Beekeeping and the Law

New Zealand beekeepers have a number of legal obligations that must be met regarding American foulbrood disease. These are outlined in Appendix 1.

In summary, the most important of these obligations are:

  1. Only keep bees in moveable frame hives Section 11 (Biosecurity order 1998 Appendix 1)
  2. Keep access to apiary sites clear from obstruction
  3. Do not feed drugs or substances that mask, obscure or conceal the symptoms of AFB
  4. Do not keep beehives more than 30 days in a place other than a registered apiary
  5. Register all apiaries with the Management Agency
  6. Mark all apiaries with the beekeeper registration code
  7. Change registration numbers only by the beekeeper who has the code assigned to them, unless permission to do so is provided by the management agency
  8. Remove all identification codes when transferring the ownership of the hives
  9. Where a case of AFB is found, the owner of the hives must report to the Management Agency within seven days of becoming aware of the case
  10. Complete an Annual Disease Return by 1 June each year
  11. Destroy equipment and bees associated with a case of AFB within seven days
  12. Do not deal with or transfer ownership of material associated with a case of AFB
  13. Sterilise beekeeping equipment only by approved methods
  14. Ensure hives are inspected for AFB by an approved beekeeper with a DECA provided to the Management Agency by 30 November (unless there is a certificate of inspection exemption)

Under certain conditions there are some exemptions for these obligations.

AFB Quiz
Take the AFB 5 minute quiz

How well do you know what you need to know about AFB and beekeeping? Take our short quiz and find out.

AFB Videos

Our videos cover everything from your legal obligations to how to recognise AFB, collecting cell and bee samples and more.

AFB Symptoms

There’s a lot of good information here, telling you everything you need to know about recognising AFB: the visual symptoms, smell of AFB and more.

AFB Inspection and Diagnosis
Inspection and Diagnosis

Successfully eliminate AFB by telling the difference between symptoms of AFB and other brood diseases in the hive. We tell you the best methods for inspecting your hives.

The Law

New Zealand beekeepers have a number of legal obligations that must be met regarding AFB disease. Read the shortened list in summary, here.

AFB Elimination

Most hives become infected because bees, honey or equipment have been put into a hive from another hive that is infected with AFB. Lower your chances of an  AFB infection by reading this section.

AFB Course Info
AFB Recognition Course Info

Find out when the next AFB Recognition and Competency Courses, or Refresher Courses are available. These are held throughout the year in various New Zealand locations across the South Island and North Island.

The AFB App

Follow the link below to open the App. Once open to save to your device you need to bookmark the URL on your phone so you can find it easily again. Please click here to open.