DAFM Beekeeper Registration

DAFM Beekeeper Registration

Registration of primary producers of honey with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine

Beekeepers are food producers and a requirement exists to register with the competent authority, even when the operation occurs in a private domestic dwelling. EU Regulations on food and food safety, came into effect in 2006.

The objective of these EU regulations includes focusing controls on what is necessary for public health protection and clarifying that it is the primary responsibility of food business operators to produce food safely.

Under EU regulation a food business operator is the natural or legal person responsible for ensuring the requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control.

Part of the requirement of these regulations is that people involved in the production of primary products (including honey) must be registered as food business operators with the relevant competent authority, which for the production of honey in Ireland is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Registration is free and can be completed by filling out the registration application form accessible on DAFM website and posting it to Beekeeping, Horticulture and Plant Health Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Backweston Campus, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, alternatively the completed form can be emailed to beekeeping@agriculture.gov.ie. 

Any individual can cancel their registration if they cease being a beekeeper.

Registration does not imply that the registered beekeeper will be inspected by DAFM, however DAFM do carry out a number of inspections on beekeepers annually to ensure that honey is being produced and marketed in accordance with the relevant legislation. Beekeepers are selected for inspection based on risk factors, but some are also nominated for inspection following receipt of complaints regarding mislabelling of honey or other issues.

It is important that beekeepers are fully aware of the labelling requirements for honey, as DAFM work closely with other agencies who carry out checks at retail level to ensure the labelling requirements are being met, obviously any issues detected at retail level are always followed up by DAFM. Types of inspections include honey hygiene, animal remedies and honey labelling.

All inspections are solely based on requirements set down in legislation and are carried out to ensure the safety of the honey for the consumer. The register of beekeepers is maintained by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Registered beekeeper’s data may be shared with other national authorities, including the FSAI, for the same food safety purposes, as provided for by law.

This would usually only happen if there was an identified food safety risk.

Further details of your rights under data protection law can be found here.


New animal health legislation and registration of beekeepers

With regards to legislation, honeybees are treated the same as any other kept animal and thus will come

under the remit of the new EU animal health law due to come into force from 2021.
Under the new EU animal health law, it is expected that every apiary will be required to register for honeybee health reasons, in addition to the registration requirements for food hygiene. Under this legislation there may be additional information required to be submitted by the beekeeper when registering their apiary and there is likely to be a requirement to maintain additional records regarding the apiary.

The exact requirements have yet to be decided by the EU.

If you have any additional questions about this article please contact beekeeping@agriculture.gov.ie

further information including registration forms can be found on DAFM’s website using the address

below: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmingsectors/beekeepinghoney/