QUEEN’S PARK — Beekeepers are now able to mitigate winterloss numbers through new production insurance, the first production insurance plan developed for a commodity other than crops and perennial plants.
Beginning Nov. 1, the Bee Mortality Production Insurance Plan — handled through Agricorp — became available for registered beekeepers that follow the Ontario Bees Act and maintain best management practices.
The insurance will cover bees lost to adverse weather conditions, excessive moisture, excessive cold, excessive wind, ice damage, flood, frost and diseases and pests with no means of adequate control. Improper use of pesticides, third-party damage and spray drift are not covered under the insurance. To be eligible, beekeepers must have a minimum of 50 colonies, overwinter those colonies in Ontario, and notify Agricorp at least five business days before unwrapping hives in the spring.
Most plans will see beekeepers pay 40 per cent of total premium cost and none of the administrative cost. The rest is picked up by the federal and provincial governments. This plan replaces the program where beekeepers that lost at least 40 per cent of colonies — and at least 10 hives — were paid $105 per hive between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31.