Stolen research beehive had no honey

One of 30 beehives used for research was stolen from a Ngaruawahia property on Friday morning.
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One of 30 beehives used for research was stolen from a Ngaruawahia property on Friday morning.

Sticky fingered thieves have been with left with no honey money.

Plant and Food Research are looking for their beehive which was one of 30 involved in a study to produce healthier bees but was stolen on Friday morning from a Ngaruawahia property. 

It's likely the offenders thought they were taking a manuka honey hive.

"Because of manuka honey being so expensive they think they can take the honey and magically sell it. Fools on them as these hives don't have any honey in them due to them being research hives," Sarah Cross, a Research associate said. 

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"It's not even the season for honey, with the normal honey harvest being after Christmas." 

The thieves were disrupted while trying to bundle the hive into their vehicle on Hakarimata Road. 

"They have taken a beehive which is three boxes high, so they had manhandled this massive hive over the locked gate then over into their vehicle. They had  blocked up the bottom of two more hives, where the bees come out, with items of clothing."

The study is about bee health and the bacteria that is in their gut that is shortening their life cycle. Sick bees can mean a 10-30 per cent reduction in honey. So the study is to try and help the bees get rid of the bacteria and get healthier. 

"It's really annoying as here we are doing research to try and help all the beekeepers in New Zealand and the world and someone comes and steals it." 

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Cross definitely wants the hive back as it takes a lot of work to do what they do so all their work is very important. 

"Ngaruawahia is a small community and we do look after each other, so I am hoping someone suddenly notices a beehive that wasn't in their neighbour's backyard yesterday. 

"We don't make manuka honey, it's about science, we aren't rich honey makers."

Police are attempting to get DNA off the old T-shirt and balaclava used to block the other hives. 

Given the size of the hives, it was at least a two-person job.

 

 - Waikato Times

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