Beekeepers advise tighter security to protect hives from theft and vandalism
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Brad Poile was met with an disagreeable post-Christmas shock when checking his beehives within the Benandarah State Forest, simply north of Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast, final month.
- Mr Poile says he’ll resort to tighter safety after the hives had been stolen
- Beekeepers are being suggested so as to add GPS trackers and cameras to their hives
- The NSW Apiarists’ Affiliation says hive thefts pose a biosecurity hazard
Anticipating to seek out a number of containers of hives side-by-side, he as an alternative discovered they’d been ransacked, and 7 hives had been lacking.
The Nelligen beekeeper stated the theft was a “kick within the enamel” after attempting to rebuild his hives following the 2019-20 Black Summer time bushfires.
“It has been a tough three years to construct up from … 12 hives post-fires for that to occur,” Mr Poile stated.
As a third-generation beekeeper, his household had by no means been confronted with a theft fairly like this earlier than the place somebody has “taken the whole lot that they may get their fingers on”.
The NSW South Coast police district has deployed its rural crime prevention staff to analyze the theft, which is believed to have occurred someday in mid-December.
With yard beekeeping a rising development amongst members of the general public, Mr Poile stated thefts like this might change into extra widespread.
For that reason, he stated he would discover tighter safety choices for his hives.
Microchips, CCTV to trace hives
The president of the Southern Tablelands department of the NSW Apiarists’ Affiliation, Laurie Kershaw, stated he had additionally had hives stolen and even vandalised.
“Folks vandalise the bees by operating over them with four-wheel drives, or simply tipping them over,” he stated.
Mr Kershaw suggested beekeepers to spend money on tighter safety measures resembling GPS trackers that may be added to hives and CCTV on non-public properties to observe for thefts.
Based on Mr Kershaw, using safety know-how is rising amongst beekeepers.
“You set a microchip contained in the beehive and the sign might be picked up by your cell phone and if that beehive strikes, say, 6 or 7 inches from its location, you possibly can see that somebody’s even tampering along with your bees,” he stated.
Hive theft may enhance varroa mite danger
Laurie Kershaw warned that stealing hives posed a critical biosecurity hazard on account of menace of the parasitic varroa mite.
All actions of beehives should presently be reported to the NSW Division of Major Industries (NSW DPI) to regulate the unfold.
“Stolen bees can cross state borders with out NSW DPI understanding and so they may cart varroa with them,” Mr Kershaw stated.
Anybody with details about beehive thefts can contact their native police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.