Liability & Disease Insurance

Please note obtaining insurance cover via BDI is part of your membership subscription when joining a beekeeping association. You do not need to pay a separate BDI subscription. Links to their webpages (below) are only for your information.

An extract from Bee Disease Insurance (BDI) own webpages – for more information go to Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd.

BDI – briefly

BDI is a small insurance company that specialises in compensating beekeepers in England and Wales, who have had their bees destroyed or treated by the Bee Inspector as a result of being infected by a notifiable disease. These currently are European Foul Brood (EFB) and American Foul Brood (AFB). There is a contingency fund to compensate for colonies destroyed as the result of being infested by a notifiable pest (Small Hive Beetle and Tropilaelaps), should they reach England or Wales.

As an insurance company BDI is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) under strict supervision that applies to all Insurance companies.

BDI is owned by a number of BKAs who are their members. There are no full time employees or premises. BDI is run by a small group of officers on a day – to – day basis from their homes. In addition there is a board of directors who meet regularly. The vast majority of officers and directors are beekeepers. All officers and directors are elected by the member BKAs at the Annual General Meetings.

For Member BKAs and Officials.

A BKA is a member of BDI because their members wish to be. This was decided by their members at the time of admission into membership. A condition of membership is that the member BKA shall pay as its subscription a fee for each of its beekeeping members. This can be collected in any way the BKA wishes.

They are allowed to vote at a general meeting. The arrangement at local level varies, in some cases the county BKA being the member, in others the Divisions or Branches.

The local BKA pays a basic subscription on behalf of each of its beekeeping members together with any additional premiums, whether collected with the initial subscription or as a “top – up” later. These are for each calendar year 1 January to 31 December. The local BKA retains the fees until they are requested by the BDI Treasurer to pay. This is twice a year and these payments are known as “Spring return” and “Autumn return”. The promptness of these makes it easier for the BDI Treasurer. A late return from the BKA Treasurer may cause problems with the payment of compensation to a beekeeper, so it is in everyone’s interest to make sure these returns are made on time.

For the beekeeper

Your BDI subscription will be paid along with the local BKA subscription. This is compulsory if your BKA is a BDI member. You will also be asked to pay premiums for the number of additional colonies you expect to have during the year, above the basic free colonies although you can also top-up during a year. If you claim and have more colonies than you are insured for, you will not receive any compensation.

If you are given a receipt by your Treasurer, this needs to be retained in case you have to make a claim.

All beekeepers have a responsibility to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of disease that may affect your bees. The National Bee Unit’s website (BeeBase),  and advisory leaflets contain information on the symptoms of notifiable diseases and how to distinguish them from common diseases or disorders.


BDI exists to help all beekeepers, especially those unfortunate enough to have their bees infected with foul brood. It is BDI policy to settle queries and claims to the satisfaction of all as quickly as possible. As staff are volunteers there may be delays for holidays, illness, etc.

Many of the settlement delays are due to things that could have been avoided and include things such as claims made by a different person than the insured beekeeper, under insurance and claims forms not being completed properly.

BDI encourages all beekeepers to register on BeeBase as this will help Bee Inspectors alert known beekeepers in the vicinity of a foul brood outbreak.