North Okanagan beekeeper stung by theft of 30 hives - InfoNews

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North Okanagan beekeeper stung by theft of 30 hives

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Okanagan Honey Company
May 19, 2020 - 11:30 AM

In what is believed to be a carefully planned heist, a North Okanagan beekeeper has had 30 hives stolen from their Armstrong area property.

Professional apiarist Doug Gordon, who owns and runs the Okanagan Honey Company, said the theft took place overnight late last week and was certainly conducted by someone who knew what they were doing.

Gordon said he lost 30 small hives each containing about 20,000 bees, with a total value of roughly $9,000. The hives went missing sometime between May 14 or 15.

"They definitely knew what they were doing," Gordon said. "It was not a crime of opportunity."

"I would suspect they either already had the sale lined up, and it maybe went to Alberta or down to the coast," he said. "Maybe they kept the bees themselves."

Although the hives were full of bees, Gordon said at night the bees would be dormant and wouldn't be flying around the hive.

While stealing beehives may sound rather brazen and risky, the beekeeper has had other hives stolen over the last couple of years. Often the thefts of one or two hives go unnoticed and are put down to an accounting error, he said.

Gordon said beekeepers are used to losing hives to bad weather and pesticide kill but losing these hives feels more personal. He has put cameras up at the property and is taking extra security measures.

"I'm literally sleeping in the bee yard right now, I'm watching the flock for another couple of weeks until the order goes out because I can't take any more."

Anyone with any information should contact the RCMP.

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