Bears can do significant damage to a beehive, tearing them apart in a search for bees and honey. As a result, Agriculture Financial Services (AFSC) is conducting a three-year bear damage to hives pilot project as part of the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program.
Starting May 1, eligible beekeepers will be able to make claims for losses to honey, bee colonies and beehive equipment between May 1 and October 31. To be eligible for coverage, beekeepers must have an active beekeeper registration and a minimum of 100 hives.
Claims will be paid at 80 per cent of losses based on the following coverage amounts for the 2023 crop year:
- $275 per hive for lost bee colonies
- $125 per hive for replacement of damaged boxes and frames
- $6.173/kg for honey, with the assumption that 50 per cent of the honey will have been recollected by non-impacted hives
Making a claim
Beekeepers have 48 hours after discovering bear damage to file their claim through AFSC Connect using the Report Wildlife Damage button. Once the wildlife damage form opens, beekeepers will need to select Wildlife Damage for Bear Predation on Bee Hives from the dropdown list.
Beekeepers must complete a Report Wildlife Damage form which includes:
- Beekeeper ID
- Date of damage discovery
- Hive yard location
- Number of hives damaged
- Number of bee colonies lost
- Evidence of predator
- Description of damage
- Beekeeper background (total number of yards managed, total number of active hives, hive yard inspection frequency, current honey production)
Following completion of the form, beekeepers will need to provide photographic evidence and a copy of their beekeeper registration. These items can be provided through AFSC Connect using the Securely Upload a Document feature or by emailing email@example.com
Beekeepers cannot destroy, dispose of or clean up the damaged components (hives, colony, equipment) until an AFSC adjuster releases the claim and allows for cleanup. If the site is cleaned up prior to AFSC releasing the claim, the claim will no longer be eligible for payment.
If a beekeeper has a second claim on the same yard site, the claim may be limited or restricted unless electric fencing has been added as a permanent prevention measure. If fencing is not added, the producer will only be eligible to receive 50 per cent of the claim amount; no claim will be paid on the third or subsequent claims.