670,000+ registered honey bee hives in Australia


672,216 honey bee hives and 25,495 beekeepers are registered in Australia according to Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) past Executive Director Trevor Weatherhead.  

TOTAL NUMBER OF BEEKEEPERS NATIONALLY 25,495
TOTAL NUMBER OF BEE HIVES IN AUSTRALIA 672,216

With the assistance of state and territory government staff, Weatherhead compiled an update of beekeeper and hive statistics for Australia, current as of 31 October 2018, in the November 2018 newsletter of the national peak beekeeping industry body, AHBIC. This newsletter can be read in full on AHBIC’s website along with archived newsletters from 2009 to the present.

State / Territory Beekeepers Hives
NSW 7,498 304,187
VIC 7,637 116,105
QLD 5,022 109,240
SA 1,848 73,955
WA 2,692 45,103
TAS 262 20,960
NT 94 1,485
ACT 442 1,181
TOTAL 25,495 672,216

The Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia further categorise their beekeeper registration between beekeepers with less than fifty hives and beekeepers with more than 50 hives. These six states and territories also keep a tally of the number of hives owned by these beekeepers as shown below.

STATE Beekeepers with less than 50 hives Hives owned by beekeepers with less than 50 hives Beekeepers with 50 or more hives Hives owned by beekeepers with 50 or more hives
Queensland 4,702 24,434 320 84,806
Victoria 7,404 32,763 233 83,342
Tasmania 216 1,572 46 19,388
South Australia 1,660 9,457 188 64,498
Western Australia 2,525 13,729 167 31,374
Northern Territory 90 345 4 1,140
Australian Capital Territory 442* 1,181 N/A N/A
TOTAL 16,597 83,481 958 284,548

The Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, however, do not class beekeepers as having less or more than fifty hives. 

About the author Liz Frost

Feature image credit: https://www.agrifutures.com.au/farm-diversity/beekeeping-honey-bees/

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