Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance
Manitoba beekeepers have recently experienced higher than normal mortality rates in colonies kept over winter. Many losses have been caused by unmanageable natural perils, such as weather-related losses and diseases with no means of adequate control.
To assist with the financial burden of these uncontrollable losses, the Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance program insures a producer’s bee colonies against unmanageable abnormal overwinter losses.
Beekeepers have the option to insure their colonies at high or low dollar coverage levels, and are paid an indemnity if overwinter losses exceed the coverage deductible.
- Costs & Coverage
To be eligible for Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance, you must:
- reside in Manitoba and operate an apiary in the province;
- be registered as a beekeeper under The Bee Act (Manitoba)
- have a minimum of 50 colonies accepted for Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance; and
- have strong colonies placed in either indoor or outdoor storage, and/or have nuclear colonies placed in indoor storage.
Costs & Coverage
Premium costs for this program are shared 40% by the insured beekeeper, 36% by the Government of Canada and 24% by the Province of Manitoba.
Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance covers losses of strong colonies (described as having 7 or more frames of brood or bees when placed in winter storage) and nuclear colonies (described as having a minimum of 4 frames of brood or bees when placed in winter storage) that suffer abnormal winter losses due to weather, disease and/or pests that have no means of adequate control.
Beekeepers may select a low dollar value coverage of $120 per colony, or a high dollar coverage of $180 per colony.
Coverage is based on 90% of the overwinter colonies multiplied by the survival rate. New program participants receive Manitoba's historic survival rate (73%), and producers enrolled in the program for two or more years receive a survival rate based on their experience.
A beekeeper insures 100 colonies for overwinter storage at the high dollar value.
= 100 x 73% survival rate x 90% = 65.7 (rounded to 66)
66 x $180 = $11,880.
This program does not insure against any loses resulting from inadequate or improper winter storage, inadequate surveillance, failure to follow normal or recommended beekeeper practices, and theft or vandalism.
Important Dates and Deadlines
|Date||Last day to...|
(September 2nd for 2014)
(December 1st for 2014)
(or 3 days prior to taking action in respect of the management and control of overwinter colonies, whichever comes first)
Designation of colony types are assigned as below:
Eligible Frames *
|Entering Winter Storage||Exiting Winter Storage|
|Strong Colony: 7 or more||Strong Colony: 5 or more
Weak Colony: 3 to 4
Dead Colony: 2 or less
|Nuclear Colony: 4 or more||Nuclear Colony: 4 or more
Weak Colony: 3
Dead Colony: 2 or less
* 33% of weak colonies are counted as surviving colonies for claim purposes.
* An 'Eligible Frame' is a frame with at least two-thirds of the cells on each side of the frame filled with brood or eggs, or covered with live bees, or a combination thereof.
Claims for this program are paid if the insured producer's overwinter losses due to insurable causes exceed 90% of the producer's survival rate, as shown below:
A new beekeeper insures 100 colonies for overwinter storage at the high dollar value. In spring, the beekeeper finds that 30 colonies are strong and 26 colonies are weak.
Surviving colonies = 30 strong colonies + (26 weak colonies x 33%) = 39 surviving colonies
Claim = insured colonies x survival rate x 90% - surviving colonies
= 100 x .73 x .90 - 39 = 27 (rounded)
= 27 x $180
In this example, the beekeeper is paid $4,860 for the insurable loss.
You must apply for Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance by August 31st. Once enrolled, you have until November 15th to place colonies in overwinter storage, and November 30th (December 1st for 2014) to file a Declaration of Overwinter Colonies Report to declare and confirm the number of colonies placed in winter storage.
If you are enrolled in the Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance program and experience insurable losses over the winter, you have until May 15th (or 3 days prior to taking action in respect of the management and control of wintered colonies, whichever comes first) to file a claim without a late fee by filing a Declaration of Overwinter Colonies Mortality Report.
If you miss the May 15th reporting deadline, you still must file the Declaration of Overwinter Colonies Mortality Report by May 31st. You may still file a claim during this period, however a late fee will be applied.