Incidents of bee thefts on the rise
Stealing honeybees may sound an awry joke but incidents of bee thefts are increasing across the United States as the payoff for a successful heist could be lucratively high.
It is definitely not a convenient thing to steal bees, but lack of security out in the field has increasingly been attracting thieves as it takes them just a few minutes to make easy money. As there is rarely enough security in the bee farms, using just a veil and pair of gloves, a thief can easily steal beehives. A dozen of beehives are being sold for around $2000.
In summer last year, in Abbotsford, thieves stole 500,000 bees and 3,600 kilograms of honey, worth around $100,000, in a single overnight heist. In Ontario this summer, two bee thefts took place, leaving the owners with losses of more than $3,000. In Wales, commercial beekeepers have reported more than twelve thefts so far this year. In the state of California, a bee owner has announced a reward of $10,000 for the return of 80 of his stolen hives.
Allred was the first person in California to be sentenced to prison in 1977 for stealing $10,000 worth of bee. He had used two stolen trucks to commit the crime. He was slapped with a jail term of at least three years and served more than six.
Even police admits that in most cases, they can do little to solve bee thefts because even the owner cannot identify bees once they are stolen.
Constable Hannah of the Ontario Provincial Police said, "How do you even know what to look for? I don't think you can identify the bees once they've been stolen. They aren't an animal that would have a tracking device and I don't think we have DNA on file anywhere. Once they're gone, they're gone."
However, custom-made hive boxes can be identified and thus recovered. A typical hive can contain 30,000 to 80,000 bees.
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