California State Beekeepers Association News Update   January 29, 2016


Koehnen & Sons had 240 hives stolen in Colusa County this week. All boxes, lids, frames and pallets are branded with 42-14. There are pictures of the hives attached. The hives were stolen either Monday or Tuesday night of this week. Please take a very careful look at the pictures and if you see hives that fit the description, don’t hesitate to check for brand numbers and call the Sheriff’s department and Koehnen’s office to alert them. Koehnen’s can be reached at 530-891-5216. You can also feel free to email me at or and we can pass along the information for you.  These hives could easily be anywhere in California. It is very likely that the hives will be destroyed after pollination season to cover up the crime. In the interest of both justice and saving the bees, it is critical we all do our part to locate these hives.

Description: All the hives are 10-frame double deeps. The boxes are branded on the top cleats. The pallets have metal on the corners. Some of the feed cans and boxes were taken as well. The feed cans are painted green and slightly rusty. The feed can boxes are branded too and most of them hold 8 cans (some may hold 4). The bees are Italian and have Cordovan genetics (most will appear light colored and/or slightly reddish).

Location: The hives were taken from 2 yards, both located north of Colusa on the east side of the river. One yard was about 2 miles from the river and the other about 3 miles from the river.  

Thief Description: Based on the tracks, it looks like a Hummerbee forklift may have been used to move the hives. The trucks appear to have dual tires. It is suspected that either 2 big trucks or 3 smaller trucks were used to move the hives.

Please share this information with your club, almond grower and in your community. Hive theft is a growing problem and we all need to keep an eye out for each other. Thank you for helping in this effort.  


And the Thief - Watch for Stolen Bees

(The following is brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.)  

From the Modesto Bee 

A $10,000 reward has been offered in the theft of about 80 bee colonies from an almond farm northeast of Waterford, CA, with a value of about $16,000. Grower Gil Silbernagel said entire pallets of bee boxes were taken in mid-February after having been delivered by Utah-based beekeeper Darren Cox. Other growers and beekeepers have been asked to be on the lookout for people trying to sell the stolen hives, all of which are branded on boxes, lids and pallets, and at least 80% of the frames with COX or CVH or D COX. People with information that could lead to an arrest can call (209) 552-2468 or (435) 232-9429.

An interesting twist to this is that although the responsibility and liability for the colonies was accepted by the grower in the pollination contract, the insurance company is refusing to pay the beekeeper for the loss, and, in fact, will defend the grower in court if the beekeeper chooses to pursue the case.