Eight bee hives stolen from Huntly

The hives are worth a total of $4000.

The hives are worth a total of $4000.

Police are looking for the people or person responsible for taking $4000 worth of bees from an address in Huntly.

The hives were dropped off in a paddock in Glen Murray on May 25, but when the owner went back to pick them up two weeks later, they were gone.

Huntly police said the eight bee hives were worth $500 each but could not confirm if there were bees inside them at the time.

Huntly police ask for any information on the whereabouts of the stolen bee hives.

Huntly police ask for any information on the whereabouts of the stolen bee hives.

Waikato president of the National Beekeepers Association of New Zealand, Cameron Martin, said for that price, he would hope there were bees in them.

"If anyone was really wanting to pinch anything of value and knew there were no bees in them, they wouldn't waste their time," he said.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first tale of bee hive thefts. A Taranaki beekeeper lost thousands of dollars in honey and hives in April and blamed the increasingly cut-throat nature of the industry.

"There's been an increase in the popularity of beekeeping in New Zealand," said Martin. "The high end manuka honey is fetching pretty good prices and if people are wanting a source of bees to capture that in the following season, it saves them having to do the hard work themselves." 

If the thief or thieves weren't experienced, they could have suffered plenty of stings while trying to move the bees. At this time of year, there could be anywhere between 20,000-30,000 bees per hive.

"If they were experienced people they would definitely know how to calm the bees down and transport them. The bees will come out of the entrance very quickly and at night time, they'll use any cracks or holes."

During the day, the bees would swarm and fly around the hive, attacking the disturber, but at night they will crawl out and all over the person carrying it.

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"You'd hope they wouldn't let the bees starve or get diseases, which could pose a problem for the neighbouring bee hives in the area," said Martin. "With the right equipment, it would only take two people, if they were fast, about 10 minutes to take eight hives."

If anyone has information, seen any suspicious behaviour in the area, or has a friend or neighbour who has eight new bee hives, contact the Huntly police station on (07) 828 7560.

 - Stuff


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