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Two hives stolen Malmesbury

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I don’t think the police would waste their time with it unfortunately. You’d probably receive a “sorry you’ve been the victim of a crime” letter and that would be it. They’re too busy defending minorities these days.....

oops! well it is the season of lighting blue touch paper and all that....
 

Hachi 

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I dont think these thefts are necessarily opportunistic. Almost certainly other thieving scumbag beeks and the objective of the theft therefore has to be the bees as eqpt can be made relatively cheaply with basic tools and eqpt. So what, the MO is almost certainly, nick the beehives and move to remote area, remove bees and frames to waiting boxes and destroy original boxes. Branding is no deterrent. 9 times out of 10 the cops won't even turn up to a house burglary they just issue a crime number for insurance purposes let alone the theft of bee hives.

The most sensible deterrent is to keep them well away from public roads, rights of way by keeping them where they can't be seen. Stick them next to a means of easy access and you're just asking for it.

Out of interest, does any Police force record beehive theft as a rural crime when they're nicked from farms does anyone know?
 

Antipodes 

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I dont think these thefts are necessarily opportunistic. Almost certainly other thieving scumbag beeks and the objective of the theft therefore has to be the bees as eqpt can be made relatively cheaply with basic tools and eqpt. So what, the MO is almost certainly, nick the beehives and move to remote area, remove bees and frames to waiting boxes and destroy original boxes. Branding is no deterrent. 9 times out of 10 the cops won't even turn up to a house burglary they just issue a crime number for insurance purposes let alone the theft of bee hives.

The most sensible deterrent is to keep them well away from public roads, rights of way by keeping them where they can't be seen. Stick them next to a means of easy access and you're just asking for it.

Out of interest, does any Police force record beehive theft as a rural crime when they're nicked from farms does anyone know?
I accept that the bees are important, but it's not just the bees that they are necessarily always after, as I've known a case here where the beekeeper recognised the hives some time after the theft. As to branding, I brand my frames too, as well as all the boxes, inside and out. It only takes a few minutes and I think it is a deterrent. One issue here is that to get some types of honey, the hives must be sited on the side of public roads. Virtually on the road itself.
 

Moobee 

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Oh gosh. I’m planning to move my existing hive and add two more to an out apiary in the next month or so. It’s in a field next to the road into our village. The hives will be behind a laurel hedge and we are going to put a mesh fence around them once the ground is cleared.
So, is it best that they are tucked away and not very visible so no one knows they are there or is it best that people can see them on the premise that a thief wouldn’t attempt to steal them in full view? Access to the field is via a locked and chained gate.
 

ericbeaumont 

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I realised that the site was no longer a safe place to keep bees
We've all been there and the point is worth repeating: choose apiaries that are truly out of sight.

Heard of 30-odd nucs taken a couple of years from a deeply rural Essex field; problem was they were visible from the M11 a long way away, but not far enough to prevent ID by a passing van.

Would have helped if they'd been painted to submerge into the background: the military use this sort of green for a reason but it's surprising how many beekeepers like to use colour.
 
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Apple 

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Oh gosh. I’m planning to move my existing hive and add two more to an out apiary in the next month or so. It’s in a field next to the road into our village. The hives will be behind a laurel hedge and we are going to put a mesh fence around them once the ground is cleared.
So, is it best that they are tucked away and not very visible so no one knows they are there or is it best that people can see them on the premise that a thief wouldn’t attempt to steal them in full view? Access to the field is via a locked and chained gate.
Had an apiary in Surrey some years ago.... pikeys stole the gates... three times!
This was at the end of a green lane with no through route and well away from public view.
Police informed the land owner that portable disc grinders were commonly stolen as well!
Hive roofs had been removed, but no hives were ever taken!
 

