Certificate of Inspection

The Certificate of Inspection (COI) is a legal document that must be completed by all beekeepers who do not have a current Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement (DECA) with the Management Agency.

This requires all your hives to be inspected by a DECA holder between the 1st of August and the 30th of November each year. The inspection of your hives and submission of your COI can be submitted via HiveHub – a paper copy of the COI will be sent to beekeepers who are not on email . This is to ensure that all beehives receive at least one inspection from a person that is recognised by the Management Agency as competent to inspect beehives for AFB. Inspection of every beehive is critical to our efforts to eliminate AFB from New Zealand.

The paper copy of the form has a section for the beekeeper to sign and an inspection record for the visiting Approved Beekeeper who has a Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement (DECA) to fill in and sign. This information is checked by an Apiary Coordinator before being accepted.  We highly recommend you are present when the inspection takes place so you can learn how to inspect for AFB.  A list of Approved Beekeepers are listed on our website, please contact them directly to engage them for your inspections.  Also your local Bee Club will have a list of local contacts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Certificate of Inspection?

The Certificate of Inspection is a statement by an authorised person (DECA holder) confirming that they have inspected your hives for American foulbrood.

Why do we do it?

It critical that all beehives in New Zealand are inspected by a person competent to detect American foulbrood at least once per year.

Do all beekeepers need to complete a Certificate of Inspection?

All beekeepers that do not have a DECA agreement with the Management Agency are required to have a Certificate of Inspection completed between 1 August and 30 November each year.

I have passed my AFB Recognition Course Exam. Does this mean that I don’t need to complete a Certificate of Inspection?

No. Passing your AFB Recognition Course Exam does not automatically result in you obtaining a Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement (DECA) and Certificate of Inspection Exemption. You need to also have completed a year of practical beekeeping and been compliant for 12 months with plan rules before you are eligible to apply for a DECA.  Please refer to our DECA process.

The DECA represents an agreement between the beekeeper and the Management Agency on the practices and procedures the beekeeper will implement to eliminate AFB from their beehives. You do not have a DECA until you have applied for one and you have received a signed DECA agreement from the Management Agency. The DECA application form can be found here.

How do I complete a Certification of Inspection?

Beekeepers will receive their Certificate of Inspections forms either electronically via HiveHub or via regular post. Beekeepers that have logged into HiveHub have the choice of either downloading and printing a PDF copy of their Certificate of Inspection form, or completing the form online.

On the AFB website (www.afb.org.nz) there is a list of the beekeepers throughout New Zealand that are authorised and available to complete Certificates of Inspection. You can contact a beekeeper from this list, or another beekeeper who has held a DECA for more than one year, to make arrangements for your hives to be inspected.

After your hives have been inspected the authorised beekeeper will need to complete the Inspecting Beekeeper Statement on the front page and also complete and sign the inspection details for each apiary. You need to complete and sign the Beekeeper’s Statement.

You should then submit the completed Certificate of Inspection Form to the Management Agency within 15 days of the inspection date or before 15 December, whichever is earlier.

Beekeepers and authorised beekeepers inspecting beehives can also complete Certificates of Inspection using HiveHub. Be sure to watch the demo videos to learn how.

What about COVID-19?

Beekeepers should follow government regulations and guidance to stay safe from COVID-19. The COVID-19 Alert level in your region this will affect both whether you can complete your Certificate of Inspection and how you complete your Certificate of Inspection:

  • Alert Level 4: Certificates of Inspection should not be completed under alert level 4. Stay home and stay safe in your bubble.
  • Alert Level 3: Contactless Certificates of Inspection can be completed under alert level 3. You should make arrangements for the DECA holder to inspect your beehives when you are not present.
  • Alert Level 2: Certificates of Inspection can be completed under alert level 2. Both beekeepers should wear a mask in addition to their bee suits and should maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meters at all times.
  • Alert Level 1: Certificates of Inspection can be completed normally.

Can I inspect my own apiaries to complete a Certificate of Inspection?

No, you cannot inspect your own apiaries to complete a Certificate of Inspection.

I have mislaid my Certificate of Inspection form. What should I do?

HiveHub users can download another PDF copy from HiveHub.

Non-Hivehub users should contact an Apiary Coordinator at apiary@afb.org.nz or call 0800 AFB PMP (0800 232 767).

To access the list of authorised beekeepers available to perform Certificates of Inspection please click here.

How can I get assistance?

Please contact an Apiary Coordinator at apiary@afb.org.nz or call 0800 AFB PMP (0800 232 767).

Am I legally required to complete my Certificate of Inspection?

All beekeepers that do not hold a DECA are legally required to complete a Certificate of Inspection between 1 August and 30 November each year.

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