Beehive Thefts Make the Business Risky

Beekeepers who rent their hives to California growers say the state should do more to stop the theft of beehives.

Utah-based beekeeper Darren Cox has posted a $10,000 reward for the return of 80 of his colonies. They were stolen last month from an almond grove near Waterford, east of Modesto in Stanislaus County.

Cox says the managed bee population has collapsed, and that makes people desperate.
"Ever since dishonest men came of age, there’s been theft," Cox said. "But when you start running into these kind of shortages and other beekeepers have promised bees to growers and they can't deliver, they get unscrupulous."

The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department says beehive thefts happen every year, and the thief usually turns out to be another beekeeper.

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