Beekeepers

APC Beekeepers Producers' Committee

The APC Beekeepers Producers’ Committee was established on 26 August 2003. The agreed focus of the Committee is to provide leadership to beekeepers, ensure governance accountability and identify and implement initiatives for the industry on behalf of all beekeepers in Western Australia.

Vision Statement

To promote the interests of all beekeepers in Western Australia by focusing on pest and disease surveillance, communication and research.

Mission Statement

By supporting worthwhile industry initiatives, the APC Beekeepers Producers' Committee, is committed to securing profitability and sustainability of beekeepers in Western Australia.

The committee represents all Western Australian beekeepers.

Committee Membership

The Committee consists of eight members, representing all sections of the industry.

Committee members are elected for a three year period with terms commencing in June and ending in May of the relevant year.  Members may apply for re-election once their period of tenure has expired.

When positions become vacant the Commission calls for applications from beekeepers who might be interested in applying for membership on the Committee.  This is done by placing advertisements in statewide newspapers, on the APC website and in relevant industry newsletters.

The Commission strives to achieve a balanced membership on all APC Producers' Committees.  This includes geographic spread, business size and industry experience.


  • Member | Terms | Email / Phone
  • Chairperson
    Colin Fleay | 2017 - 2018 | colinfleay@bigpond.com
  • Rodney Pavy | 2016 - 2019 |
  • Gary Templeman | 2015 - 2018 |
  • Tiffane Bates | 2017 - 2019 | 
  • Kim Fewster | 2017 - 2018 |
  • Geoff Defrenne | Jul 2017 - 2019 |
  • Tristan Campbell  | 2017 - 2020|
  • Wayne Ridley  | 2017 - 2020|
  • Secretary Tarsh Bates - 0432 324 708, apcbeekeepers@gmail.com
  • Postal address PO Box 7205, Karawara, 6152
  • Terms are usually for three years commencing in June, except where appointments need to be of varying length in order that too many terms do not expire in the same year.

Interested in Joining the Committee?

All registered beekeepers are eligible to become members of the APC Beekeepers Producers' Committee.  Nomination forms can be downloaded here.

Functions

The Committee is enabled to provide services (b), (c), (d), (h), (l), (la) and (m) as listed in functions Section 12.1 of the Agricultural Produce Commission Act 1988.

The Strategic Business Plan 2016/17 can be found here.

Functions and Services Provided by the Committee

Funded by beekeepers, the following services are provided by the committee:

  • Supports enhanced Pest and Disease Surveillance – protects the West Australian Beekeeping industry
  • Represents and advocates for producers interests on local and national committees and with regulators and policy makers
  • Supports Beekeeper Training - assists beekeepers to be knowledgeable and skilled in all areas of keeping bees.
  • Supports research initiatives - ensures the industry is supported by cutting edge research and knowledge about bee health and pest disease prevention, honey quality and properties.
  • Producers BeeInformed - the WA beekeeping industry newsletter- keeps beekeepers up-to-date on bio-security and other industry related matters.

The Committee provides an annul report of its initiatives in the APC Annual Report and in the BeeInformed.

Each year the Committee also calls for input form Fee for Service paying beekeepers as to what services could be provided in the coming year under the APC Functions.  Any input received is considered by the Committee, in conjunction with consultation undertaken by the Committee of beekeepers needs.

Pest and Disease Surveillance Initiatives

The Committee is committed to preventing the entry, spread and outbreaks of exotic and endemic pests and diseases to the beekeeping industry in Western Australia.  It is able to provide this service to commercial and non-commercial producers through Section 19a of the Agricultural Produce Commission Act. The Committee monitors the biosecurity policies and activities of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Agriculture and Food, and contributes to funding a dedicated Bee Biosecurity Officer employed by DPIRD.  Committee members regularly meet with governmental and industry stakeholders to ensure enhanced pest and disease surveillance programs are in place and contribute to the development of state and national biosecurity regulations, in association with Plant Health Australia (PHA), the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBC) and DPIRD.

The committee also supports biosecurity training initiatives to ensure beekeepers are knowledgeable and skilled in identifying and managing pests and diseases. In fact, the Committee has provided support for accredited bee biosecurity training.  This training will be provided in the near future by Beekeeping Training college of WA.  Further information on this will be provided through the BeeInformed magazine.

Section 19a of the Agricultural Produce Commission Act allows for provision of services to non-commercial producers when the Minister, by notice published in the Gazette, has declared a specified pest or disease to be a pest or disease "to which this section applies”.  The following designated bee pests and diseases have been prescribed under Section 19a:

Designated pests:

  • Acarine (Tracheal mite, Acarapis Woodi)
  • Africanised honey bee
  • Asian honey bee
  • Tropilaelaps mite (Tropilaelaps clareae)
  • Bruala fly
  • Small hive beetle
  • Varroasis (Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni)

Designated diseases:

  • American foul brood
  • European foul brood

In declaring the above pests and diseases, the Beekeepers committee is able to provide services to both commercial and non-commercial producers and thus help to ensure the protection of the entire Western Australian beekeeping industry.

Relevant bee biosecurity links

If you think you have a pest or disease, need advice  or to contract an Apiary Inspector, contact Andrea Johnston on 9368 4131 or Simon Eyres on 9368 3866 or email PBHoney@agric.wa.gov.au.

The Committee is currently working with DPIRD to develop a more streamlined testing and reporting process.  We will keep you up to date through the BeeInformed.

If you need general information about WA bee biosecurity, check out the DPIRD website.  They provide regular articles about local conditions and pests and diseases.

In 2016 AHBIC and PHA released the Biosecurity Code of Practice  and the National Bee Biosecurity Program.

