The Ontario government has announced the launch of a bee mortality insurance program to help beekeepers manage the risk of winter losses.
The Bee Mortality Production Insurance Plan will begin this fall and will be administered by Agricorp.
“To mitigate unforeseen risks experienced by Ontario beekeepers, our government responded to their request to add a risk management plan. The new Bee Mortality Production Insurance plan under the Agriculture Insurance Act promotes best management practices and allows farmers to manage their risk more effectively,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in a news release on Wednesday. “Promoting pollinator health benefits all Ontarians while strengthening the agri-food sector and our economy.”
A claim payment will be calculated by subtracting surviving colonies in the spring from guaranteed colonies, multiplied by a beekeeper’s chosen insurable value. If the number of surviving colonies is less than your guaranteed colonies (after adjustment for any uninsured perils), a production claim may be paid.
The list of insurable perils includes adverse weather and diseases or pests with no means of adequate control, but it does not include improper use of pesticides, third-party damage or spray drift.
To qualify, beekeepers must be registered, operate in accordance with the Bees Act, and implement best practices to ensure bee health.
The deadline for applying is October 8th.
In 2014, the Ontario government provided a one-time payment of $105 per hive to beekepers with 10 hives or more who lost at least 40 percent of their colonies.