Apiculture Crop Insurance Deadline Approaching

A lack of precipitation can be problematic for beekeepers because it may limit bees’ forage intake and reduce honey production. To reduce loss from this risk, beekeepers may utilize the Apiculture (API) crop insurance program which protects against a single peril- lack of precipitation.  Producers must enroll with a licensed crop insurance agent before the November 15th deadline for 2020 coverage.

API protects against lower-than-normal precipitation

The API policy allows beekeepers to insure a percentage of the 50-year historical precipitation for the area or “grid” where they keep hives. A grid is approximately 12 x 17 square miles. The API program is an area-based policy meaning coverage is based on the experience of the entire grid and not the experience of individual farms or specific weather stations in the general area.  Losses occur when the reported NOAA precipitation for a 2-month interval is below a chosen percentage of the 50 – year historical rainfall average for the grid. There is no claim paperwork to file and if an indemnity is owed, payments are mailed automatically.  Locate your grid at http://maps.agforceusa.com/api/ri/

What to insure

Months: Beekeepers choose which months to insure but must choose a minimum of 2, two -month intervals.

Coverage levels: Beekeepers select a coverage level from 70 to 90%. “Coverage level” refers to the percentage of average precipitation that triggers a payment.  For example, a beekeeper selects the 90% coverage level.  At this level, if precipitation in their grid is below 90% of the historic average precipitation, they receive an automatic indemnity payment. The value of the indemnity payment depends on the productivity level selected.  Beekeepers must select productivity levels that are 60 to 150% of the “base value”.  Base values will change based on county and are on a per hive basis.  Contact a crop insurance agent for more information.

How much will API cost?

Those enrolled in API will be responsible for paying the premium, and a percentage of the premium is subsidized by the federal government. Premium costs will change depending on the coverage level selected and duration of the policy.

To learn more locate a crop insurance agent at: prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#/

For questions contact Crop Insurance Education Program Manager, Erin Roche, 207.949.2490 or erin.roche@maine.edu.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is in partnership with the USDA RMA to deliver crop insurance education in Maine. For more information, please visit the UMaine Risk Management and Crop Insurance website extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/crop-insurance/.