​Beekeeper requirements – honey exports

What you need to do if the honey or other products from bees you keep will be exported.

Register your apiary sites

All beekeepers in New Zealand must be registered under the American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (AFBPMP). This is a requirement of the Biosecurity Act 1993 to help eliminate American Foulbrood in New Zealand.

List as a beekeeper with MPI

You must register with MPI as a beekeeper so that your products can be traced back to the apiary site. You need to renew your listing and pay the listing fee each year. If you're not listed as a beekeeper with MPI, you can't export:

  • your honey
  • any honey that's been blended with your honey.

Apply for beekeeper listing – AP14 [PDF, 278 KB]

It will take around 10 working days for your listing to be processed.

If you have questions about listing as a beekeeper, email approvals@mpi.govt.nz.

You do not have to list if you have:

  • your own risk-based measure, or
  • a written exclusive supply contract with a Risk Management Programme (RMP) operator and this is referred to in the operator's RMP.

Keep traceable records

Permanently mark all honey boxes

All boxes of honey that you drop off to an extraction plant must be marked with your unique AFBPMP beekeeper identification code, or another code which achieves equivalent or better identification.

The same identification code can be used for all your honey boxes.

Maintain records for each apiary site

Records must be kept for each apiary site for four years. Part 4.1 of the General Export Requirements Notice (GREX) sets out the specific traceability requirements for beekeepers.

Provide a harvest declaration

You must prepare a harvest declaration and provide this to the operator who first processes the honey or bee product.

Your harvest declaration can be based on the MPI template.

Download a harvest declaration template [PDF, 71 KB]

If you are operating under a risk based measure you can use any form or system that records all the information required for a harvest declaration. You need to do this for every delivery of bee products.

Part 4.2 of the GREX sets out the requirements for the harvest declaration.

Ensure your bee products are fit for purpose

It is your responsibility as a beekeeper to make sure that the bee products you produce are fit for purpose, by ensuring:

  • bees are fed honey only during the harvest season (the period when honey supers are present on beehives to collect honey and the bees are producing, or are expected to produce, honey)
  • bee products prepared or packed for trade are free of extra objects, materials, and substances
  • bee products do not exceed any applicable regulatory maximum permissible limits for residue and contaminants
  • hives are free from any clinical signs of American Foulbrood.

Part 3.1 of the GREX sets out the requirements for ensuring your honey is fit for purpose.

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