On 02/14/2016 a beehive theft was reported at Kamm Avenue and Clovis Avenue in Fresno County. The owner of the bees said 20 wooden pallets that contained 80 hives were stolen. The hives were said to be painted white and light blue, with word “Marquette” branded on some of the boxes. The beehives had a total value of $20,000.
On 01/23/2016 a beehive theft was reported at Excelsior Avenue and Marks Avenue in Fresno County. The owner of the bees said 55 full hives were stolen along with parts from 45 other hives. The owner of the bees valued the loss at $17,500.
MTS Beekeeping had 207 beehives stolen from a field in Pleasant Grove near the 70/90 split north or Sacramento. The hives were last seen on Saturday Feb 6th and noticed missing on Monday the 8th. The hives are on half pallets and the handles are screwed on and are not engraved into the boxes. There could be fresh paint covering the logo on the side or fresh paint around the hives. The loader used for the theft was on tracks instead of the standard center bend forklift on wheels. This means a Bobcat on tracks with forks may have been used. There is a reward of $2000 being offered personally by this beekeeper. He is not a CSBA member and so will not be eligible for the CSBA award. Please contact the CSBA with any information you may have and we will pass it along to the appropriate parties.
About 250 hives were stolen between Elk Grove and Galt around Feb 12th. There were some scattered frames and boxes left at the yard as if the thief may have switched out some frames into different boxes on the back of truck to not look suspicious he drove down the road. There are a few brands to look for: VHC, MHC, 12-164, E&M. The name “Valley Honey Company” along with a phone number is stenciled on the sides of some of the boxes. They are 10-frame double deeps on pallets.
29 hives were stolen from a bee yard near Lincoln, CA, on December 28th. All hives were 10-frame on pallets, painted white and stenciled with name and phone number. Some of the equipment was branded #31-53. Please contact the CSBA immediately with any information.
122 hives were stolen the night of February 9th from PG&E property near Hwy 99 and Hwy 162 in Butte County. The hives are branded with “STBaker”. The beekeeper who owns these hives is not a member of the CSBA and therefore the CSBA reward does not apply. However, catching the thief responsible may lead to the discovery of stolen CSBA hives, which could make the informer eligible for the reward. Additionally, the CSBA would like to assist in the location of all stolen hives, not just those of our members. Please contact us immediately with any information.
Another hive theft has occurred near Kern County within sight of I-5. The thieves are getting bolder and we all must be vigilant. The theft occurred around January 26-27th, 2016. The hives are branded with CA0330333H. This theft may or may not be related to the last major theft (see below).
Hive Description: All hives are 10 frames. The hives are made of a deep super with a 6 5/8 shallow on top. The hives are painted silver and have internal feeders and a mixture of wooden and plastic frames. The hives are on pallets with the entrances all facing the same direction. The lids, boxes and most of the frames are branded with CA0330333H. The bees are Italians with cordovan (light-colored and reddish) genetics. Pictures will soon follow.
If you are around any bee hives you are unfamiliar with, don’t hesitate to look for brand numbers. Thieves often times switch the frames into different boxes to avoid being caught so be aware that the outside appearance of the hive may not match the description. If you see any frames with the CA0330333H brand on them, they are from stolen hives and you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately to report the information.
240 hives were stolen near Colusa, CA around January 25-26th, 2016. All boxes, lids, frames and pallets are branded with 42-14. Please take a careful look at the picture and if you see hives that fit the description, don’t hesitate to check for brand numbers and call the Sheriff’s department. You can also email us at email@example.com and we can pass along the information for you. These hives could easily be anywhere in California by now. It is very likely that the hives will be destroyed after pollination season to cover up the crime. In the interest of saving these bees, it is critical we all do our part to locate these hives.
Description: All the hives are 10-frame double deeps. The boxes are branded on the top cleats. The pallets have metal on the corners. Some of the feed cans and boxes were taken as well. The feed cans are painted green and slightly rusty. The feed can boxes are branded too and most of them hold 8 cans (some may hold 4). The bees are Italian and have Cordovan genetics (most will appear light colored and/or slightly reddish).
Location: The hives were taken from 2 yards, both located north of Colusa on the east side of the river. One yard was about 2 miles from the river and the other about 3 miles from the river.
Thief Description: Based on the tracks, it looks like a bee forklift was used to move the hives. The trucks appear to have dual tires. It is suspected that either 2 big trucks or 3 smaller trucks were used to move the hives.
Please share this information with your club, almond grower and in your community. Hive theft is a growing problem and we all need to keep an eye out for each other. Thank you for helping in this effort.