The Management Agency is currently undertaking consultation on a proposal to set the American Foulbrood – Beekeeper Levy for 2021/22 at $40 per beekeeper and $1.70 per colony.

About the Budget Proposal for 2021/22

American foulbrood (AFB) is a serious disease of honeybee worldwide and causes considerable economic losses. In the absence of effective disease controls AFB has caused a significant decrease in honeybee populations, beekeeping industries and agricultural production.

Due to the serious impacts of AFB, New Zealand has legislation in the form of the National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (NPMP) to ensure that all beekeepers have legal obligations to eliminate AFB from their beehives. Implementation of the NPMP is funded by the American Foulbrood-Beekeeper Levy.

The amendment to levy order in April 2020 has enabled the Management Agency to fund improvements in implementing the National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (NPMP) in 2020/21 including:

  • doubling the number of apiaries inspected for AFB each year from 1,200 to 2,400
  • increasing the number of honey samples tested for AFB from 60 to 500
  • employing a second Operations Manager to manage the additional inspection workload and ensure that noncompliances are followed up, and
  • replacement of the ApiWeb/Apiary Database with a new modern fit for purpose system.

The Management Agency has considered the cost of the levy to beekeepers and the value of taking additional time to bed in improvements to the implementation of the NPMP and is proposing to set the levy at $40 per beekeeper and $1.70 per colony ($1.96 including GST) for the 2021/22 year.

The levy is currently set at $40 ($46 including GST) per beekeeper and $1.35 ($1.55 including GST) per bee colony owned by each beekeeper at 31 March.

The proposed levy increase will deliver the following benefits:

  • Further increased honey surveillance to enable the Management Agency to better differentiate beekeepers that fail to notify active cases of AFB, from beekeepers that do not notify cases of AFB because they have eliminated AFB from their beehives
  • Ensure that default inspections are conducted on apiaries owned by all beekeepers that default on their Certificate of Inspection obligations, and
  • Review the Biosecurity (National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan) Order 1998 to ensure that AFB continues to be under effective regulatory control after 1 April 2023.

The proposed levy is lower than our original proposal to amend the levy order released for consultation in March 2019 which was set at $40 per beekeeper and $1.99 per colony but higher than the current levy set at $40 ($46 including GST) per beekeeper and $1.35 ($1.55 including GST) per bee colony.

The Management Agency is therefore proposing to increase the colony levy by 35 cents to $1.70 ($1.96 including GST) per bee colony. The beekeeper levy is proposed to remain the same at $40 ($46 including GST) per beekeeper.

The increased levy rates fall within the range allowed by the Biosecurity (American Foulbrood – Beekeeper Levy) Order 2003.

This will raise an additional $269,000 to invest in improved AFB elimination.

Have your say!

The Management Agency is seeking beekeepers’ views on the proposed budget and rate of levy for 2021/22.

Consultation on the 2021/22 budget is running from 9 September to 5pm, 25 September 2020. Beekeepers will receive the levy proposal via email or regular mail from 8 September and can share their views by:

  • completing the online submission form, or
  • Posting a Submission Form to The Management Agency, PO Box 44282, Lower Hutt 5040.

Beekeepers are encouraged to email questions to info@afb.org.nz before 18 September 2020.

Once consultation has closed, the Management Agency will consider all feedback and notify beekeepers of the outcome in December 2020.

Budget Proposal 2021/22 document

Note Submissions close 5pm 25 September 2020

Start your submission HERE.

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