BDI Claims Procedures

Notifiable diseases and pests

As soon as you suspect a notifiable disease or pest in one or more of your colonies, you must contact your local National Bee Unit (NBU) bee inspector. 

This is a legal obligation under Orders issued under The Bees Act 1980. Click to read the NBU’s Statutory Procedures for controlling honey bee pests and diseases. 

The NBU bee inspector will visit your apiary and confirm the presence, or absence, of a notifiable disease or pest. Find your local inspector by entering your postcode on the NBU's website.


The bee inspector will initiate the claims process using BDI’s system.

The report will confirm the presence of the highly infectious brood diseases European foulbrood (EFB) or American foulbrood (AFB) or the presence of notifiable pests; it will describe what action was taken for destruction, shook swarm or treatment and list items of equipment destroyed. The bee inspector will make an assessment with the beekeeper to determine the condition of the equipment destroyed. 

The inspector’s report will be emailed to you as an online form; you must complete and submit the form to BDI within 30 days of the inspector's visit for your claim to be considered. 

When BDI receives the claim it is registered and checked to ensure that it is fully completed and when the subscription, and premiums if appropriate, were paid; if paid after 31 March, then the 40 day rule applies. Payment of some claims may be delayed because the claim form has not been adequately completed and has had to be returned for re-submission. Late payment of the spring and autumn returns to BDI by the member BKA treasurer can also result in a delay to the claim being paid; this will not affect a beekeeper’s claim.

All colonies on a communal site have to be appropriately covered by BDI insurance policies for the claim to be valid.

BDI compensation rates are reviewed and appropriately updated each year and are based on the prices of one of the major suppliers. 

The maximum compensation payable to an individual is £3,000 in any one year.

For the protection of all beekeepers, there have to be some terms and conditions in the scheme, but every effort is made to accept and pay claims when there is an appropriate reason for a late notification or insufficient cover.  

BDI aims to pay claims within 14 days of receipt, subject to any necessary enquiries needed with the beekeeper or bee inspector and subject to holiday commitment. The scheme is run on a voluntary basis by beekeepers and has no salaried employees. It is also dependant on the support of the member BKA treasurers who collect the subscriptions and to the Fera Bee Inspectors who quantify the losses.

Claims are rarely declined or repudiated except when: