Bee Theft in Stanislaus County May Hurt Almond Growers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 10, 2005
On Saturday night a thief made off with 128 hives from a storage area in Eastern Stanislaus County. The hives had been shipped from Wyoming and were destined for an almond orchard in the Central Valley. Bruce Beekman, a beekeeper from Hughson says the loss amounts to about 25-thousand dollars. But he says it could be even more for the almond grower who was expecting the pollination bees early next month.   BEEKMAN :12—That would be enough hives for a little over sixty acres and with current almond prices the way they are, you’re looking at a quarter of a million dollars in gross income for an almond grower.   There’s a scarcity of bees this year because of a mite infestation. Beekman says the shortage has caused the price for bees to increase to as much as 120 dollars a hive, more than double last year’s figure. Beekeepers are concerned the lofty price could lead to a rash of thefts. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.