Updated: Apr 25
Hive theft costs so much more than just the replacement cost of a hive. Imagine you are going on a general stroll to check on your hive and you notice that your bees are missing. Hive Theft is quite common, it is also known as bee rustling in some parts of the US.
Hive Theft Is Quite Common
Anyone who has been in the beekeeping business knows that hive theft is real. Even though it is one of the most annoying things that a beekeeper can experience (considering it is not easy to take care of the hive) the concerning question rises, why would anyone steal them?
There are many reasons why someone would steal your hive. In countries with Varroa destructor, colony losses are common, and it gets hard for beekeepers to keep their bees alive and healthy. When that does not work, desperate time calls for desperate measures and well, for them its crime.
One of the other reasons why bees are popular is for pollination, and since natural pollinators are not always available, growers shift to honeybee pollination services. Many hive thieves steal hives to cash in on the lucrative pollination opportunity.
How to save your Hives
There have been some methods shared in the beekeeping community to prevent your hive from being stolen. Some of these measures are:
1. Keep your bees out of reach or hidden from the public
2. Cameras and Surveillance
3. Brand your hives (something that most beekeepers will already be doing)
4. Install Hive tracking devices
Whilst the rest of the measures might reduce the chances of your hives getting stolen, Hive tracking devices are one of the methods that might help you to not only prevent your hive from getting stolen but also help you retrieve them back.
GPS tracking devices with alert system can be fixed inside the hive and with geofencing you can set the exact location perimeter. As soon as your hive leaves that location, an alert is sent on your phone and you can at that moment decide to handle the problem yourself or call the authorities.
GPS trackers are small enough to fit inside a beehive. Good ones should last for years before requiring a battery recharge. Setting up trackers discreetly is one of the best solutions for hive theft.
Our beehive theft prevention measure - Hive Guardian
Prevent hive theft and increase the likelihood of hive recovery and prosecution. Have peace of mind when your hives are unattended that they are being watched by our high-quality tracking technology.
HiveKeepers Hive Guardian knows where your hives are and can tell you when your hives are on the move. Our network reach offers Australian beekeepers the best coverage available without the expensive costs of a satellite communications link. This can save you thousands in setup and ongoing costs.
Tiny, lightweight, and ultra-rugged battery-powered GPS beehive tracker with up to 10 years of battery life* for beehive tracking and theft recovery.
What you need to know:
· Twice a day heartbeat when no motion is detected.
· As soon as movement is detected, the Hive Guardian will ping every 15 minutes, providing data at three minute intervals. This gives you high precision GPS location of your hives.
· Store weeks of data if out of coverage zone.
· Switch to theft recovery mode to activate real-time tracking at 30 second intervals.
· Set alerts to notify you when something happens.
· This Hive Guardian can report temperature of the hive (if enabled)
· Create custom geofences and alerts if your Hive Guardian enters or leaves a specific location.
· Login to track your hive movements and to see real time location.
· Comes to you ready to go, just screw it on/in your hive in a discreet location.
· Two years warranty on device.
The Hive Guardian is available to Australian beekeepers now, please contact us at email@example.com for more details and ask for a catch-up with one of our team.
Learn more at https://www.hivekeepers.com/hiveguardian
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* 3.5 years expected battery life for the beekeeping use case, user replaceable batteries.