Sadly corresponding with the global fall in bee populations is a series of beehive thefts from various corners of the globe. In late August, Alberta farmer Kevin Nixon was hit by the theft of over 600,000 of his bees, including 12 hives. More recently, a 750 year old farm off the coast of North Wales was the target of theft, much to the dismay of owner Katie Hayward. She lost a total of 45,000 bees, including four queens.
In an interview with National Public Radio. Katie explained how the thieves knew exactly what they wanted, raising concerns that they may have been fellow beekeepers. The news strikes right at the heart of the beekeeping community, she said, given the long standing relationship beekeepers in the region have maintained for centuries. She is just one victim of many, as a series of thefts sweeps across North Wales of late.
Kevin Nixon, chairman of the Canadian Honey Council also believes that the culprits at his farm were, in fact, fellow beekeepers, seeing the expertise of their work. He also said that the theft is the first since he started keeping bees in 1998.
For beekeepers like Kevin and Katie, the theft represents not just a loss in livelihood, but also a loss in trust for the beekeeping community that they have known all their lives.
“It’s our livelihood and I don’t know why people would feel the need to take that.”