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A little bit of Bee News

Here a piece of bee news, but its obviously not the sort of news that bee keepers will be wanting to hear.

Thieving swines.

The theft of Bee colonies is becoming an increasing problem here in East Anglia.

According to my friend and (beekeeping mentor) Keith, only about 10% of bee thefts are actually being reported, mainly because they are remote hives that are being targeted that are possibly only visited once per week or less, and so the chance of catching the perpetrators is virtually nil.

I can understand the demand for wanting to purchase established bee colonies after the recent high rates of losses. But Keith and I (under Keith's direct instruction) have now between us captured over 10 early swarms in well positioned Nuc boxes and baited bee traps in the last month alone. Keith seems to be able to catch a swarm almost as quickly as I can make the Nuc boxes and traps for him.

However, these captured swarms will need to be re-Queened and settled for at least a few weeks before we can sell them on, and then they need to establish themselves before any honey and wax can be harvested......... Just like all other areas and aspects of life the theft and then the sale of the item is the quickest and easiest route to take.

I suppose that it's inevitable that scumbags will try to cash in on the shortage of bees and the high prices they currently command. What is sad is that it can't be just some chav off the street that's doing this. You need certain equipment and protection and the knowledge how to handle bees which means this is very likely beekeepers stealing from other beekeepers. Plus it would be suspicious indeed for someone who obviously wasn't a beekeeper to be offering bees fro sale.

Gareth - this makes for very interesting reading.
Ive lost 2 of my 3 colonies and have arranged to buy a nuc from a chap down West.  These will be black bees so Im looking forward to getting them , especially as the chap is very knowledgeable.
We are being quoted 190 a nuc locally (ie within Devon & Cornwall) and Im just not prepared to pay this.
Ive been looking at John building some nuc boxes so we can try and produce some replacement colonies - do you have any plans?

Also, although on the lookout for swarms, I think we are too early yet over here....

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