Beekeepers Insurance

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Beekeepers need to consider insurance for personal injury, property damage, and circumstantial liability. In an article in the American Bee Journal, the author comments:

Insurance! The very word sends shivers down the reader's spine. Or if not shivers, at least annoyance at putting out so much money over so many years, and getting so little in return. But what does insurance have to do with beekeeping, you ask? Only this—as a seller of honey, you are liable for injuries sustained by your customers. Moreover, as a keeper of bees, you incur negligent and non-negligent risk from several different directions. (Scott, 2002)

He goes on to suggest these areas of concern:

  • Customer injury, such as someone getting sick (or claiming to) from eating honey or other bee products, or someone injured by a piece of glass or other foreign object in the honey.
  • Property injury, such as a child playing around the hives, getting stung, and going into anaphylactic shock.

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Circumstantial injury caused by the unforeseen results of some action the beekeeper takes. (Scott, 2002) The same author continues:

So you see, there may be a need for insurance, especially if you are a larger commercial beekeeper. The conventional wisdom is that if anything happens on my property, my homeowner's insurance will cover the liability. But that is incorrect. It depends on whether the beekeeping is a hobby or business and on the size of the claim. Moreover, it is an easy argument to make that any revenue generated is a business, not a hobby

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The decision is not an easy one. Every beekeeper must decide what level of risk he/ she is willing to tolerate. But every beekeeper should be aware that along with dead hives, varroa mites, poorly laying queens, and bad weather, he/she must also endure some exposure to liability. (Scott, 2002)

Beekeepers should check with their insurance companies to discuss their specific needs. Different insurance companies have different concerns about the many aspects of beekeeping liability. Bee and honey associations may be able to help their members with this type of protection. In the past, the American Beekeepers Federation provided a liability insurance program for its members. The Federation's website states that "Through the Federation's master policy you can obtain liability insurance to protect your beekeeping operation in today's litigious society" (American Beekeeping Federation, 1999). Beekeepers should contact their associations to see whether this type of coverage is available (see Further Resources: Associations).

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Bee Keeping

Bee Keeping

Make money with honey How to be a Beekeeper. Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby or you can turn it into a lucrative business. The choice is yours. You need to know some basics to help you get started. The equipment needed to be a beekeeper. Where can you find the equipment you need? The best location for the hives. You can't just put bees in any spot. What needs to be considered when picking the location for your bees?

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