Membership FAQs

Please contact your local branch about membership here.

Membership FAQs

Here are answers to some FAQs about BBKA INSURANCE for the period 1st October 2019 -30th September 2020.

Below is material copied and pasted from the BBKA website link above.

Over the years a number of queries have arisen about the insurance cover the BBKA has arranged
for its Members. The following information provided by the BBKA is designed to help Members
understand the cover they have.

As with all insurance, these FAQs should be taken as indicative answers only – the final wording is
that contained in the policy and the interpretation rests with the insurance company. You can find
policy documents and certificates on the BBKA website:

Any questions not answered here should be addressed to the BBKA office at

  1. As a member of the BBKA what am I covered for on the insurance arranged by the BBKA which
    is included in the cost of my membership fees?

    Third Party Public and Products Liability insurance from the BBKA
    The Third Party Public and Products Liability insurance policy automatically covers all Honorary,
    Registered, Partner, Junior, UK-resident Individual Members and constituent associations (referred
    to collectively as “Members”) against any financial loss caused by a successful claim against them by
    a third party for injury or other loss deemed to have been caused by the Member, or their bees,
    whilst undertaking beekeeping activities or through the normal use of their hive products. The limit
    of this cover is presently £10,000,000 with each new claim carrying an excess of £250 for third party
    property damage claims that is payable by the Member.
  2. Does this policy cover my equipment against all risks including theft?
    No. The BBKA has however negotiated special rates for beekeeping organisations and individuals to
    cover their equipment
    The “All Risks” Insurance policy is available for Associations, Branches and individuals to cover loss or
    damage to their beekeeping property or equipment. The terms of the policy are flexible to suit the
    needs of each Association or individual by direct negotiation with the Insurer. Cover under this
    facility is not automatic; for further information or a quote, go to
    There is a special discount for BBKA member and premiums start at £12 per year.
  3. Does this policy cover me if my hives have American or European Foul Brood?
    No. Bee Diseases Insurance (BDI) provides optional insurance for the replacement of beekeeping
    equipment should it have to be destroyed due to an incidence of a notifiable disease, such as
    European or American Foul Brood. Further information about how Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd
    operates can be found on the BDI website
    Please note, not all BBKA Associations and Branches offer BDI insurance – please check with your
    membership secretary.
  4. I’ve heard something about an excess; am I going to be charged for notifying a claim?
    The Liability policy’s £250 excess is a market-standard feature in the UK. It exists to impose an
    element of responsibility on the insured person so as to minimise recklessness.
    The excess is limited in scope as it only applies to allegations of property damage. Claims alleging an
    injury are never subject to an excess.
    Additionally, the excess is not payable during the defence phase of the claim. Insurers will provide
    full assistance and defend against the claim as robustly as possible. The excess is only payable when
    the decision is taken to make a payment to the Third Party. If the claim is successfully defended, no
    excess is payable.
    The Insurers review the level of excess regularly in conjunction with the BBKA, but this must be
    balanced with premium considerations, as insurers require higher premiums for lower excess levels.
  5. Are all Membership categories covered for insurance automatically?
    Registered, Partner, Junior and Honorary members who are UK residents are covered automatically
    for insurance as part of their payment of membership fees.
    If you are in any doubt as to whether you personally are registered with the BBKA, you should
    consult with your association’s Membership secretary.
  6. Are members of the public who attend Taster Days or visit our apiary covered?
    The public are covered on Taster Days when acting under the direct supervision of a member of the
  7. Is it the bees or the beekeeper that is covered?
    Bees obviously cannot be sued, so it is the beekeeper that is covered.
    If a claim is made against BBKA Member, John, for a loss he caused while looking after Mary’s bees
    during her holiday, then John is covered even though the bees aren’t his. Even if Mary isn’t a
    Member, as long as John is a Member he will be covered if he is named in the action.
    If it becomes apparent that it was actually Mary that was responsible for the loss and she is named
    in the action, the policy will only protect her if she is a Member.
  8. I am called by a member of the public to collect bees that have swarmed – am I covered?
    What happens if I charge for my services?
    You are covered provided, it is part of your normal beekeeping activities. If you charge reasonable
    expenses then this will not affect your cover. However, if you make a business out of swarm
    collection this would be viewed differently. You would need normal Commercial Insurance for this
    business activity which is not covered by the BBKA policy.
  9. Is there any restriction on working at height?
    The policy notes a maximum working limit of 3 metres (applying to the beekeeper, not the swarm).
    Broadly speaking, you should not attempt any work for which you do not have adequate equipment,
    training or experience. The policy does not cover reckless acts, so if you are in doubt seek guidance
    from someone with the relevant experience or training, or preferably use an alternate method that
    would avoid you having to climb to height.
  10. I sell honey and wax products at farmers’ markets and local shows and they need proof of
    Third Party Public Liability and Product Insurance.

