The first successful introduction of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) into Australia occurred in Sydney in 1822.
From that small beginning, there are now over 10,790 registered beekeepers and approximately 563,700 hives kept
Honey bees are kept for the production of honey and beeswax, but most importantly for pollination of honey bee
dependant horticultural and seed crops. The importance of honey bees for pollination, and this unique and specialised
honey bee industry, is well recognised by the general public, the Australian Government, and all state and territory
Keeping honey bees can be a very fascinating and rewarding hobby, as well as a profitable sideline or full time occupation.
Beekeeping is essentially a craft that is learned over a number of years. Challenges will occur and mistakes will be made,
but accompanying these will be a growing success and reward. It is really a matter of practice, and building experience
If you have decided to become a beekeeper, you can easily build your knowledge of bees and beekeeping. You can join
a beekeepers’ club, attend beekeeping field days and short courses, and get guidance from books written for Australian
conditions. Fact sheets and information may be downloaded from web sites of your state department of primary industries,
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and Plant Health Australia BeeAware site.
This book provides basic information to assist beginner and sideline beekeepers. It draws on the knowledge and experience
of apiculture scientists, various state and territory apiary inspectors and apiary officers, and most importantly, the many
beekeepers who enjoy keeping bees.
The book follows in the tradition of its predecessors. Beekeeping in Victoria was first published in circa 1925 and was
followed by five revised editions. In 1991, an extensive revision was published under the title Beekeeping.
The Australian Beekeeping Guide is an extensive revision of Beekeeping (1991). It builds on the work of our fellow authors of
that time, Laurie Braybrook, Peter Hunt and John McMonigle. It provides additional information, particularly in the field of bee
diseases and pests. It contains information about beekeeping in temperate Australia.
We wish you every success in beekeeping.
Russell Goodman and Peter Kaczynski
Russell Goodman is a senior officer – apiculture with the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport
and Resources (DEDJTR)
Peter Kaczynski is a former senior apiary inspector with the former Victorian Department of Primary Industries.
He is now retired.