General News

Beekeepers making the switch to digital one-stop shop

Permits for almost 10,000 public apiary sites are now being managed through a new online portal called BPASS and over 380 apiarists have logged in to date, with new users joining every month.

Described as a one-stop shop for apiarist’s public sites, BPASSremoves the headache of trying to remember which drawer one stored their paperwork in, and instead centralises all beekeeping on public land activities – including licenses and permits – into one, convenient place.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Apiary Sites Program Coordinator Nick Geoghegan welcomed the introduction of BPASS.

“It’s really positive to see the adoption of BPASS by beekeepers, it has been progressing well with 436 Apiarist Companies have permits in BPASS, while 384 have logged into BPASS to date so we are getting close to 90% using the system.”

The NSW Government-funded initiative also removed any confusion or long-held assumptions about public site vacancies and opened the door to hundreds of new potential sites with its accurate mapping system.

“Since the launch of BPASS new permits have been issued for 277 sites that had been vacant for at least two years and some for much longer,” Mr Geoghegan said.

Shortly after launching the portal, Mr Geoghegan said his team were overwhelmed by enquiries about new sites and new systems involved in navigating the portal.

In response to its growing popularity, DPI has invested a further $50,000 to enhance BPASS, including automating refunds, improving payment receipts and upgrades to mapping capability.

Mr Geoghegan said for those unsure of how to navigate BPASS, an online guide is available, a series of how-to videos are being released, and a new and improved helpdesk team are on call to provide a rapid turnaround for enquiries.

“We try to answer all calls immediately but during peak times Apiarists are encouraged to leave a message, send an email or call later in the day,” Mr Geoghegan said.