Beekeeper desperate to locate stolen beehives

Henry

A beekeeper from the Lichtenburg area is desperate to get back 80 of his 600 beehives that were stolen this week on a farm about 15 km outside this town.

Kobus Schmidt told RNews on Friday that he suffered a loss of at least R300 000 due to the theft.

He says his beehives are also ready for pollination on seed sunflowers, which makes the loss that much greater. These beehives would soon go to Christiana.

Schmidt explains that beekeepers often approach farmers to ask if they can place their beehives among their eucalyptus groves. A beekeeper’s beehives will therefore be on several farms – with the permission of the farmer in question.

A Whatsapp message in which Schmidt pleads with farmers to be on the lookout for his beehives in their sunflower fields and eucalyptus groves has meanwhile been widely shared.

“The bee industry cannot continue to exist without the farmer, and so we again need your cooperation in this difficult time,” he says.

Schmidt says his beehives are all marked with a unique number, TA557. This number was issued to him by the Department of Forestry, Mining and Fisheries.

“All beekeepers must be registered here. And if someone buys my beehive over, then he may not delete my number, he must add his number on the beehive. You must not tamper with the beehives.”

Schmidt therefore asks that all farmers who have not granted him permission to place his beehives on their farm should be on the lookout for this unique number.

“This could mean that a farmer may be sitting on his farm with stolen property.”

He suspects that the beehives may be in Hakboslaagte, Gerdau, Boschpoort, the Coligny area, Coligny-Ventersdorp area or the Coligny-Klerksdorp area.

“We realize this is a large area, and so our request is addressed to the entire farming community in the North West.”

A theft case is currently being investigated by the police in Lichtenburg.