The standards for Australian Beekeeping are contained within several documents that have been formulated from collective experience and clinical practice within the beekeeping and allied industries including honey packers and honeybee researchers. 

The Australian Beekeeping Standards include:-

  • Best Practice 
  • Biosecurity
  • Quality Assurance 
  • Beekeeping Education Benchmark

National Best Management Practice for Beekeeping in the Australian Environment  

Biosecurity Manual for Beekeepers   

Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice  

BOLT - Biosecurity online training

BQual -  Australian Beekeeping Industry Owned Quality Assurance System

Demonstrated competency in the 12 core units of AHC32016  is the basic minimum standard for a person to be work ready as a beekeeper in Australia .         The core units provide a bench mark for beekeeping education and also assist beekeepers to identify their beekeeping skills and knowledge deficits.

The core units along with additional elective units provide the framework for study and skill acquisition that when demonstrated and assessed competent by an (RTO registered training organization assessor ) result in the awarding of certificate 111 in Beekeeping. 


A wide range of beekeeping education formats are available in Australia , predominantly provided by private individuals in the recreational sector e.g., beekeeping classes, workshops, information sessions and mentoring both online and face to face. There are also several training organizations whom offer recreational / leisure  beekeeping education classes. The experience and skill level of the presenters is varied as is the fee for service charged.

Australia  currently has  7 registered training organizations ( RTO's) whom are accredited to conduct "A Beekeeping Course". i.e. AHC32016 ( unfortunately none of these are based in South Australia) - However,  South Australian Beekeepers do have access to online , hybrid courses and apprenticeship formats supported by interstate RTO's. To view the registered training provider list click here. If your provider is not on this list then they are not providing a standard beekeeping course.

If paying for beekeeping education,  it is important for members of the public and especially those new to beekeeping to be clear about the level of service they are purchasing and how it compares with the national beekeeping education standard. All consumers have the right to make an informed choice about what they are paying for and what to expect from that service. 

Unfortunately language used can often cause confusion, so to be clear,  currently " There are no South Australian based RTO's whom are accredited to present a beekeeping course - hence no beekeeping course in South Australia" as has been the case for quite a few years.

All forms of beekeeping education are valid and helpful,  however being familiar with the content of the 12 core units of AHC32016 enables all beekeepers new and seasoned to identify their gaps in knowledge and skill.

To assist you on your beekeeping journey visit the core unit competency and assessment criteria that form the base education level by clicking on the unit below.

AHCBEK202- Use a bee smoker

AHCBEK203- Open and reassemble a beehive

AHCBEK204- Construct and repair beehives

AHCBEK301- Manage honey bee swarms

AHCBEK302- Manipulate honey bee brood

AHCBEK303- Re-queen a honey bee colony

AHCBEK304- Remove a honey crop from a hive

AHCBEK305- Extract honey

AHCBEK306- Manage pests and disease within a honey bee colony

AHCBEK405- Select and establish an apiary site

AHCWHS301- Contribute to work health and safety processes

AHCWRK306- Comply with industry quality assurance requirements

Criteria for the additional elective 18  units can be accessed by clicking here 



6  publications are available that map back to these AHC32016 units which all Australian beekeepers will find useful as reference .

Healthy Bees Ag Guide

Bee Ag Skills

Bees Queen Breeding

Bees Pollination using Honey Bees - Tocal

Honey Harvesting & Extracting Guide

Australian Beekeeping Guide - free download pdf or to purchase hard copy click here

ABC Rural - click here  ~ 13 AgriFutures Australia Videos click here


Periodically Australian education is reviewed to ensure it meets the respective industry needs and progresses to reflect changes within legislation and best practice. Currently the content of AHC32016 is in its final stages of review and some of the core units will be melded and new ones added. If you are interested in the updates  and review process click here

The competency levels (i.e. two, three and four) do not refer to certificate level under the Australian Qualifications frame work - they are in reference to the specific competencies contained within the training package.   Certificate 111 in beekeeping is awarded only after the individual has been assessed by an RTO assessor as competent in all core units and the required number of elective units ,  (hence there is not ,as has been incorrectly  suggested by some individuals certificate 2 or 4 in beekeeping in Australia.

IN SUMMARY :- Currently the 12 core units of AHC32016 form the bench mark =  the basic minimum standard for a person to be work ready as a beekeeper in Australia . Not all of the current RTO's approved to conduct beekeeping courses have a current course in session.  AHC32010  was superseded by AHC32016 which is currently under review and is anticipated the New Training Package release will occur in the latter half of 2018.



Registered Beekeeper :- a person whom has registered with their individual state /territory agricultural department as required by state/ territory livestock law . Registration is not reflective of skill level , however registration is required to be able to keep bees regardless of the number of hives.

Accredited Beekeeper :- a person whom has demonstrated skills acquisition and knowledge and been assessed as competent by an accredited registered training organization  and awarded the certificate 111 in beekeeping or equivalent . 

Quality Assurance Certification :- awarded by a  QA assessing organization after the beekeeping operation has been successfully externally audited and proved compliant with all required criteria. For further details of QA in a beekeeping operation regardless of recreational, part time or commercial please click here

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