My most recent beekeepers' assoc. newsletter had a notice that several beekeepers in my general area (north- and southcentral Kansas) had a total of 21 hives stolen from two locations.
I'm curious if anyone knows what happens to these stolen hives. The owners and the newsletter editor seem to think the hives are in the general area. I'm wondering if stolen hives are more likely to end up in another part of the US (in our case, Texas) for pollination needs.
I ask because I see want ads in the bee magazines this time of year placed by orchards needing 500 or 1000 hives for pollination. I just remember that several years ago, a police force in a nearby town began using bicycles on a limited scale. The first week out, one of the bikes was stolen. Within three days, it was recovered in San Diego! Halfway across the country! Who would think you could get profit from stealing bicycles in Kansas and shipping them to California? If so, seems like stealing 5 hives here and 15 there would be easy money for someone.
Any ideas? Thanks.
Yep,make your hives look unique (any color but white,and paint some design)or brand and stencil your name on them.Anything to make it easier to identify.There hasnt been enough money in bees to worry about theft for awhile,but at one time it was abig problem in Cal.Last thief I heard about got shot.Many of us in the far west still pack guns to our yards.
I was advised recently to watch out for an increase in theft because of an anticipated shortage of hives for pollination.There has definitely been an increase in vandalism the last couple of years.
[This message has been edited by Clayton (edited December 28, 2001).]
In Ontario Canada, beekeepers keep a few mean hives of bees near the beeyard entrance. To discourage unwanted human beings. Good luck to you.
Thanks for the input. However, my question remains: Does anyone know where stolen hives end up?
- PJ Adams
...my question remains: Does anyone know where stolen hives end up?
Normally stolen hives end up repainted, and rebranded, and working well in someone else's yard and then the burden of proof is on you to prove it is your equipment.
This is why beekeepers used to buy hive branding devices like those sold by Walter T. Kelly and then brand every top bar frame with their own name (or unique symbol) and outside of all supers, including top covers and bottom boards.
Really a practice all serious beekeepers should still do if the bees are kept anyplace besides thier own back yard, where anyone can get to them.
Dee A. Lusby
Thank you, Dee!