Webinar: Apiculture: Rainfall Index Insurance

FBN Insurance

Feb 14, 2023

The Apiculture Insurance Program is intended for honey and pollination production as well as wax and breeding purposes to protect against a lack of rainfall. 

Learn from Stephanie Blair, FBN® Insurance Agent and beekeeper, in the free webinar recording below as she discusses:

  • How coverage is determined with the Rainfall Index and how grids are assigned

  • How to determine the appropriate coverage level for your needs

  • How and when an indemnity is triggered

  • Insurance deadlines and enrollment period details

  • The proprietary FBN Optimizer insurance coverage selection tool

Watch Now - Apiculture: Rainfall Index Insurance

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Learn more about Apiculture Insurance from FBN. You can also learn more about Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance

Webinar Audio Transcript

Welcome and thank you for joining me for this short introduction to Apiculture Rain Index Insurance. My name is Stephanie. I'm a commercial beekeeper on the other side of being a crop insurance agent for FBN and that's why I specialize in the Apiculture portion of the Rain Index program. We have the program, that's how I got into selling the program. 

We run 4,000 hives here from Minnesota back out to California for pollination, and our family runs around 9,000 in total commercially from the west coast to here in the Midwest. As you can see, we've endured a few different fall and winter weather and then we got to California and did the pollination and my nieces love to help us out there with that. 

Just a few fun pictures to look at with us, but before I get into the Apiculture Index program I have a little disclaimer from FBN that I have to go through.

If you would read that with me. The purpose of the following material is to promote awareness of risk management concepts and to highlight risk management products, features, benefits and availability. This presentation does not provide full details of policy provisions or approved procedures. Producers should consult with a local agent for specific details and program requirements. We do not make any representations or warranties expressed or implied as to the accuracy of completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability, therefore is expressly disclaimed. Thank you for that. 

Apiculture rain index program is a USDA program run by the RMA. So it's a lack of rainfall protection intended for honey and pollination production. So if it's dry, you're not really gonna be making honey or there's not gonna be forge for the bees, so you're gonna have to feed them syrup tanks of tanker loads or pollen or winter patties, sugar patties, any of that stuff to kind of substitute the forge that isn't out there.

So that's what this program is for. And the RMA goes through the NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and that's where they gather the rainfall data for this program. And we'll get into the little details a little bit in the next slide here. And how it works is like you pin your locations, all your locations that your bees are at for honey production or pollination, and those grids are 17 by 17 miles, so maybe 10 yards are in one grid. 

We can insure that chunk of highs like, let's say 200 hives in that grid and then you have, you know, several other grids in multiple states. That's why it's so great for beekeepers. We have multiple states. So when Texas and California are dry, maybe Minnesota's wet so you're making honey but you're not getting that forage you need and those two states are paying out. Or last year Texas was really wet, Minnesota and California were dry. So Minnesota and California were paying out where Texas was producing you your honey or getting you ready for the spring and then

They're in two month intervals. And we'll get into that on the next slide. Also, the policy runs from January 1st to December 31st you select two month intervals, so like a January, February interval is one or March, April. And we'll look at examples of that coming up here. 

You can select 70 to 90% of coverage. So if rainfall is under 90% of average, you would get an indemnity. If it was, it only rains 76% of average it would be prorated and you would get that indemnity. And it's triggered 60 to 90 days after the interval. So once January, February finalizes, that's probably gonna be more to that 60, 90 days after. That's when it issues a check or pays off some of your premium if it was below that average of the amount you selected. And this program is highly subsidized. It's wonderful.

That's why it works because everyone's, what's the catch? There's no catch. It's just subsidized because it wouldn't work. We wouldn't have this funding that we need to help us with our operations just like farmers with their cattle. And that's how it started. With farming you can get up to a 59% subsidy depending on the coverage you select, but most people get the 51% subsidy because of how the program works. 

Our optimizer breaks it down very well on how, what percentages, coverage levels should you have versus productivity factor. And that's all stuff you can talk to with your local agent. Here's an example of that two month interval option. You can select multiple intervals or just a few like in option three, but you have to have a hundred percent in total. So on the next slide we'll go through an example here and we're doing a hundred percent of coverage in this Ottertail Minnesota County for a hundred colonies.

So your values are over here on the right and your total premium is 2,912 for these a hundred colonies and you're subsidized at 51%, which is wonderful. So your premium's only 1,427 for the full year and you're not billed until September 1st. That's the wonderful thing. It gives you the opportunity to earn your money back. And we'll look at the history here. It gives you a little data here of your average index, average rainfall, the payments on average and the years it's paid out since 2010 Here we're looking at history here and the 2013 was the only year that you would've had to pay a portion of the premium of that $199 out of the 1,427. 

If you only have these a hundred hives insured in Ottertail County. And like I said, we have multiple states as a commercial beekeeper, some people only do one state, so, but you might have multiple grids. So as you can see this year's been a pretty wet year and June, July and July, August here, you wouldn't have both of them covered but you would probably have one of them covered. So that might start paying out here once they finalized in 60 to 90 days, that July, August is really low and it might be a green coverage there, like a green return. So green is good, green is under average here, under the 90% of average we've selected. So anything in green is under that 90%. 

Over here on the right under your returns, anything over a 100% is a profit. A hundred percent even is paid off your premium. You're even, and you can tell it's worked wonderful for this, for this grid and it's worked wonderful for us. You know we have Ottertail County. I'm not sure if we have the specific grid, but it's worked wonders for us and this has all the data that you needed and it goes back to 1954. So that data is wonderful to have our FBN optimizer we're coming out with where it sets up your whole operation, and the best way is to set up it as an entire operation hole, not just every individual grid on its own.

Because you can have multiple grids, you will have multiple grids. I think we have about 40 different grids. We don't insure them all because it's not best to insure them all for our operation. But that's something to talk to your local agent about. This slide talks about once the RMA releases the final index interval values, that's when our agency issues a check to you. 

Once your premium is paid off, it'll go towards your premium first and then a check will be issued. So maybe January, February only covers your premium. Well then your next interval coverage is April, may. Maybe that will issue out a check 60 to 90 days after. If you have any questions either that is literally just an introduction to this program. It's based on lack of rainfall alone. 

You don't have to turn in anything in, you just have to do your renewals and the first year's the hardest, plotting all your locations so we can look at the grids that you're in, figure out the coverage that you need and then it's just kind of renewal after that.

What do you think this next year's gonna bring? And be sure to sign up before December 1st for 2023 coverage. If you're thinking it's gonna be dry for 2023, definitely talk to your local agent. And again, beekeepers, we're so lucky to have multiple states so we can cover that. 

It's very good our optimizer is coming out. It's gonna tell you for your multi-state what is the best option in coverage and I hope that this has got you interested in calling us, interested in checking it out and I urge you to do it. It's helped us so much with tanker loads of syrup. There's a tank here a little early, but we're getting it while we can because you know how syrup tanks, deliveries are right now since the last couple years. Have a great day everybody. Thanks for joining.

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Disclaimer:  The purpose of the following material is to promote awareness of risk management concepts and to highlight risk management products, features, benefits and availability. This presentation does not provide full details of policy provisions or approved procedures. Producers should consult with a local agent for specific details and program requirements.

We are an Equal Opportunity Provider.  FBN Insurance services are offered by FBN Insurance LLC (dba FBN Insurance Solutions Services LLC in Texas, and FBN Insurance Solutions LLC in California and Michigan). FBN Crop Insurance is currently offered in all U.S. states.

FBN Insurance

Feb 14, 2023

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