Becoming a Member

Note that BDI cover is only offered to beekeepers living in England and Wales.  Scotland & Northern Ireland have their own arrangements.  

You can become a member in one of two ways.

As an Individual Member

If you join the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) as an individual member, you can then join BDI and benefit from the insurance cover we provide.  Details of how to join the BBKA as an individual member can be found here

As a Member of a Beekeeping Organisation

Most members of BDI join as part of their membership of their local beekeeping group.  Joining a group of local beekeepers give access to support and training for new and experienced beekeepers alike.  Just search for beekeeping groups in your location to find the nearest group to you.

What are the premium rates?

The rates for 2016 are unchanged from 2015 rates and are as follows:

The minimum payable by each Member Association to BDI Ltd as a condition of membership is a subscription of £2 per annum for each of its beekeeping members. This subscription includes insurance cover for up to three honey bee colonies. Note from 2014, BBKA  Partner Members are not required to make any BDI payment, but the Full Member is responsible for insuring all colonies owned by themselves and their Partner Member

Associate Members, Junior Members and Friends are not usually insured by local associations as they do not normally keep bees independently.  

Bees kept by Junior Members whose parents do not keep bees, or who have not insured the Juniors bees on their behalf can have insurance taken out on their behalf with BDI.  In such circumstances  the paper or eReturn receipt should show the Junior members name in the usual way, but the first line of the address should be replaced by 'Mr A Adult (on behalf of J Junior)', followed by the address on the remaining lines.

Beekeepers under the age of 16 years are unable to take out insurance policies and any policy has to be arranged by a parent or guardian. Beekeeping members are obliged to pay premiums for any extra colonies they own.  

The additional premiums are:
Up to 5 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £2.00
Up to 10 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £5.25
Up to 15 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £7.75
Up to 20 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £9.50
Up to 25 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £11.10
Up to 30 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £13.60
Up to 35 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £16.10
Up to 39 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £18.10

40 hives or more?

For beekeepers owning 40 or more hives a different scheme, known as Scheme B, operates. This scheme is available to beekeepers that may or may not be members of a BDI member association. For further details contact the BDI Scheme B Manager. This scheme has higher levels of maximum compensation than the Scheme A.  These are for Scheme B, £3,500 for up to 50 colonies insured and £5,000 above 50 colonies insured

In addition part of BDI's activities include research into the causes of bee diseases and this is also funded from this subscription.  Further details of our research activities can found here

When does cover start?

BDI premiums are paid in respect of the calendar year, 1st January to 31st December. Insurance cover becomes effective each year from the time that the member's association receives his or her membership subscription and additional premiums. 

Where such payment is made after 31st March cover will not commence until 40 days have elapsed from the payment of the subscription and any premium due. This is known as the 40-day rule. This is to prevent members starting or increasing cover during the active season when they may have already discovered the presence of disease.

Can I join BDI direct

No - BDI is a voluntary organisation and relies on either the BBKA or local branch secretaries to issue certificates and collect premiums.  In this way the premiums can be kept at the low levels.  BDI does not have the administrative support to collect individual premiums. If however you are not a member of a local beekeeping group, you can join the BBKA as an individual member and gain the benefit of BDI membership this way.  Details of BBKA individual membership can be found here

How do I encourage my local beekeeping association to join BDI?

BDI Directors are happy to come and discuss BDI with local beekeeping groups.  If you would like to arrange a talk please contact the President in the first instance

Joining Fee

From January 2014, BDI changed its joining arrangements.  A simple one off administration fee of £50.00 is payable.  This will cover the initial setup and administration costs.  With the introduction of eReturn the savings generated by emailing membership certificates mean that this fee will be recovered very quickly by local groups.