Erichalfbee 

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Oh gosh. I’m planning to move my existing hive and add two more to an out apiary in the next month or so. It’s in a field next to the road into our village. The hives will be behind a laurel hedge and we are going to put a mesh fence around them once the ground is cleared.
So, is it best that they are tucked away and not very visible so no one knows they are there or is it best that people can see them on the premise that a thief wouldn’t attempt to steal them in full view? Access to the field is via a locked and chained gate.
Honestly?
I wouldn’t move them there at all unless you can hide them completely and hide the fact that you ever work on them.
 

ericbeaumont 

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So, is it best that they are tucked away and not very visible so no one knows they are there or is it best that people can see them on the premise that a thief wouldn’t attempt to steal them in full view? Access to the field is via a locked and chained gate.
It could be argued that painting hives bright colours for a heather hillside would allow neighbouring farms to keep eyes on them, but subterfuge colours work better for me, even on metal hive roofs, which otherwise can be spotted easily from Google Earth.

I don't reckon a padlock and chain will stop thieves; if you want real security, try the solar farms over near Ham and Upper Norton. They like to tick the environmental box and you might in time persuade them to convert the site to wildflowers.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Oh gosh. I’m planning to move my existing hive and add two more to an out apiary in the next month or so. It’s in a field next to the road into our village. The hives will be behind a laurel hedge and we are going to put a mesh fence around them once the ground is cleared.
So, is it best that they are tucked away and not very visible so no one knows they are there or is it best that people can see them on the premise that a thief wouldn’t attempt to steal them in full view? Access to the field is via a locked and chained gate.
Locked and chained until the first bolt cropper or rechargeable grinder goes to work!
 

Hachi 

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I accept that the bees are important, but it's not just the bees that they are necessarily always after, as I've known a case here where the beekeeper recognised the hives some time after the theft. As to branding, I brand my frames too, as well as all the boxes, inside and out. It only takes a few minutes and I think it is a deterrent. One issue here is that to get some types of honey, the hives must be sited on the side of public roads. Virtually on the road itself.
Perhaps it would help to understand our bee colony's. They cannot talk, get them past the 3 mile limit and they become "almost bolted" to their current location. DNA profiling is cost prohibitive so therefore, to execute the perfect crime, get the little darlings more than 3 miles away and ditch the home for a new one. This is then the perfect crime, totally unsolvable.

I'm sure if people think it a good idea and find it a comfort to brand then they can always do it. Whether it acts, or not, as a deterrent here in the UK is another thing entirely. Just the bee colony's themselves can cost over AUS$800 per hive in the UK which means nicking them is a very cost effective means of affording to be a beekeeper or; profiteering by selling what you have stolen. Far more lucrative than relying on a honey crop or some such thing. Probably more so, if an individual's bee keeping abilities are far less advanced than the individual thinks they are.
 

Antipodes 

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Perhaps it would help to understand our bee colony's. They cannot talk, get them past the 3 mile limit and they become "almost bolted" to their current location. DNA profiling is cost prohibitive so therefore, to execute the perfect crime, get the little darlings more than 3 miles away and ditch the home for a new one. This is then the perfect crime, totally unsolvable.

I'm sure if people think it a good idea and find it a comfort to brand then they can always do it. Whether it acts, or not, as a deterrent here in the UK is another thing entirely. Just the bee colony's themselves can cost over AUS$800 per hive in the UK which means nicking them is a very cost effective means of affording to be a beekeeper or; profiteering by selling what you have stolen. Far more lucrative than relying on a honey crop or some such thing. Probably more so, if an individual's bee keeping abilities are far less advanced than the individual thinks they are.

New Zealand is the place where beehive theft is big. If you can read the article within the link from the newspaper, you can see that there was a decent altercation when the hives were found with the offenders. NZ had 400 thefts in a six months period a while back.


I also read an article where some beekeepers in NZ are arming themselves before visiting sites, and certainly not going in alone. One thing in NZ and here in Tas is that there is often no mobile phone coverage where the hives are located, so some of the alarm systems wont work.
 

Somerford 

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New Zealand is the place where beehive theft is big. If you can read the article within the link from the newspaper, you can see that there was a decent altercation when the hives were found with the offenders. NZ had 400 thefts in a six months period a while back.


I also read an article where some beekeepers in NZ are arming themselves before visiting sites, and certainly not going in alone. One thing in NZ and here in Tas is that there is often no mobile phone coverage where the hives are located, so some of the alarm systems wont work.
I guess taking a shovel too to bury the evidence....
 

Antipodes 

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I believe we have quite a few police officers on the forum. It would be interesting and helpful for some suggestions or comments.
 

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