Beekeepers and growers alike are gearing up for pollination time in orchards. Unfortunately, so are criminals. The California State Beekeepers Association (CSBA) has received several reports of hive theft already this season from Mendocino to Kern counties. The association notes several thefts are reported every year.
One hundred and forty-four hives were reported stolen from a farm north of Bakersfield on January 29. The hives are marked with a “T & D Honey” stencil. 160 double deep white hives on pallets with a “Browning’s Honey” stencil were reported stolen from an orchard in Madera County. And 384 hives were reported stolen in Hopland. Those hives have since been recovered with other stolen equipment. Updates on stollen hives and what to look out for can be found on the CSBA website.
CSBA is reminding growers they can assist in deterring the crime and the recovery of stolen hives. As bees are delivered to orchards for the upcoming bloom, growers are asked to make sure the hives belong to the company they are working with. Most hives have identifying names or markers on the boxes. CSBA added if growers suspect an issue to call their local authorities or Jay Freeman at 530-514-3018. More information on preventing hive theft can be found here.
– Almond Board of California
Photo: Joseph Taylor