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$170K in Stolen Bees Recovered in 'Sting'

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jnelsoninjax    14,281

 (Newser) – A Montana beekeeper has recovered hives that were stolen from him in California, thanks to what the AP is calling an agricultural "sting" operation. Lloyd Cunniff of Choteau reported 488 hives stolen in January, after he had transported them to California for the almond pollination season. A tip led Fresno County authorities to find stolen hives worth $170,000 in a rented bee nursery space, a cow pasture, and hidden in a drainage along a freeway.

Fresno County Detective Anders Solis, a member of the county's agriculture crimes task force, says there were 10 victims in seven California counties in all. Bee theft is "kind of new to us, too. This has been going on for about three years," he says. Cunniff got most of his bees back last Sunday, reports the Great Falls Tribune. He says he is keeping the recovered hives in a separate field in case they are infected with disease or mites. (Yes, stealing thousands of dollars worth of bees is apparently a thing.)

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Jim K    15,481

So ... $170K in bees from 488 hives ... $348 per hive ... in case anyone wants to start their own beesiness.  I'm sure the owner is happy that he got his hives back ... though they need to catch the desbeecable thieves before they buzz off with more hives.

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T3X4S    4,533
1 minute ago, Jim K said:

So ... $170K in bees from 488 hives ... $348 per hive ... in case anyone wants to start their own beesiness.  I'm sure the owner is happy that he got his hives back ... though they need to catch the desbeecable thieves before they buzz off with more hives.

I bee what your did there.

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jnelsoninjax    14,281

OK you 2, have a bee-r! :D:beer:

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Jim K    15,481

...but seriously ... how do you steal 488 hives?  I can see a few dozen ... but 488?  What do you do with them afterwards?  Granted, my knowledge in this area is lacking ... but still.  I would put this right up there with the bridge that got stolen about 5 years ago in New Castle, PA.  

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+warwagon    13,867

 

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DocM    16,865
11 hours ago, Jim K said:

...but seriously ... how do you steal 488 hives?  I can see a few dozen ... but 488?  What do you do with them afterwards?  Granted, my knowledge in this area is lacking ... but still.  I would put this right up there with the bridge that got stolen about 5 years ago in New Castle, PA.  

You sell or lease them!!  

 

Farmers etc. pay damn good money to buy or host pollinators for use on their properties, and there's a thriving mail order business which sells colonies to private beekeepers.  Bumblebees are in particular demand in some areas because they visit 2-3x as many flowers/minute and, because of their size, can carry heavier loads of pollen and are more likely to pollinate a flower on any given visit.

 

Disclosure: a daughter in law is a commercial beekeeper, raising bumblebee queens and hives.

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PGHammer    1,742
On 5/15/2017 at 9:42 AM, DocM said:

You sell or lease them!!  

 

Farmers etc. pay damn good money to buy or host pollinators for use on their properties, and there's a thriving mail order business which sells colonies to private beekeepers.  Bumblebees are in particular demand in some areas because they visit 2-3x as many flowers/minute and, because of their size, can carry heavier loads of pollen and are more likely to pollinate a flower on any given visit.

 

Disclosure: a daughter in law is a commercial beekeeper, raising bumblebee queens and hives.

If you grow hybrid fruits (such as apples and peaches), you NEED pollinators (such as bees).  I shudder to think of the demand for bees in *Virginia*.  (Why Virginia?  Virginia grows apples, peaches, grapes, etc.; and that is just for jellies, jams, preserves juices, etc.)  I don't live in Virginia; I live in a neighboring state.  (Before COVID-19, I went to "roadside stands" in Virginia and West Virginia - you can find them on US 11, 15, 340 (including where the two US routes duplex - such as between Frederick, MD and Charles Town, WV.)  A byproduct of apiaries (where bees reside) is (naturally) honey.  Apiaries are among the most prevalent small businesses in several states (and I'm talking just locally - from North Carolina to New Jersey).  My father (when he was alive) raised bees (not as a business - but because we also grew fruit for personal use).  How many folks grow fruit - for PERSONAL consumption?  If you grow fruit, you need pollinators - bees, that is.  This sort of *sting* is not the sort that you would expect when dealing with bees; instead, you expect the LITERAL sort (which I have gotten more than once when my dad had his apiaries - more than one); however, I get the why stings of THIS sort - as opposed to the more expected - and literal - sort - happen.

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DocM    16,865

Our farm had a small orchard; apples, cherries & pawpaw*, as well as blackberries & strawberries. Personal use, Mom was a canning pro.

 

Hell yes, we had beehives.  

 

* Pawpaw is a North American fruit which tastes like a mix of papaya and banana.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asimina_triloba

 

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PGHammer    1,742
On 4/19/2020 at 4:19 AM, DocM said:

Our farm had a small orchard; apples, cherries & pawpaw*, as well as blackberries & strawberries. Personal use, Mom was a canning pro.

 

Hell yes, we had beehives.  

 

* Pawpaw is a North American fruit which tastes like a mix of papaya and banana.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asimina_triloba

 

It's official; I need to start kicking myself. Anybody with ANY Native American descent (that includes me) SHOULD have heard of the pawpaw - and I had.  (The Piscataway tribe (officially recognized by the United States - but never stuck in reservations) lived in Southern Maryland in its entirety - from what is now Montgomery County south to the floor of Maryland (Point Lookout) - the central part of the tribe's territory is in Prince George's county - Baden to Aquasaco (including Cedarville - the tribe still holds events in the State Park in Cedarville).  I will have to check Miller Farm (local produce stand and farm) to see if they sell any or grow any.

 

The "what is now Montgomery County" is because of it wasn't ALWAYS Montgomery County - that area was originally northern Prince George's County; the split happened before the French and Indian War.

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FloatingFatMan    20,467

Dude, I'm not even American but I know what a pawpaw is!

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DocM    16,865
Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, FloatingFatMan said:

Dude, I'm not even American but I know what a pawpaw is!

Add some berries and they make great smoothies 😋

 

I'm a blackberry guy

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FloatingFatMan    20,467
1 hour ago, DocM said:

Add some berries and they make great smoothies 😋

 

I'm a blackberry guy

I suspect you'd love blackcurrant, but from what I hear, it's almost impossible to get in the USA due to some conservation law from a century or so ago...

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DocM    16,865
Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2020 at 2:12 AM, FloatingFatMan said:

I suspect you'd love blackcurrant, but from what I hear, it's almost impossible to get in the USA due to some conservation law from a century or so ago...

 

It's more an issue of blackcurrants being a major vector for white pine blister rust and other maladies. It's to protect our white pine forests, which are already in trouble out west.

 

They've tried to produce resistant cultivars, but they aren't as productive or palatable. 

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