Hive thefts rise forward of almond bloom
- BY JOHN COX firstname.lastname@example.org
Thieves stole 144 bee hives within the Wasco space this weekend, two weeks earlier than the bloom is predicted to start in a lot of the Central Valley.
- Picture courtesy of Industrial Beekeepers
Bee rustlers are again — simply in time for the almond bloom, naturally — and with them have come rising considerations that the annual uptick in stolen hives isn’t bettering and could also be getting worse.
100 forty-four hives have been stolen within the Wasco space simply this weekend, two full weeks earlier than the bloom is predicted to start in a lot of the Central Valley. Thieves have since taken 384 extra colonies in Mendocino County.
Bee theft occurs to some extent yearly currently, and it has prompted a brand new stage of coordination amongst beekeepers. In some circumstances, they’re insisting almond growers tackle some duty for safeguarding bee colonies positioned of their orchards.
“It’s such a disgrace that we now have to cope with this when going through so many different obstacles within the ag business,” Affiliate Director Brooke Palmer of the California State Beekeepers Affiliation mentioned by e-mail Wednesday.
She famous colonies of bees, or hives, are renting for about $190 to $215 every this 12 months forward of the Central Valley almond pollination anticipated to start out round Feb. 12 and run by way of the primary week in March.
Colonies rented for not more than $40 apiece 20 years in the past. Their run-up in costs speaks to elements together with drought, colony die-offs and better bee-feeding prices, to not point out the pattern of extra almond timber being planted that want pollination.
Beekeeper Ryan Maxwell with T&D Honey, the South Dakota firm whose hives have been stolen over the weekend close to Wasco, mentioned Wednesday the detectives he spoke with in regards to the crime indicated the issue of hive theft is changing into extra problematic. However he was optimistic folks on the Kern County Sheriff’s Workplace have been on the case.
“They’re doing extra than simply paperwork, and I admire that,” Maxwell mentioned, including that the 144 hives stolen characterize 12 p.c of the corporate’s enterprise.
KCSO Public Info Officer Danielle Kernkamp confirmed the company is investigating Maxwell’s case. She expressed concern in regards to the price of thefts reported to this point this 12 months.
“It has been a giant drawback for us already this 12 months across the county,” she mentioned. “If anybody has data on this, please give KCSO a name.”
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