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  1. #1
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    Post Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    A Yolo County jury on Friday, Feb 21, found Viktor Zhdamirov, 51, of West Sacramento guilty of stealing bee hives from commercial beekeeping company, Tauzer Apiaries. Tauzer Apiaries in Woodland found ransacked hives in two different locations, back in September of 2012. A total of 460 hives were damaged.

    See commentary below in thread about genesis of contact between victim and perpetrator. (( Originally written as: Issue originated in a "turf dispute" about robbing bees in closely located yards in September, 2012))

    Tauzer's hives were distinctively marked, making it easy for Tauzer and his employees to do their own investigation and track down the missing hives. They found the hives two days later, partially painted green, and mixed in with hives owned by Zhdamirov. Tauzer's brand markings on the hives were still visible, despite attempts to cover them with paint and putty.

    Zhdamirov is facing a local prison sentence of up to three years and will also be required to reimburse Tauzer for the monetary damages he caused.

    Sentencing is scheduled for April 4, before Judge Stephen Mock.

    Details at: http://www.dailydemocrat.com/breakin...ento-bee-thief

    similar article at: http://www.capradio.org/articles/201...stealing-bees/
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 02-23-2014 at 06:41 PM. Reason: "Turf dispute" is overly general.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    I love a story where some justice prevails!!
    Last edited by Barry; 02-23-2014 at 11:05 AM. Reason: edit due to Honey-4-All's post.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #3
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    longton, kansas USA
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    come do that in our neck of the woods...get whats comin to u.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    That's was the good news.... In reality the SOAHT ( son of a hive thief) is likely to get off with 6 months or less and Mark and Trevor will never see their money.

    With the Feds in charge because of the "overcrowding" issue and our mamby pamby lack of balls within the California judicial system to use the local oak trees to there best potential the deterrence factor and its proclivity to preclude the Russian bee mafia from continuing in their Wiley Ways" it it is not even about to enter the minds of these slime balls or their blood brothers to stop these shenanigans.


    The main reason I want trackers in all our yards. When one of those ( or anyone else ) lifts the wrong box its off to my cell hone which will tell me when and where to take the safe full of "protection equipment."

    Even though we will be busy with queens and packages I would love to take a trip to Woodland in early April to let the honorable Mr Mock know that if he and the rest of the system wont do their job there are at least a few hundred of us out here who are willing to...... as Tommy stated so adeptly.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-25-2014 at 10:05 AM. Reason: name slur

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    [QUOTE=JWChesnut;1064057] (( Issue originated in a "turf dispute" about robbing bees in closely located yards in September, 2012))

    There was no "dispute" about territory. We are very sensitive to other beekeepers' historic yards for we abide and believe in the "golden rule." The bees in one location were in pollination and the other was a temporary yard for our divides. Before placing the divides, we had asked the landowner and the farmer who leased the ground if there was any hives in the area. They were not aware of any. Mr. Zhdamirov's hives were placed behind a gate and on top of a levee which was out of view from all, but those with access to the gate below. In cases that our hives are bothering people or their bees, we have our name and phone number on the side of the hives so that we can be contacted. We have many yards we've used for over 40 years that are currently pressured by new beekeepers placing hives too close. Our response is to attempt to contact the beekeeper and the landowner to explain the issues of placing too many hives in a region NOT to vandalize or kill the others' bees.

    The reality in California is that there are just too many beehives for the dwindling amount of resources available to the bees after the almonds. For me, it seems as though people see other beehives and think it must be a great place to put bees if there are already hives there. Word of advice to newcomers to this business; be aware of other bee hives in the area. Placing hives within a mile of another yard of bees does nobody any good and only exposes your hives to whatever parasites or pathogens they have and visa-versa.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Yep first time for everything, about 15 years ago I had 200 hives stolen in the Clarksburg area in Yolo county, caught the xxxxx with my hives all branded but the DA would do nothing, they draged him into court twice and let him go. I had KFBK & the Sacramento bee doing stories, even had John Foster trying to get help from the farm Bureau in Yolo County but all failed. Like I said, first time for everything.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-25-2014 at 10:03 AM. Reason: name slur
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    If i caught someone stealing my hives or anything i own........ I have never even thought of stealing someone else's possessions let alone hives that belong to a hard working citizen.

    I always wonder when looking under bees on Craigslist how many of those hives are stolen.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-25-2014 at 08:51 AM. Reason: suggesting illegal behavior
    Coyote Creek Bees

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    I always wonder when looking under bees on Craigslist how many of those hives are stolen.
    Especially when there up for $120/ hive.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    If it were anything but hives with bees in them it would probably go like this... the cops confiscate the hives as evidence. As soon as the trial is over, with no notice to the victims, the cops auction off the hives and the department takes the money. That's how it works here anyway. I've seen a guy lose a truckload of tools that way and my son lost property that way as well...

