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Can drones fly at night? Can pictures be sent out?
The FAA rulemaking process on "drones" (I prefer UAVs) for commercial use has only just started. I took a peek at their initial proposals and I thought I saw that they were proposing VFR daylight only operation. That would cramp the style of anybody using them for a surveillance business, and would probably render any evidence collected that way inadmissible in court.

Which, of course, is bat-poop crazy. Obviously you could do IR and thermal imagery surveillance with these things ... the military and police have done it for decades.

Personally, I'd go with game cameras. They're cheap, automatic, easy to set up, and perfectly legal.
 

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Stealing cattle is cattle rustling and the rodeo event is steer wrestling.
 

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Spypoint makes a game camera that uses a "black box". It's a remote wireless backup that saves images and can be hidden from view within 250'. My experience with them have been hit & miss, most of the time it works well, other times the backup only has a few of the images the camera does.

So you could have a pic of the person who stole/destroyed your camera/card. And there's no subscription/fees to pay.
 

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And Today I read that according to Joy Pendell, over 1700 hives were stolen this year. And those are the ones that got reported. Many probably did not.
I have a friend that had 4 stolen and I doubt that he reported.
 

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The game cameras I use send pictures by MMS or e-mail in the second they were shot. That means, that if someone moves into the scene, his face appears on my mobile in seconds.

Also you can send SMS to the camera, which responds with sending new pictures, sending the GPS location and other nice stuff. All you need is a prepaid mobile card that you put into the camera.
 

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Need to get together with the farmers and get some stiff fines and jail sentences in place. Almonds are a huge part of the economy for the state. They need to protect it. When I was a kid a farmer got caught buying ag chemicals from high school kids very cheap and they nailed him. Farmers are a part of the problem. Those hives went somewhere and were put to work and you can bet they didn't have a bunch of extra pallets and new boxes ready for a change out either.
The farmer doesn't want to go to jail or be ostracized by his neighbors.
We beekeepers don't trust each other enough to register the number of hives we are taking and where they are going so a website registration type thing would never work. Initiated by the farmers with quantity contracted and who with. Anyone not willing to do that would be suspicious and someone showing up with more hives than they said they were taking would be the thief. Not to mention the scabs that show up without a contract and undercut everyone. Just think if the farmer had to state how many he needed or he couldn't get bees and then have to state who he finally used to fulfill his needs. Wouldn't that be nice. Your not registered you don't get bees. If your not registered you can't bring bees. No prices or none of that. Just a who has what checklist.
 

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Colony's added past a certain deadline become suspect and are inspected for possible theft. Maybe with the farmer signing off on it or something. Forfeiture to the beekeeper of all the thief owns, trucks, forklifts, homes, bank accounts etc sounds like a fair law and some stiff jail sentences thrown in for good measure.
 

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We beekeepers don't trust each other enough to register the number of hives we are taking and where they are going so a website registration type thing would never work.
I don't know which Port of Entry bug station that you stop at when entering California, but ours CLEARLY documents how many hives, where they came from and the destination. You are given a County phone number that you are to call as soon as they are unloaded. I have no idea if they actually come out and look? I seriously doubt that they count hives. But the paper trail portion is clearly in place.
 

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Other industries have instituted paperwork trails. Here in the southeast timber theft used to be the cost of doing business for landowners. Cutters would detour a few loads to a mill that didn't ask questions while only reporting his load tickets from the agreed upon mill. If the landowner wasn't counting trucks he got ripped.
That and a dozen other ways now has every load GPS identified and the mills won't touch anything that doesn't come with affadavits. The states upped the penalties as well.
It can be done but it's going to take some personal ethics from everyone involved with some state penalties to help folks rediscover personal ethics.
 

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Yes our laws are different down here. You get caught stealing our bees you would be begging for a jail sentence. We don't hate much in Arkansas but a thief is right up there at the top of the list.
 

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Has anyone here actually had a non-commercial apiary vandalized/stolen?

Seems to me like the chances of someone stealing hives outside of a main highway/interstate is quite low. Unless they're literally just sitting in an abandoned lot, right on the side of a main road.

I can't imagine how anyone would even bother to consider risking serious legal action, getting caught, bullet in the face for a normal sized apiary.
 

