Hive Thefts

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BeeMade 

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I've searched this forum as best I can but don't find a thread addressing the theft of hives and preventing such losses. So, thought I would see what the thoughts are out there on how to deter low-life crooks from stealing hives.

Any ideas? Any experiences with someone stealing your hives and lessons learned? I have a couple of ideas but would like to hear from others.

Thanks!
 

Ian123 

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It does happen and would say it’s on the increase but got to say I still think it’s rather unusual. Not that that helps much if it happens to you. As far as I am concerned a decent spot out of general site is the best prevention and a first basic step. Some hives got stolen close to some of mine last year but the beek had sited them in view of a major dual carriageway. To be honest I am surprised they lasted as long as they did!!
 
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madasafish 

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My hives are hidden from casual passers by and I wear camo/grey suits/jackets to avoid raising attention to them...

In my opinion wearing white is an invitation to thieves and vandals and is unneccessary.
 

oxnatbees 

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I know of one case where hives on a University campus had the bees taken (the thief left the hives). When this was discovered, they realised the hives were covered by CCTV, so the recording was reviewed. However all it showed was a bloke, at night, in a bee suit - which hid his face The lesson here is probably that if you use CCTV, it will be most useful if it can record the license plate of the vehicle used.

Hive theft is rare in the UK because, I think, there isn't much money in beekeeping here. You would be better asking on a New Zealand forum: hive crime is at serious levels there because of Manuka profits.
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
I'm not so sure, especially as nucs this year are averaging >£200 each. We might see a considerable increase.

I'd agree that most thefts seem to have an element of opportunism about them i.e hives visible from roads and footpaths etc. Couple this with it being quite difficult to provide comprehensive hive security by using chains etc means careful consideration of their location comes to the fore.
 

Bee Boys 

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L

I'd agree that most thefts seem to have an element of opportunism about them i.e hives visible from roads and footpaths etc. Couple this with it being quite difficult to provide comprehensive hive security by using chains etc means careful consideration of their location comes to the fore.
Has any one on here tried bee hive trackers?
 

Newbeeneil 

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Has any one on here tried bee hive trackers?
I have a tracker that lives in a hive which can track and also texts me if it's moved or disturbed. If I set it to tracking mode it runs out of battery within about 6 hours. If I set it to notify me if it's moved I can then set it to track remotely which means the battery lasts several days. I have a cheap rechargable battery that in theory would give me several weeks but I've not yet got it to work correctly.......
Work in progress 😊
 

Bee Boys 

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I have a tracker that lives in a hive which can track and also texts me if it's moved or disturbed. If I set it to tracking mode it runs out of battery within about 6 hours. If I set it to notify me if it's moved I can then set it to track remotely which means the battery lasts several days. I have a cheap rechargable battery that in theory would give me several weeks but I've not yet got it to work correctly.......
Work in progress 😊
If you do not mind me asking, what did you pay for the tracker, ans where did you get it from?
Thank you.
 

Wingy 

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I make my own floors and as such they are all bolted to the base that my hives are sat on, a bit of a pain if I want to move the hives but I have a way, If anyone straps my hive up and tries to lift it they have no chance, if enough force is used to lift it the floor will break in two - not what a thief wants.
 

Newbeeneil 

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If you do not mind me asking, what did you pay for the tracker, ans where did you get it from?
Thank you.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Veh...360640&hash=item5d8d0d2066:g:DScAAOSwooFd-yNd

This is the one I have, I bought it a couple of years ago and have used it successfully but as I said it's the battery life that's a problem. It has a USB connector so should just plug into a rechargable power bank but I can't get it to start drawing power from the bank when the on board battery dies.
You use a pay as you go SIM card and since warnings are texts it lasts quite a while.
I see now they have even small ones on eBay at a fraction of the price..... I might get one to play with.:)
 

Murox 

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Although opportunism may play a small part in the theft of hives, I suspect most would be thieves will be prepared with straps and at least a basic suit and a red torch. There is no doubt that thoughtful positioning/siting of the hive plays a significant part of antitheft measures. Something with a high deterrent value coupled with a “make it difficult” mentality must help?
I think any theft is nearly always going to involve a motor vehicle of some sort so ensuring all possible vehicular access points are covered by covert, maybe overt, CCTV aimed at recording licence plates (game trail cameras?) in particular might help in recovery/prosecution (but not as antitheft.).
Do dummy cameras and CCTV signs deter anymore? Or do they advertise that there is something of value around ? Or do any of us even notice those signs anymore ? Tracking devices will only help for recovery, if the power source/phone signal works/lasts.
 

Newbeeneil 

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I also spray my name on all my woodwork, including frames with the colour of that years queen colour, which would mean that identification of the gear would be easier should it be stolen. It would take a while to dump/burn all the frames and transfer the bees.
 

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Antipodes 

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Along the same vein as Newbeneil, there is a fair bit of branding of hives here with names and numbers, as well as branding of frames within the hives. Each box would need a brand and probably each frame. Hives are also frequently painted with registration numbers and names. There are also some legislative requirements about the displaying numbers and names on hives, but they vary depending on which State you are in. Here in Tas, lack of mobile phone coverage due to remoteness is an issue from what I understand, for at least some hive tracking devices.
 

tonyofarr 

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One Spring a friend of ours found that someone had raided an apiary and taken the bees and the 6 frames that they were on from each of his hives. The frames were not marked, but even if they had been I don't expect it would have helped him get his bees back; the local police were not interested at all.

Does anyone know whether there has ever been a successful prosecution for bee thefts in the UK, or if a beek has ever got their stolen bees/hives back?
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
When I say opportunist, I mean poorly sited hives that can be seen from a road or public rights of way giving the theiving scum the ability to be quick when stealing the hive's. Simply siting hives so that they can't be seen from roads or public rights of way contributes significantly to hive security. I've found, when someone finds out you're a beekeeper, they almost fall over themselves to tell you where they've seen beehives close to and in sight of roads or paths.
 
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Antipodes 

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I'm not really sure how it works in the UK, but here hives are generally placed on the sides of public roads in the forests during the nectar flow, in small cleared areas. They are almost on the roadway proper. There are no fences and mostly ungated roads and anyone can drive to them. I'm talking thousands of hives. It's a trust based approach for sure.
 

Murox 

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Tracking device with claimed (up to) 5 years battery life:

https://go.getxyfindit.io/home/UK/x-22/

Maybe suited to beehive security?
Could be ideal in some situations - however
– Standing within 300 feet of your lost item? The XY Find It App will tell you the EXACT COORDINATES of where your item is. (Perfect for when you can’t find your wallet or keys around the house or your car in a parking lot.) BUT - your item farther away than 300 feet? When another XY Find It user crosses paths with your lost item, their app will pick up your device’s signal and notify you of its location on a map so you can instantly track it down. (Helpful in certain instances when your car might get stolen, you lose your luggage at the airport, or your dog runs away.) It could work, easily embedded in poly.
 

roche 

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Tracking device with claimed (up to) 5 years battery life:

https://go.getxyfindit.io/home/UK/x-22/

Maybe suited to beehive security?
Battery life - not necessarily charge duration.
Seems to use bluetooth, which has a very limited range - so if the hive ends up somewhere where people do not pass closely, it would not report the position. It looks like it relies on a phone for location and wide area comms. Overall I don't think it would work that well for hive tracking
 
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