AG1100 Beekeeping and the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994
All hives must be marked or branded with the beekeeper's registered number (brand) that is printed on the Certificate of Registration. Branding of hives enables DEDJTR apiary inspectors to identify the owners of hives and notify them of disease, vandalism, theft and other problems.
The letter and figures of the brand may be painted, stencilled, stamped, carved or fire branded (burnt) onto the hive. The letter and figures must be readable at all times and must not be less than 19 mm high. The brand is usually placed under the handhold at both ends of the box.
The Act does not require all hive components to be branded, but most beekeepers prefer to do so, including top bars of frames, as this helps to prevent theft.
Anyone who obtains a hive must:
cancel the brand of the previous owner by placing a mark over the brand number on the hive
place his or her own brand on the hive.
This must be done within 28 days of acquiring the hive. It is illegal for a registered beekeeper to have a hive that is not branded with his or her registered brand number.
However, it is legal for a beekeeper to have a hive branded with another registered beekeeper's brand provided he or she has the permission of that registered beekeeper.