Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd (BDI)

The insurance company for beekeepers in England & Wales run by beekeepers

Working for bees, education, protection & research

Est: 1936

Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd (BDI) provides insurance coverage specifically for beekeepers in England and Wales. The coverage offered by BDI compensates beekeepers who have had their colonies destroyed or treated by a Bee Inspector as a result of being infected by a notifiable disease, currently European Foulbrood (EFB) and American Foulbrood (AFB).

In addition to disease coverage, BDI also has a limited contingency fund to compensate for colonies destroyed as a result of being infested by a notifiable pest, currently Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida) and Tropilaelaps, should they reach England or Wales.

It is important to note that only equipment destroyed is covered by this insurance, and the cost of replacement bees is not covered. Click here to view full details of the insurance cover provided by BDI 

European foulbrood (EFB)  © Crown copyright 

Linking eR2 membership system to BeeBase

September 2023: In order to simplify the process of renewing existing memberships and accepting new members, most associations now use eR2, which was developed originally by Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd (BDI) to handle their membership administration...

There is no automatic sharing of data from local associations to BeeBase. As eR2 membership has developed, some local associations have asked us if we can provide a link for those associations who wish to participate; this would allow consenting members to share their contact details with the National Bee Unit.

The link is now active for membership renewals for the 2024 season. For associations who wish their members to be given the opportunity to pass their contact details to BeeBase, each member, on renewal or initial joining, will be asked (by ticking the relevant box) if they wish their data to be transferred. No data will be passed without the member giving their permission.

Click here to read the full article which appeared in BBKA News, September 2023.

EFB PhD research Monika Yordanova

Podcast with BDI funded student

2023: Honey bees are closely aligned with their environment and their health and productivity is influenced by the stressors they encounter. 

Lynfa Davies, Master Beekeeper, NDB, from the Healthy Bees Academy, talks to Dr Peter Graystock and Monika Yordanova, from Imperial College, London; they are investigating the factors that increase the vulnerability of bees to disease.

Monika is a PhD student jointly funded by Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd and the CB Dennis Trust, and supervised by Peter. Her work explores the susceptibility of bees to European foulbrood, one of the notifiable brood diseases of honey bees.  In this podcast they discuss whether there are potential triggers that cause apparently healthy hives to develop disease symptoms as well as some top tips to prevent disease from spreading.

Click here to listen.

Whole apiary shook swarm - 2023

Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd (BDI) - in conjunction with the National Bee Unit - is continuing to fund a whole apiary shook swarm trial in 2023 where EFB has been identified.

The trial is offered for all colonies and equipment (eg frames, comb etc) stored in the infected apiary when at least one colony has been confirmed as having European foulbrood (EFB) by an Authorised Bee Inspector (ABI). 

The National Bee Unit states: “Trials have shown that shaking bees onto new foundation and then destroying the old combs can be beneficial when controlling European foulbrood. This procedure is known as Shook Swarming and it may also be beneficial in controlling Nosema spp., chalk brood and Varroa mite populations. Colonies treated in this way often become the strongest and most productive in an apiary. Some beekeepers are now using this system to replace all the old brood combs in a beehive within a single procedure.”

The pilot scheme replaces training grants offered in recent years.

For more information click here.

Photo courtesy of The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright  

2023 BDI Rates

As part of the work Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd (BDI) has to do to meet the requirements of the regulators that supervise our insurance business, BDI has conducted a review of its premiums. This has resulted in a small decrease to the premiums charged for the following bands:

Up to 5 colonies, including the basic 3 colonies

Old additional premium rate £2.00; new 2023 rate £1.20

Up to 10 colonies, including the basic 3 colonies

Old additional premium rate £5.25; new 2023 rate £4.70

The basic subscription of £2.00 for the first three colonies and all other bands will remain the same. 

Due to careful husbandry of its resources, BDI has not increased its premiums in the recent past, and in fact has absorbed several rises in Insurance Premium Tax that are included in the subscription and premiums charged.  These new rates apply for the calendar year 2023. 

These premiums will apply for returns submitted from the Spring 2023.  Using the ER2 membership system, no action is necessary as the additional premiums are calculated automatically when a member enters the number of colonies to insure.

Photo courtesy of The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright