Beekeeping (apiary) permits for national and conservation parks

To place bee hives in a national park or other protected area managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, you must apply for an apiary permit for an available site.

Apiary activities in protected areas are governed by the Nature Conservation Act 1992, the Forestry Act 1959, the Biosecurity Act 2014 and the Land Act 1994.

Available apiary sites occur where a national park is declared on land that:

  • is actively being used for beekeeping and the apiary permit has not already expired
  • has been previously defined as a forest reserve within the defined South-East Queensland forest transfer process. In this situation, apiary permits can continue to be issued by the agency through a special management area framework.

Permit requirements

To conduct an apiary business in a national park or other protected areas in Queensland, you must:

An apiary permit can be offered for a minimum of 6 months or less, up to a maximum of 5 years (or until 31 December 2024, whichever is later). You can apply to have it reissued.

Steps to take before you apply for a permit

Check if an apiary site is available

View the apiary site maps below to check the availability of a site and email southernpermitsteam@des.qld.gov.au to confirm or for more information.

Applying for an apiary permit

Email your application to parkaccess@des.qld.gov.au.

2020–21 Beekeeping Industry Assistance Package for permit fees on protected areas (effective 1 July 2020)

Recognising the hardship that drought and fire have had on the beekeeping industry, the Queensland Government is waiving apiary fees for the 2020–21 financial year. Apiarists applying for new or renewed permits, which will extend beyond 30 June 2021, will automatically receive the fee waiver on a pro-rata basis. The table below shows the standard fee with the waiver applied, for each month until 28 February 2021.

New fees payable per apiary site (waiver applied) by permit commencement date

Permit term Standard fee December 2020 January 2021 February 2021 March 2021 April 2021 May 2021 June 2021
Up to 6 months $97.80 $0.00 $0.00 $16.30 $32.60 $48.90 $65.20 $81.50
Up to 1 year $145.90 $60.79 $72.95 $85.11 $97.26 $109.43 $121.58 $133.74
Up to 2 years $262.80 $186.15 $197.10 $208.05 $219.00 $229.95 $240.90 $251.85
Up to 3 years $372.40 $299.98 $310.33 $320.68 $331.02 $341.37 $351.71 $362.06
Up to 4 years $467.30 $399.15 $408.89 $418.62 $428.36 $438.09 $447.83 $457.56
More than 4 years $546.00 $482.30 $491.40 $500.50 $509.60 $518.70 $527.80 $536.90

Refunds of fees already paid for the 2020–21 financial year

If you have a permit that was current on 1 July 2020—or were granted a permit between July and September 2020—you will be eligible for a pro-rata refund of site fees. The amount of the refund will be based on the portion of fees paid that applied to the 2020–21 financial year, being the (amount paid / duration of permit in months) multiplied by the number of months the permit is valid in the 2020–21 financial year.

For example, if you have an existing permit expiring 30 November 2020 and apply to renew your permit for 1 year, you will receive a:

  • refund for permit fees you previously paid for the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 November 2020
  • waiver of new permit fees for the part of the year from 1 December 2020 to 30 June 2021.

You do not need to apply for your refund, but you need to contact parkaccess@des.qld.gov.au and advise of your preferred payment method.

Placing hives in the park

You must speak with local rangers at least 48 hours prior to placing your hives or undertaking clearing of a site. Relocation of sites must not occur without local ranger approval.

Hives must be identified as per the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Sites must not exceed an area of 600m2 and not contain more than 150 hives.

All equipment brought to the permit area, including any equipment used as a smoker, must be maintained to avoid a fire threat. Use of a lit smoker must be contained within the permit area and be completely extinguished after use.

Renewing permits

Submit permit renewals 40 business days before the expiry of your current permit. Once a permit has expired, other apiarists can apply to take over a site.

While every effort will be made to notify you when permit renewals are due, you are responsible for ensuring your beekeeping activities are covered by the appropriate permits as required by the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Holding sites

QPWS will hold sites for 2 weeks to give you time to view the area. If QPWS does not receive your response within this time, the sites will be removed from hold and will be available for other apiarists as a vacant site.

Apiary site maps

Apiary maps show the distribution of apiary sites and the availability status of each site. The Apiary maps for National Parks and Conservation Parks allows you to search by park or by zooming in on a particular park.

Email southernpermitsteam@des.qld.gov.au if you have any questions.