Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance

Overwinter Bee
Mortality Insurance


  • This program insures a producer’s honey bees against unmanageable abnormal wintering losses, including weather-related losses, diseases, and pests.


  • A producer is eligible for this program if they reside and operate an apiary in Manitoba and are registered as a beekeeper under The Bee Act (Manitoba).
  • A producer must have a minimum of 50 colonies accepted for Overwinter Bee Mortality Insurance.
  • Strong colonies (placed in either indoor or outdoor storage) and nuclear colonies stored indoors are eligible for coverage.
  • August 31 is the last day to apply for (or cancel coverage for) this program.


  • This program covers losses of strong (7 or more frames of brood or bees when placed in winter storage) and nuclear colonies (minimum of 4 frames of brood or bees when placed in winter storage) that have suffered insurable winter losses due to weather, diseases and / or pests where there is no means of adequate control.
  • Beekeepers may select a low ($ per colony) or high ($ per colony) overwinter colony dollar value for coverage.
  • A new program participant for receives the Manitoba historic survival rate of per cent. Producers enrolled for two or more years will receive a survival rate based on their experience.
  • Coverage is based on per cent of the number of overwinter colonies multiplied by the survival rate.
  • Coverage Example

    A new beekeeper insures colonies for overwinter loss at the high dollar value ($ per colony).

    Coverage   = colonies x per cent survival rate x per cent coverage
      = colonies (rounded)
    Colonies x $ per colony   = $

Coverage Exceptions

  • This program does not insure against any losses resulting from inadequate or improper winter storage, inadequate surveillance, failure to follow normal or recommended beekeeper practices, theft, or vandalism.


  • Premium costs are shared per cent by the producer, per cent by the Government of Canada, and per cent by the Province of Manitoba.


  • May 15 (or 3 days prior to taking action in respect of the management and control of over-winter colonies, whichever comes first) is the last day to file a claim without a late fee.
  • After filing a claim, an MASC adjustor will assess the losses that have occurred during the winter storage period.
  • Colony designations are assigned as below:
    Eligible Frames *
    Entering Winter Storage Exiting Winter Storage
    Strong Colony: 7+ Strong Colony: 5+
    Weak Colony: 3 to 4
    Dead Colony: 2 or fewer
    Nuclear Colony: 4+ Nuclear Colony: 4+
    Weak Colony: 3
    Dead Colony: 2 or fewer

    * per cent of weak colonies are counted as surviving colonies for claim and coverage purposes.

    * An 'Eligible Frame' is a frame with at least two-thirds of the cells on each side of the frame filled with brood or eggs, or covered with live bees, or a combination thereof.

Claim Example

A new beekeeper insures colonies for overwinter storage at the high dollar value. In spring, the beekeeper finds strong colonies, weak colonies, and dead colonies.

Surviving Colonies   = + ( weak colonies x per cent)
  = surviving colonies
Claim   = (insured colonies x survival rate x per cent) - surviving colonies
  = ( x x ) -
  = (rounded)
   colonies x $ dollar value
  = $

Compensation Offsets

  • If a program participant received a wildlife compensation payment under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Regulation for loss of bees during the winter storage period, this payment may be deducted from any indemnity payable under this program.

Reporting Deadlines

  • November 30 is the last day to declare and confirm the number of colonies placed in winter storage by completing a Declaration of Overwinter Colonies Report.
  • May 31 is the last day to file a Declaration of Overwinter Colonies Mortality Report, and file a claim (subject to late filing fees).


Canadian Agricultural Partnership Manitoba Canada