Bee Owners Beware: Hive Theft is On the Rise

One Texas man had $90,000 worth of bees stolen.

By Alexandra HartJanuary 16, 2017 12:47 pm

In December, a farmer in Manvel, Texas reported $90,000 worth of bees had been stolen from his ranch, and he’s still looking for answers.

The California beekeeping industry has been hit hard over the past few years by large-scale bee thefts. And now, it appears the crime is spreading to the Lone Star State.

Gene Brandi, president of the American Beekeeping Federation, says bee rustling is a growing problem.

“Bee thefts, or bee rustling … have been going on for quite some time,” he says. “But it has grown somewhat primarily in my opinion because of the value of beehives for almond pollination out here in California. which happens every February and March.”

California gets over 90 percent of the nation’s available managed commercial beehives in California each year. If a beekeeper in Texas lost bees to theft, Brandi says it’s very likely that they will be moved to California

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How the bees are transported from Texas to California

– Why the stolen beehives aren’t stopped at border checkpoints

– How much a beehive costs