Canada's Ontario province has launched new production insurance plan for beekeepers, which has been designed to manage financial loss from winter bee colony damage.

The province’s production insurance is part of a suite of business risk management programs, designed to allow farmers manage losses due to events such as weather, pests and disease.

The costs under the programs are predictable, stable and shared by producers and the provincial and federal governments.

Ontario agriculture, food and rural affairs minister Jeff Leal said: "To mitigate unforeseen risks experienced by Ontario beekeepers, our government responded to their request to add a risk management plan.

"The new Bee Mortality Production Insurance plan under the Agriculture Insurance Act promotes best management practices and allows farmers to manage their risk more effectively."

New Bee Mortality Production Insurance Plan is expected to provide confidence and security for participating beekeepers to reinvest in their operations, offering them with the same financial support received by beekeepers in other provinces.

Agricorp will administer the new production insurance plan and will commence in November this year.

Currently, production insurance is available for around 90 commercially grown crops in Ontario, comprising grains, oilseeds and certain fruits and vegetables.