    The Verification of Insurance document available for download and printing from the BBKA website
    is sufficient to satisfy this requirement. You will need to log-in with your membership number and
    password to access the file, which can be found at
  11. I make a range of skin care products that I sell at markets and via retail outlets – am I covered
    for Product Liability if anyone makes a claim against me?

    The BBKA policy only covers primary hive products – defined as wax, honey and propolis with no
    other added ingredients. Some examples of covered products are pure honey, lip balms consisting
    of honey and beeswax with no extra ingredients, and candles with no perfumes or colourings.
    The restriction applies because if a product with added ingredients proves to be faulty, it is difficult
    and sometimes impossible to prove whether it was the hive ingredient or additive at fault.
    For instance, if cakes were covered, the insurance company would require lists of all products made
    and ingredients used by each and every member, and every product would need to comply with
    food hygiene and production standards. Premiums would be payable on an individual basis and
    therefore prohibitively high.
  12. The number of my hives has grown over the years and I now supplement my income from
    beekeeping – am I covered?

    The policy is designed for hobbyist BBKA Members, not commercial ventures or bee farmers. With
    40 colonies or more you would be eligible for Membership of the Bee Farmers’ Association (BFA).
    As such, cover is provided up to a limit of 40 hives per person. If you tend more than 40 hives by
    yourself you should apply for membership of the BFA.
    If you share responsibility for the hives with another member, then the hives can be treated as
    shared between you for insurance purposes. Cover will not be invalidated as long as there are not
    more than 40 hives per person.
    Additionally, insurers view any operation with any direct employees as a commercial venture, which
    cannot be covered by the policy.
  13. I pay a small extra premium with my subscription to my local branch each year for insurance.
    What is this for?

    This is a separate premium for Bee Diseases Insurance (BD I). In the event of your bees and
    equipment having to be destroyed due to foul brood, then this policy will pay out a fixed amount to
    help you replace your equipment. This is administered totally separately by BDI. The costs of this
    policy are part of your main subscription to your local association.
  14. I joined my local association in January, when did my insurance cover start?
    As a Registered, Partner or Junior Member, your cover started the day you paid your local
    association subscription and received a receipt. However, if a claim arose between the time of your
    payment and your registration with the BBKA by your association, you would need to provide
    definitive proof that payment was made before the incident arose for a claim to be accepted.
  15. I am a new direct UK Individual Member of the BBKA; when does my insurance cover begin?
    The insurance cover for a new individual Member of the BBKA begins six weeks after he/she is
    accepted for Membership. When you renew your Membership, cover will start from the date you
    pay you renewal subscription to the BBKA.
  16. As Membership Secretary I update members details on the members register. If some of the
    names on the list have lapsed or are awaiting renewal (ie have not paid me at the time) are
    they still covered?

    Technically they are in default and would not be covered. However, if a claim arose, each case
    would be investigated and resolved on an individual basis. In order to avoid this potential exposure,
    it is imperative that all associations ensure that their Members understand this exposure and are
    encouraged to pay all dues promptly.
  17. I am a Treasurer of my local branch, am I covered for any claims against me as a branch official
    as opposed to in my beekeeping activities?

    The BBKA policy includes what is commonly referred to as ‘Trustees Liability’ cover for all officials of
    the BBKA, associations and branches affiliated to the BBKA. It does not matter whether your
    organisation is a charity or not for this cover. The amount covered is £2,000,000, with no applicable
  18. Are Area Association and branches covered for Public Liability Insurance if we want to hire a
    hall for a beekeeping meeting or training?

    Yes, up to a limit of £10 million.

Last updated 8 September 2020.

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