    Luckily for the victims they have bees in them...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    I have 2 comments about this thread. First I am in Yolo county and they put people in jail for a long time, so this guy will more than likely get a good sentence. Second, I disagree with the beekeepers who think that just because a landowner gives you permission to put your bees on their land does not give you any right to steal food from other beekeepers land(flowers) that they own and plant. Soo many locations in yolo county are grazing land with not one **** flower for the bees. So when you say you have had locations for 40years so what!! If a new beekeeper owns 100 acres of land and chooses not to grow a crop but instead let the mustard and vetch grow you have no right to put your bees within my food area without providing your bees with food and I don't mean syrup cans you put on a couple times, and don't get me started on the "I guess bees don't need water" so why can't they steal yours too!!! There are not just to many bees in yolo county there are inconsiderate beekeepers. Buy your own land and plant flowers or stay away from beekeepers property. You know exactly what you are doing when you place your bees and how much food there will be for them and where it is going to be coming from. So instead of thinking you have some right, maybe the beekeeper who doesn't even own the land should come talk to the property owner beekeepers to see if they have a problem with you putting your bees next door. If I had cattle do I have the right to see one of my neighbors with grass and just move my cows over there to steal it away from their cows? NO!
    Stealing is stealing bees or food, doesn't matter. I can't wait to hear the comebacks of we can't control where our bees forage. And I call bull**** on that. If someone buys land and bees within the forage distance of a non landowner beekeeper they have every right to tell you to move unless you plant a forage crop for the bees on their land. There is never a reason to damage or steal someone else's bees. Deal with the owner of the bees
    This may have gotten a little off topic but unless you own the land your bees are on and feed them, those of us that do would appreciate you keeping your bees away. It's not that hard!
    Yes I am one of those newer beekeepers you speak of, but I am responsible for the health of my bees and it offends me when you think you have rights over my private property and food.
    Buy your own land. I did!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    You nailed it Seven Hills. I doubt we will see any beekeepers run out and buy land and plant crops though. They simply don't have the net income to get it done.

  12. #12
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    This is a comical thread. You Californians shouldn't have been so quick to get rid of all your guns. Sounds like you all have some major issues that need worked out.

  13. #13
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    Skiff, Alberta, CA
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Me thinks the guns might be a bad idea.

  14. #14
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    Concord, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Give the bees a six-shooter so they can sting more than once
    "Everything turns to dust -and there is nothing you can do to stop it".

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Yes but you live north of the border. Take no offense, but I havent seen too many gun toting Canucks. California used to be full of gun toters. Maybe Californians still are, just reduced to cap and ball.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Seven hills,

    A few things to consider. First of all I want to congratulate you on your purchase. Use it well.

    As most law those regarding bees are based in common law, statutes, and better yet those build on common courtesy and decency.

    Until two things occurred those rules worked really well in northern California: They are the onslaught of the almonds and the onslaught of the Slavic migration to the Sacramento area.

    The tradition of not jumping in or on other yards worked really well and was one that was written in the heart and mind every commercial beek in California until the two previously mentioned incidents happened (99%)

    There were unwritten rules that everyone followed and worked well.... Plain and simple....

    You just didn't not consider not following them. Those who did were considered the same as child molesters are categorized today. ( FYI: And still are!!!!!)

    In the old days you either found new space or bought someone out. No parking on the same ranch or just across the fence with your 200 newly purchased equipment......

    When the Slavic and the out of state Almond ballers started to show up a very high majority thought they thought they could do what the heck the liked.... Move on in and disrespect the culture and system that has worked so well for nearly 150 years......

    In your case if you purchased the land and or anyone else had a yard next door the tradition said you should have done your homework before you bought and no way should you expect the yard next door to get moved for your convenience

    The whole concept of "bee space rights" is loosely based on the same concepts as water rights are in the west. First come.... first served.. If your low on the list buy the rights or go elsewhere....

    Now I know you may not like it but the system worked very well and kept everyone quite civil.

    In the case of Mr. Z. He broke two rules... Earn your own keep ( acquire goods through your own sweat and tears over the course of many years) and don't jump yards. Both cultural rules although the first is codified...

    To follow up on the his sentence I hope that Mr. Z gets deported back to the land where we was born if he hasn't already obtained citizenship here. If he has it needs to be stripped.....

    Taking other people stuff might be cool in either your or his old culture. I don't want you doing it to myself or my neighbor......
    Last edited by Honey-4-All; 02-25-2014 at 10:09 AM. Reason: name slur

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    This is sounding a lot like TG of old. A message was posted to address this that needs to be reposted here.

    "We do not allow members to mis-spell proper names or use phrases that make fun of, belittle, or make light of individuals or groups of people. When proper names are purposefully mis-spelled or abused, that's the equivalent of a personal attack. Everyone has a name and simple, basic respect should dictate that one's name not be used by others in a manner or context that is disrespectful."