The Plant Health Australia Bee Aware Program is an excellent resource and provides links to outstanding videos, including the Bee Biosecurity Video Series, Elimination of American Foulbrood, Best management practices for beekeepers, Working safely with honey bees and Surveillance methods for exotic pests.

Responsible Beekeeping training courses, including pest and disease management techniques are regularly provided through the WA Apiarists Society.

BeeInformed

The WA industry publication BeeInformed is produced by the Beekeepers committee.  BeeInformed is produced three times a year (April, August, December) and is free for registered beekeepers.  Subscriptions are $20.  Contact the editor at beeinformed2@gmail.com.  Advertising in BeeInformed is inexpensive and can be arranged by contacting the editor.  Submissions are also welcome.

Fee for Service

The committee functions and services are funded by West Australian beekeepers through the annual APC Fee for Service (FFS) charge.  

It is the Committee’s task to prepare an annual budget. This process involves determination of:

  • Services to be provided to beekeepers
  • Cost of the service provision
  • Fee for Service rate for the year

The Committee has determined a two-tier Fee for Service charge.  For 2016 the charges are:

  1. Service charge per beekeeper per year = $15.00, - education/communication, plus
  2. Service charge per bee hive in production = @ $1.10 per hive - disease control/monitoring and disease research purposes.

Registered beekeepers receive a FFS Return Form in January of each year, with payment due on or before 31 January. You can also access the form here.

Compliance

The collection of Fee for Service for the Western Australian beekeepers industry is covered by the Agricultural Produce (Beekeeping Industry) Regulations 2003. Regulation 5 provides for the Department of Agriculture and Food, on behalf of the APC, to collect the Fee for Service in conjunction with the Annual Beekeepers Registration fee.

Prescribed Beekeeping Pests and Diseases – Section 19a Agricultural Produce Commission Act.

Because of the serious threat of exotic pests and diseases to the Western Australian beekeeping industry through the infestation of hives owned by non-commercial as well as commercial producers, there was an urgent need to include non-commercial producers in the services to be provided by the Producers’ Committee.

WA Beekeeper Registration (through DPIRD)

In addition to the annual APC FFS charge, WA beekeepers also need to register a hive brand with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).  As of 2013, registration of hives is for a three year period.  Beekeepers are required to re-register their hive brand every third year, on the anniversary date of the first registration.  Beekeepers Registration Fees are set at the beginning of each financial year.

Once registered beekeepers are issued with a licence and brand identification which must be produced n all beekeeping equipment.  Beekeepers also received a certificate of registration in the form of a card (similar to a credit card).  The card will include details of

  • Beekeepers trading name
  • Address
  • Hive brand
  • Number of hives registered
  • Period of registration

Costs of registering can be obtained from the DPIRD website at 'Becoming a beekeeper'.  Further enquiries and application forms can be downloaded or obtained from the Brands office (Bunbury) on (08) 9780 6100.

Links

WA Apiarists’ Society

The WA Apiarists’ Society currently has over 500 members, the majority being hobbyists who meet to learn, share and promote the craft of beekeeping. Formed in 1953, the Society has been guided by a committee of volunteers under whom membership numbers have steadily increased. They are the second oldest Beekeeping Association in Western Australia and proudly say that they have the largest membership not only in WA but in Australia. 

WA Farmers Federation Beekeeping Section

WAFarmers Beekeepers Section represents the commercial beekeepers in the state. The Beekeepers Section is a state representative body that has membership to the national peak body, the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council. National representation around the table is of paramount importance for the future sustainability of the bee industry which is in a unique position on a global scale.

Bees @ DAFWA

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) assists the bee industry in its commitment to quality assurance and ensuring apiary products are clean, safe and free from chemical contamination. Strong focus on research in honeybee nutrition and queen bee breeding has been pivotal.

CIBER (The Centre for Integrative Bee Research)

Located at the University of Western Australia, CIBER is dedicated to facilitate interdisciplinary research on honeybees. CIBER offers a working platform for scientists to perform collaborative research on honeybees alongside industry partners. The ultimate goal is to better understand honeybees and counter the dramatic losses currently occurring. To achieve this CIBER combines expertise from beekeepers with decades of experience, sociobiologists and their insights into the functioning of bee societies, evolutionary ecologists and their understanding of evolutionary processes and molecular biologists that provide expertise to harness the honeybee genome and proteome.

Bee Aware

BeeAware is a hub of information for beekeepers and growers about honey bee biosecurity and pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops. The site contains an extensive range of information about exotic and established pests and diseases of honey bees, and helps beekeepers to identify and respond to these pest threats. It also contains information about the pollination of crops and how beekeepers and growers can work together to provide and receive best practice pollination services. BeeAware is funded by the Australian honey bee industry, pollinator-reliant plant industries, Plant Health Australia, governments and R&D agencies.

National Bee Pest Surveillance Program Plant Health Australia

The National Bee Pest Surveillance Program is an early warning system to detect new incursions of exotic bee pests and pest bees. The program involves a range of surveillance methods conducted at locations considered to be of most likely entry of bee pests and pest bees throughout Australia.

Bees @ Plant Health Australia

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC)

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) aims to maximise the efficient use of industry resources and funds to ensure the long term economic viability, security and prosperity of the Australian Honey Bee industry in Australia. They foster, promote, enhance and protect the interests of the Australian Honey Bee Industry and the vitality of its members and represent industry policy at all levels of government, private enterprise and the public.

Jarrah Honey WA

Bees @ RIRDC

Statutory levies paid by industry participants, matched dollar for dollar by the Australian Government (up to 0.5 per cent of the industry’s GVP) are provided to the Honey Bee and Pollination RD&E Program to improve the productivity and profitability of the Australian bee keeping industry through the organisation, funding and management of a research, development and extension program that is both stakeholder and market-focussed. Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) also supports Program research.

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