News

12 August 2022 - New honey bee research fund set up by CB Dennis Trust, BDI and the BBKA seeks applicants

The health of honey bees is of increasing importance, so the CB Dennis British Beekeepers’ Research Trust, Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd and The British Beekeepers Association are combining to fully fund a three year research studentship into bee health. British Universities and Research Institutes are being invited to apply with a research proposal that would improve our understanding of bee health and contribute to the long-term benefit of bees.

Funding a student to undertake the research for a doctorate also helps ensure that we have high class researchers in the field of bee health for the future. The grant will fully fund the research and is worth up to £90,000 over the three years.

The President of Bees Disease Insurance, Martin Smith said, ‘The ability to provide greater resources to support research into bee diseases through this joint arrangement must be a good thing. We hope significant results will be forthcoming.

The Chair of the British Beekeepers Association, Stephen Barnes said, ‘Cooperating in this way to support high quality research that will ultimately benefit bees, beekeeping and the environment is a really positive step forward.’

The Chair of the CB Dennis British Beekeepers’ Research Trust, Simon Baker said, ‘It is a great opportunity to help improve the outlook for our honey bees and wild bees, and fantastic that three separate organisations with a shared concern for bees can cooperate in this way’

Application forms are available from the CB Dennis Trust website. The closing date for applications is 14 October 2022.

2 July 2022 - Some rates reduced for 2023

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.

8 April 2021 - BDI funds research into how honey bee populations appear to have evolved to combat the Varroa mite

BDI provided funding support for research into the evolution of natural Varroa-tolerance mechanisms in various beekeeping populations supervised by Professor Stephen Martin at the University of Salford.

Both BDI funded PhD students – Isobel Grindrod and George Hawkins - have published their findings.

Also, Professor Stephen Martin and Isobel Grindrod have produced an instructional video about measuring recapping and infested brood removal to accompany their BBKA Special Issue.

For links to the papers and to view the video click here.

5 March 2021 - Importing honey bees into Great Britain: A major new risk to the health of the bee population

Purpose of this briefing note:
This note, which is supported by those listed at the foot of the document, is to draw to the attention of the UK government and the devolved administrations, to an imminent and serious risk that an exotic pest, Small Hive Beetle (SHB), could be introduced into the British Isles.

For the full text click here.

Spring 2021 - PhD studentship into CBPV update

Ben Rowlands describes carrying out research in these challenging times. Click here to read more.

Spring 2021 - PhD studentship into ST2 strain of EFB

Hollie Pufal talks about her first six months at Newcastle University. Click here to read more.