Hive registration and branding

Queensland is a varroa mite biosecurity zone.

A movement control order (MCO) is in place to restrict the movement of bees, bee hives, bee products (including honey) and used beekeeping equipment out of the restricted area surrounding the Port of Brisbane in Queensland.

Varroa mite is a prohibited matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Help keep Queensland free of varroa mite by:

If you keep 1 or more European honey bee hives, you must register as a biosecurity entity with Biosecurity Queensland. Native beehives do not need to be registered.

Individuals, groups or businesses may register depending on who owns the hives.

Find out how to:

Hive identification numbers (HIN)

Each registrable biosecurity entity is allocated a hive identification number (HIN). The HIN replaces the old apiary brand. Only 1 HIN is allocated for each biosecurity entity, which is assigned to all hives owned.

Branding hives

You are required to brand at least 1 out of every 50 hives with your HIN, but we recommend marking all your hives as proof of ownership and to help with recovery in the event of loss or theft. This is particularly important if your hives have old brands.

You must ensure the HIN stays legible.

You must brand the hive with your HIN:

  • on the front of the hive
  • in block letters, at least 25mm high.

Placement of the beehive registration number

The first HIN on a hive must be placed in the centre of the front of the hive (position 1).

If a hive is already branded, you must place any subsequent brands of the HIN in the corners of the front of the hive in a clockwise sequence, starting from the top left corner (position 2).

Hive placement

It is prohibited to establish:

  • an apiary site with more than 40 hives within less than 0.8km from an established apiary with more than 40 hives on the site
  • any apiary site (regardless of the number of hives) within less than 2km from a queen bee breeding apiary.

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, you must be aware of and adhere to these minimum distances between hives.

Distance between hives supports commercial beekeepers and allows them to work their hives without robbing.

The extra distance for queen bee breeding apiaries provides additional assurance in maintaining the purity of queen bee lines.