If you are a beekeeper and you had difficulty in registering and re-registering as such with the Dept of Agriculture (Daff) after March 31 this year, The SA Bee Industry Organisation (Sabio) has sought clarity from Daff on the issue following a meeting with the department, and the current state of play is outlined below

  • The closing date annually for the registration of beekeepers is the end of March each year in line with Control Measure Relating to Honeybees GN R858/2013;
  • Applications will be accepted from new beekeepers after the closing date and their registration numbers will be provided to them, but they will only receive their Registration Certificate when they re-register for the following year;
  • No applications for re-registration of a beekeeper will be received after the March 31 of each year.  Beekeepers who continue beekeeping and have not re-registered by that date will be deemed to be operating illegally;
  • The department may send out reminders to beekeepers who have not re-registered to do so before  March 31;
  • For this year an extension was granted until April 30 for re-registrations, and no further late renewals will be processed;
  • Consideration is being given to setting up an on-line registration  and re-registration process.  Sabio has also suggested that registration certificates be sent to recipients by e-mail as a PDF document, rather than by post;
  • A list of current registered beekeepers and their registration numbers will be posted on the Daff website;
  • The crop protection industry and crop growers’ associations are to be approached by Daff requesting that they enforce regulations on their members or at least encourage their members to ensure that only registered beekeepers be allowed to supply pollination services, and to discourage the use of un-registered or non-registered pollination service providers who would be operating illegally;
  • Consideration is being given to the amendment of the control measure with regards to the annual registration of beekeepers.
  • As a result of all of this Sabio recommends that all pollination service providers and bee removal service providers provide their clients with a copy of their annual registration certificate issued by Daff when tendering for jobs.

Associations should also ensure that all members who keep bees provide a copy of their current annual registration certificate when renewing their annual membership with their associations.

Smallholders who are interested in keeping bees have access to assistance, advice and support from one of three beekeepers associations in the province. All three associations welcome new beekeepers to their regular meetings and have active Facebook pages.

The Northern Beekeepers Association (known as “Northerns”) meets as a rule around Pretoria and caters for beekeepers around Pretoria. For details call Riekie on

The Southern Beekeepers Association (“Southerns”) Covers beekeepers in the Johannesburg, West Rand and southern Gauteng. Call Lanz for details

The Eastern Highveld Beekeepers Association (“Easterns”) caters for beekeepers on the East Rand, as well as members in Mpumalanga. Call Peter C lark on 011 362-0000 for details

 

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