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Here in Germany it happens regularly to hobbyist beekeepers. I neither understand those thieves' mindset.
What do you do in Germany to deter it?

I was thinking maybe I could drill long screws down into the hive stands so that it's not possible to remove the hive without leaving the bottom board behind.

I am also going to brand all my boxes.

On top of that, I will have a couple of Game Camera's set up - so that if someone does try to do something, I can easily check to see their license plate and catch them in the act.
 

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My hives are in my backyard. If someone wants to steal them, they need to get past motion sensing lights, a big dog, and a .30-06. Bees are livestock. People that steal livestock are rustlers. Rustlers get shot. Maybe I am being melodramatic, maybe not. Try me.
 

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In my view the hidden game cameras are good call, and here is why. Several times while I was living down in TN, I heard a gunshot clearly coming from MY LAND in the middle of the night. So, I jumped up, grabbed my rifle, and my 2,000,000 candle power spotlight to take a look. When I stepped outside (keeping lights off) the woods and everything else was pitch black, dead quiet. Just when I was thinking about turning on the spot and looking around, I realized a few things:

- If there is total darkness, and you are holding a 2,000,000 candle power spotlight, you are the only target illuminated
- If a criminal has already demonstrated a willingness to use a firearm in the commission of a crime while trespassing on your land, a secondary target doesn't seem like too much of a stretch
- Ultimately my deer (or bees) can be replaced, but your safety cannot

With game cameras, it's likely that you will find that the perpetrator is a local that you can find a way to exact penitence in another way at a later time of your choosing, on your own terms, when you have the advantage, not while making yourself an attractive target. Please use caution when potentially dangerous people armed with loaded weapons are involved, especially when it may be likely that alcohol or other illegal substances may be involved
 

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In my view the hidden game cameras are good call, and here is why. Several times while I was living down in TN, I heard a gunshot clearly coming from MY LAND in the middle of the night. So, I jumped up, grabbed my rifle, and my 2,000,000 candle power spotlight to take a look. When I stepped outside (keeping lights off) the woods and everything else was pitch black, dead quiet. Just when I was thinking about turning on the spot and looking around, I realized a few things:

- If there is total darkness, and you are holding a 2,000,000 candle power spotlight, you are the only target illuminated
- If a criminal has already demonstrated a willingness to use a firearm in the commission of a crime while trespassing on your land, a secondary target doesn't seem like too much of a stretch
- Ultimately my deer (or bees) can be replaced, but your safety cannot

With game cameras, it's likely that you will find that the perpetrator is a local that you can find a way to exact penitence in another way at a later time of your choosing, on your own terms, when you have the advantage, not while making yourself an attractive target. Please use caution when potentially dangerous people armed with loaded weapons are involved, especially when it may be likely that alcohol or other illegal substances may be involved
Is there a specific brand of Game Cam that you folks here recommend that won't set me back $200, but will still be reliable and long lasting (e.g., I won't have to change the card every month - something I can just leave there, and access if I suspect a problem)?
 

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Not only do you need to brand the hive box but also the frames. There was a theft in northern Alberta where the thief was removing five frames of bees c/w queen. The frames were replaced with other frames. The hives were being worked by employees and they didn't recognize the modification.

It's good to have an identifier on your possessions so if and when police recover it, you can claim it as yours.

I had some tools, slip tanks, jerry cans, propane bottles, etc stolen a few years back. Without an identifier on items, it was a waste of time reporting and listing the items stolen. I have engraved my drivers licence on a lot of tools, TV, laptop, slip tanks, jerry cans, holiday trailer etc. I think it is a significant deterrent. Property is hard to hock, and thieves don't want to get caught with identifiable property in their possession. Police can identify property as stolen property and where it was stolen from.
 

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Mr. Palmer., I may be crazy, but I will still pass.

Never had a hive stolen that we know of.

Crazy Roland
 

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Mr. Palmer., I may be crazy, but I will still pass.

Never had a hive stolen that we know of.

Crazy Roland
Perhaps I'm wrong, but aren't most of the hive thefts taking place on the West Coast of the USA?

I've never heard of anything happening in this part of the state of PA - but Bears are a clear and present danger.
 
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