VANCOUVER -- An Abbotsford beekeeper stung to the tune of $100,000 at one of his apiaries has vowed to tighten up security after falling victim to theft for the second time in three weeks.
The biggest heist saw the 76-year-old fleeced of half-a-million bees and an estimated 8,000 pounds of honey in the 27600 block of 0 Avenue sometime between July 7 and July 26. The keeper doesn’t inspect the hives on a daily basis.
During his last visit Thursday, however, the beekeeper was shocked to find almost 100 hive frames missing, along with almost all of his bees and honey.
While the hives — believed to the largest of his multiple operations — were situated well away from the road, the Abbotsford Police Department is certain there are witnesses, given the amount of equipment and transport required to carry out the heist.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the upset victim had spoken to his insurance agent about recouping some of his losses and is now planning to bolster the security of his prized assets.
“Specifically, he’s trying to determine what safeguards he can implement going forward. So we had a conversation about infrared security cameras and potentially even GPS devices installed on some of the equipment,” he said.
“He’s certainly starting to think of things in terms of how he can proactively change some of the security procedures moving forward.”
Police also revealed the victim had contacted police on June 23 to report a loss of bees and honey valued at $4,000 from another of his hive locations. Investigators are now trying to determine which crime took place first.
“Although it’s a pittance compared to this one, it still impacts you if that’s your livelihood,” MacDonald said.
Police said the brazen theft was the work of experts who had access to a “flatbed truck, light crane or forklift and obviously beekeeping suits.”
“If you or I were to go meandering up to half-a-million bees it would only be because we were intoxicated or there was some sort of bet involved,” MacDonald said.