannot be readily handled for inspection.

(2) If, in the opinion of an inspector, any hive does not comply with
subsection (1), the inspector may order-

   (a)  that the bees be transferred to another hive within any reasonable
        time that the inspector specifies in the order; or

   (b)  that the hive or any honeycomb or frame in the hive be adjusted as
        specified by the inspector within the time specified in the order.

(3) If at the end of the time specified in the order, an inspector is
satisfied that the directions in the order have not been complied with the
inspector may, at the expense of the owner, cause the bees to be transferred
or destroyed.

(4) If the estimated expense under subsection (3) exceeds $3000 the inspector
must first obtain the approval of the Minister.

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Relevent parts of the Act applying to beekeeping:

Part 4 - Division 5: 48 to 53: Bees
Part 5 - Division 2: 66 to 70: Bees compensation
Part 8 - Division 4: 122 to 125: Additional power with respect to bees

More guidence (Vic) available here and here.

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A summary of all Australian regulations is below - this list originally compiled by Anthony Andrist:
Looks like some liks are dead - I will update soon. Tony.

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