Spallumcheen beekeeper Doug Gordon discovered close to 30 of his hive boxes had been stolen from his property sometime prior to Saturday, May 16, mere weeks before they were destined for pollenation in Southern Alberta. (Facebook photo)

Theft of hives stings Okanagan beekeeper

Doug Gordon discovered nearly 30 hives taken from his Spallumcheen property

A Spallumcheen beekeeper has been stung by a theft.

Doug Gordon discovered Saturday that 30 of his hives containing honey bees had been stolen from his property.

He believes the thief or thieves made off with the hives Thursday or Friday under the guise of darkness.

“Whoever did it took just the little boxes, and not the big boxes, so they didn’t take all the hives,” said Gordon Sunday morning, May 17. “They took about 30 boxes but there were still six of the little boxes on the ground. I suspect they might have run out of room loading their vehicle.

“It wasn’t a full-grown hive. The bees were so beautiful, so nice.”

The theft comes during spring, a very busy time for beekeepers. The hives Gordon lost were earmarked for Southern Alberta for pollination.

Gordon believes the theft was premeditated.

“They came at night so I’m thinking it was most likely a beekeeper,” he said. “People are desperate. COVID-19 has messed up transportation of packages. Queens (bees) are hard to get.”

Gordon has been the victim of theft before, but nothing on a scale such as this one. He does have security cameras but because this is his busy season, he hasn’t had time to install them.

He also made the hives himself.

“People should know beekeeping is not an easy business,” said Gordon. “There is a lot of loss, a lot failure, but when things go right, you can sell some bees. When they get swiped, it leaves you feeling furious.”

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP have opened a file on the theft. Anybody with any information can call the Vernon or Armstrong detachments and quote file 2020-2545.

You can also report a crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leave a tip at www.nokscrimestoppers.com.

READ MORE: Bees key to helping Vernon gardens

READ MORE: Honey bees are vital to the environment



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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