You asked for miracles
I bring you the F Bee I
Bee thieves have created a buzz in Sweden after two million Apis mellifera were stolen – in what appears to be among the largest stings of its kind in Europe. Bees surround queen bee Oh honey! Oxfordshire abuzz with reports of a MEEELLION bees stolen READ MORE According to the Skånska Dagbladet paper, robbers pinched 50 …
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I was just thinking the same thing. Put a small GPS receiver / cellular transmitter in the box before the bees are introduced to make their hive. The bee rustlers aren't going to tear apart the hives looking for that, and it would only need to activate once per day so a tiny battery would last pretty much forever.
Then you just pull up the Find My Bees app on your phone and tell the cops where to go!
They are on the market. Look up "Beehive GPS" in your .fav search engine. Personally, I see no real need ... but a couple of my more urban bee keeping friends use them. Not certain if that's because theft is more common in urban areas, or because urbanites are more susceptible to marketing.
Prior to switching to the horsebeef trade the local "national minority"'s two favorite pastimes were illegal logging and beehive theft.
There was a point ~ 2004-2008 when you had to "allocate" a mountain sheepdog per 2-3 hives just to have a chance to find them there the next morning. By the way - real sheepdog. An Anatolian, Caucasian or Bulgarian Karakachan sheepdog is not a harmless border collie. It is something that can take on a bear or Chechen raider 1:1 and win. It was bred for that.
I am not sure I have heard of a theft as big as 50 anywhere on the Balkans, simply because it is very rare for someone to keep 50 in one location. A theft of 15-20 (which is the usual you have in one place) was a regular occurrence.
Here in the USA, beekeepers are a fairly close-knit community. Anybody suddenly "acquiring" 10+ populated & producing hives would be a rather remarkable occurrence. I had half a dozen hives stolen a couple years ago. I put the word out, and two mornings later a guy from Woodland (~60 miles away) called me with a lead. I had my hives back that evening, with the perp in jail.
Hint: Serialize all capital equipment. I also use a brand with my logo (on the wood, not the bees!) ... and I know what colo(u)r I use to mark each queen. Logo+numbers+queen's dot colo(u)r was good enough for the Yolo County Sheriff to allow me to take custody ... he only had me open one of the hives, I wonder why.
Hint: Serialize all capital equipment.
Does not help. As I said - the "national minority". The one that is common across most of this part of Europe forming anything between 7 and 11% of the population. It is not all of them by the way. In fact it is a very small fraction which gives all of them a bad name. To be more specific - they have "family trades" and there are clans which live of nothing but petty theft - it is the familial trade.
The stolen bees were killed outright, honey harvested and sold on the closest market and the hives burned. There was absolutely no intention of keeping them and absolutely no traces.
I have one of those. It's called the Mk I Eyeball. Sadly, even in the current deplorable state of the USPTO's process, I don't think I can get a patent or trademark on it as there is a ton of prior art ... and even if I did, Apple would sue me. It has rounded corners.
"Here in the USA, beekeepers are a fairly close-knit community. Anybody suddenly "acquiring" 10+ populated & producing hives would be a rather remarkable occurrence."
It's also a rather large country and there must be plenty of buying and selling of hives that would potentially explain such an occurrence, and there must also be lots of remote locations where such could be delivered without even being noticed let alone raising any suspicions.
Since honey is just bug vomit, there should be a good chance of collecting DNA from it. Since all the bees in an individual hive are closely related the DNA should be a reasonable fingerprint. The trouble is that honey is never sold from a single hive but mixed with that from all the hives from a given location before dispensing into jars. Don't forget that the story states that 50 hives were stolen so the DNA would be well mixed.
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