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Just wondering how prevalent stealing of frames is? We had a 2 box deap hive that we have limped through winter, and it was just taking off again with a bit of TLC. We had it placed on private semi rural property next to a small country road.

A few days ago we got a call from my mother in law to let us know she hadn't seen many bees around the hive that day so we went out to make sure every thing was ok. It was not!!!! Some lowlife had taken our populated frames and replaced them with empty ones. Empty as in nothing not even comb. Now at least they left something but as a newbee at this its gutrenchung.

Is this a common thing? Should we not have put it close to a road? We have one other hive in a different location and really don't want to see it disappear too!

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@Jensbees, so sorry for your loss.

 

We have been very fortunate to date, but don't have a lot of visible hives. It may pay to retrench to a less visible place.

 

If I remember this happened last year to someone else on the forum, but I can't remember who or where.

I just remember the empty frames being left. It's just a bit unusual.

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I must have far to much faith in people, it never even crossed my mind that that would happen to just one little hive. Lesson learnt!

That's an awful thing to happen , esp when you probably do not have many hives.

I wonder if the person who took the frames ever thought how they would feel if someone did that to them.

 

Actually in my area a local person used to go in a night and swap full honey frames for empty .

It took a while for the commercial migrant beeks to realize what was happening to their hives.

We all knew who it was but could not prove it, but it did stop .

Well we assume it did but who would know , I think the person moved on to stealing different stuff

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@Jensbees you could look at hot branding your frames or marking them indelibly some other way. A sharpie might do it. If you're not planning to sell the hive then you could go all out with your registration, hive number, phone number and the date the frame went into the hive. They won't sell very well on TradeMe like that and it would be a pain trying to remove with all the bees present.
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We had that a couple of years ago up north..... busy making nucs up and as fast as we were making them a lowlife was taking out the two middle combs of brood and bees and replacing them with crappy old combs.

They should have waited a week or two as the nucs had only just had cells put into them. The nucs were hidden away in the bush so I'm picking it was an inside job !

Like the Indians say , "never come home the way you went out!"

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:devil: I've seen this here in Gizzy.. a few years ago now before theft was becoming more common.

So uncool!

If there's one kind of crim I hate it's a thief.

What a total scum bag.

They are one of the reasons I carry a machete in my truck - to cut off their hands.. and Id make a good show of it, tie them up and all. Might even put a sack of pine needles over their head and hopefully they'll also get a poke in the eye :mad:

 

Sorry about your bees :(

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Some lowlife had taken our populated frames and replaced them with empty ones. Empty as in nothing not even comb. Now at least they left something but as a newbee at this its gutrenchung.

I know of someone in the Christchurch area who did (does?) this and specifically targeted hobbyist newbies, although they left opted to leave foundation in the frame too. Someone you know maybe?

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This is horrible!!! I would have never even thought about theft from a hive. I'll be sure to tell hubby not to ever put his hives anywhere visible.

 

My sympathies for your loss! I hope the thief gets their Karma dealt to them swiftly and sharply.

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Rather than having to mark every frame, which would not prevent the thefts, is there a way to "lock" a hive up? Is there possibly a way to drill a hole through both sides of a galvanised hive strap and put a long-necked padlock through it once it is on the hive? The hobbyist club here in Christchurch has this sort of setup. I'll investigate a bit further when next at the club and see if I can get some photos and find out how well the setup works.

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Locks only keep honest people out. What would be the point of locking the emlock when you can cut the strap with a pair of sturdy scissors?

I guess your signature "the leading cause of problems is solutions" is spot on then ;)

 

No way of stopping a determined thief, but it would act as a deterrent and there would also be obvious signs when a hive had been tampered with. I am looking at this from a Beek point of view where you may only have 1 or 2 hives (e.g. backyard hobbyist).

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I guess your signature "the leading cause of problems is solutions" is spot on then ;)

 

No way of stopping a determined thief, but it would act as a deterrent and there would also be obvious signs when a hive had been tampered with. I am looking at this from a Beek point of view where you may only have 1 or 2 hives (e.g. backyard hobbyist).

From that point of view it wouldn't be hard to wrap a chain around it and dynabolt it to a lump of concret....

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I guess your signature "the leading cause of problems is solutions" is spot on then ;)

 

No way of stopping a determined thief, but it would act as a deterrent and there would also be obvious signs when a hive had been tampered with. I am looking at this from a Beek point of view where you may only have 1 or 2 hives (e.g. backyard hobbyist).

A possible solution for back yard hives is a driveway alert alarm. About $50 from Mega10 doing about 60 meters wireless. Lifting the lid would trigger a door bell. Leave the sounder with your neighbour when away with the promise of honey. I did that with rental at one stage where there were hot water cylinder being stolen.

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I have been using the branding iron that I use to brand boxes to brand the top of plastic frames. My bk number melts into the top. I have perhaps 1/3 of the frames in each box in each hive done and will progressively do more. If the box gets taken they are stuck with the frames - and will either have to discard them or remove the branding (not sure how...). I have a GPS to go into a hive and meant to do it two/three months ago but so many other priorities at the moment. The most important thing I do is make sure no apiary can be seen from the road, and I also try and get them behind locked gates.

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It's happened to us also. During kiwifruit pollination last season in TePuke someone pulled 5 frames out of the brood box from 2 hives, they didn't leave us any replacement frames the bees just started building a huge mess in the space left.

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