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-poster-beware
    Regards, Barry

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    The ones I am talking about have plenty of land of their own. Just not land with food. They could spend a little and plant a forage crop or even better get free vetch and mustard from project APIS. How about a beekeeper who puts their bees next to the sugar plant. When asked to leave because they could not keep 300 hives out of the sugar, the landowner where the hives are told the sugar plant the beekeeper could not be expected to keep his bees out, but would not move them.
    If you own a million dollar house you can afford a little seed for your bees.

    Honey for all
    I was here first! There were no bees around me for the first 10 years I owned the property but as soon as I got my own bees and had vetch mustard and the most important, star thistle growing on my land they started moving in around me. Over 500 hives within a half mile, most right across the street on land purchased just 2 years ago. That beekeeper moved his bees in knowing I was there. To that note I disagree that I should have known before I bought land that there were other bees around. That is crap, so if there was someone squatting on property and I bought it do I have to let them stay and also feed them too? Even if I did buy after there were bees you still have to move your bees if you are stealing food from me the landowner.. The other beekeeper is the one who is not following your "buy the rights or go somewhere else" concept. You are not grandfathered in if I own the land.
    Last edited by Seven Hills; 02-25-2014 at 10:26 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Seven Hills, I believe we are speaking a similar language. I reread what I had written about speaking to the beekeeper about their hives being too close, and it may be possible that I did not write that clearly. I did not mean that the beekeeper and the landowner were the same person. I meant speak to them individually. 100% of the issues I have had with another beekeeper being too close to my hives has not been with someone who owned the land their bees are kept. They were beekeepers that were new to the area and for, probably the same reasons I decided to keep bees in a certain area, they placed theirs there too.

    My general point is exactly what you said, "just because you have permission" to place hives on land it doesn't make it right. And as you said, we must be more considerate to our neighbors (within flying distance of our hives not just our fence line neighbors). When I state "new" beekeepers, I mean beekeepers bringing in hives to a new area they have not had hives in before. Many times this kind of intrusion is people new to beekeeping and other times it's an old "friend." Too often in places where we have kept hives for years semi-successfully another drop of bees end up next door (and these are not landowning beekeepers) and these people are not aware or do not care about the issues this resource competition creates for both of our hives, but many beekeepers who have been around the block a few times understand why it's not beneficial to encroach on another area that is already supporting a number of hives.

    As for your own the land you keep your bees on argument… I do own properties that my bees are kept on, but also rent land as well. Just as many farmers will lease other people's land, it's not unreasonable to lease land for bees either. The amount of space a beehive can cover is breathtaking. There is not many who possess enough land to actually support their hives independent of other landowners. 100 acres is quite the chunk of land to the layperson, but to a bee it's a few minute flight across to the neighbors and beyond. All things equal, if there are two beekeeper who have no ownership of land then there should be some respect to the beekeeper who has placed their bees there for many years prior. I believe we are lamenting the same issues about other hives invading your hives' territory. Whether you own the land or rent a spot to place hives, if you are bringing hives to a new region the same consideration has to be given to other beekeepers who place hives in the area. Nobody deserves to have their livelihood jeopardized by ignorance or malicious theft as you have described. First step is to find out what side of the coin the "new" beekeeper is coming from. As a landowner, you have the right to tell a guy whose has placed their hives there for over 40 years that it's your land and you are doing what you want, but after those fence lines it's technically anybody's game. That's where I was saying that you can speak to your neighbor (the property owner) about the issues of placing hives too close together. My thought is that you might not find a sympathetic audience if you've just moved somewhere and want to kick out an old beekeeper. 9 times out of 10 this is not the scenario you are faced with though. It is normally another newcomer or someone who has seen the improvements you have made to your property and has decided to poach off your hard work.

    Seven Hills, it sounds as though you speak from personal frustration with the scenario you have illustrated. Personally, I have had three beekeepers place their hives less than half a mile from my shop and land where my family has lived for over 150 years. I am also responsible for my hives' nutritional needs and I would never assume a right over your private property and food. I understand the frustration, but as long as there is communication most of these intruders are more considerate than you may have given them credit for originally.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Viktor Zhdamirov guilty after jury trial in 2012 Hive theft

    Honey 4 All,

    Thank you. You succinctly outlined most of what I was thinking as well. It's a brave new world out there and some of it really stinks. The days of buying out beekeepers and "inheriting" their yards are gone and in are the "beekeeper-in-a-year" deals. All of these new orchards need bees and all those bees need a place to live… it's difficult to see how this will work out well for anybody, but my hope is to keep holding to some of the "old" rules and that we can create some understanding of how important it is for our livelihood and for our bees health to stay true.

    Seven hills, that's a terrible position to be in with that many hives around your home and land. Unfortunately, that inconsiderate choice of bringing hives closer to your property is becoming more the norm than an anomaly of Yolo County. Ask the beekeepers out in South Dakota…

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