AMATEUR beekeepers say a plan to sting them with increased fees could have a disastrous effect on biosecurity.
The NSW Government has signalled changes to the fee structure for amateur beekeepers that the Inner West Bee Association believes will deter people from registering hives.
Department of Primary Industry fees are tipped to increase fees from $80 for amateurs, and $100 for commercial operators, to $120.
As a pensioner, Marrickville's Roger Hudson currently pays a $40 annual registration fee. He believes increased fees could potentially expose bees to the dangerous Varroa destructor mite, or other pests and diseases.
Mr Hudson said a decline in the number of registered recreational hive owners could result in a fall in the awareness and reporting of biosecurity risks.
"We want to encourage beekeepers to register so they are also informed of the dangers of disease outbreaks," he said.