Moving bees and hives

If you are moving bees and hives, you need to consider the safety of the community, road safety traffic laws and the welfare of the bees. You should carefully plan when you will stop to refuel and when you will travel through built-up areas because bright street lights and traffic signals can cause bees to escape.

There are 3 methods for moving bees: open entrance, closed entrance or netted bee transport. These methods are described below.

Open entrance transport

Open entrance transport is the most common way of moving beehives. Using this method, you load the beehives at dusk or at night after the bees have settled and transport them during the night. You then unload the hives either upon arrival at your destination or at first light the next day.

Closed entrance transport

Beehives can be moved using a conventional station wagon or sedan, as long as the beehive is fitted with adequate ventilation. One of the benefits of using this method of transport is that you can move the hive a short distance and unload it without being stung. You should move beehives at night when temperatures have cooled and all bees are at home in the hive.

Netted bee transport

Beehives can be moved at any time using nets, but it is best to load them at dusk or night when temperatures are cooler. Depending on your location, you can move netted beehives during daylight hours provided temperatures are not too high. You should secure the nets around the beehives so that the bees remain contained during transit.

Restrictions and permits for moving bees

Cairns area

Asian honey bees are considered established in the Cairns area, and the National Management Group has determined it is not technically feasible to eradicate this population. The Cairns population of Asian honey bees does not carry varroa mites.

The known infested area spreads north to Wonga Beach, west of Southedge and Dimbulah, and south to Silky Oak and Euramo. The southern-most extent of the Cairns Asian honey bees population is approximately 185km north from Townsville.

To help stop the spread of Asian honey bees please:

  • check your vessel, vehicle or trailer before travelling long distances
  • have a pest control operator remove any bees that are swarming or nesting on your property
  • report any swarms or nests of Asian honey bees outside the Cairns area, to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

To report sightings of Asian honey bees call 13 25 23.

Moving bees and bee products interstate

Special movement conditions apply when shifting hives interstate. Please contact our Customer Service Centre for more information about these conditions.