Beekeeper Offers $100,000 Reward for Information on Bee Thief

In a disturbing trend that has plagued the Central Valley orchards, beekeepers in Fresno County, California, are facing a rising number of hive thefts. Andy Strehlow, owner of Strehlow Bees Inc., recently experienced the loss of 96 hives, worth approximately $33,000, from his almond orchard near Firebaugh. This incident marks just one of nearly a dozen reported bee thefts this year, involving hundreds of hives in Fresno, Madera, Glenn, and Butte counties.

Strehlow, who estimates having lost close to 1,000 hives over his 25-year career, has decided to take a stand against these bee thieves. He is offering a substantial $100,000 reward for any information leading to the identification and capture of the culprit responsible for the recent theft. The reward amount is three times the value of the stolen hives, demonstrating Strehlow’s determination to put an end to this criminal activity.

The thefts occur during a critical time for beekeepers and the local economy, as late winter is the peak pollination season for almond orchards. With the demand for bees at an all-time high, criminals see an opportunity to profit by stealing hives and selling or renting them to unsuspecting farmers. The stolen hives can fetch anywhere from $150 to $200 each, making it a lucrative venture for the thieves.

Law enforcement authorities, including the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, suspect that the culprits are individuals with knowledge of beekeeping, as they are familiar with handling and transporting hives. The thieves often work at night when the bees are dormant, minimizing the risk of being stung. They employ forklifts to quickly load and transport a large number of boxed hives, completing the thefts within half an hour.

To combat these thefts, some beekeepers are turning to GPS tracking devices and surveillance cameras to locate their stolen hives. Cord Anderson, a third-generation beekeeper from Montana, recently had 108 hives stolen from a Fresno County orchard he was servicing, resulting in a loss of $40,000 in income. Anderson, like many others in the industry, supports Strehlow’s reward initiative and hopes that it will help bring an end to these crimes.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has not yet identified any suspects in the recent rash of bee thefts. However, they are actively investigating the incidents and believe that the thief responsible for Strehlow’s stolen hives may also be connected to other beekeepers in the county.

The beekeeping community, already burdened by the challenges of maintaining healthy hives, is now faced with the added burden of protecting their livelihoods from these thefts. The impact of hive thefts extends beyond the individual beekeepers, affecting the local economy and the crucial pollination process necessary for successful almond harvests.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. As a beekeeper myself, I understand the frustration and concern that comes with hive thefts. To help protect your hives, I highly recommend investing in a reliable hive monitoring system like the “Arnia Hive Monitoring System.”

    This system uses advanced technology to track the health and activity of your beehives. It provides real-time data on temperature, humidity, weight, and even sound levels inside the hive. With its built-in GPS tracking, you can easily locate your hives if they are stolen

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