Thieves target Cromwell beehives

by Kim Bowden - Mar 07, 2024

STORY UPDATE, FRIDAY, MARCH 8: In a statement, Cromwell police say they are "buzzed" to confirm they have solved the mystery of the dozen missing beehives, and now "bee-lieve" no theft has occurred. They thank the public for their assistance in providing information.

Police are asking for sightings of a "hive-laden vehicle" after dozens of beehives were stolen near Cromwell this week.

The theft is thought to have taken place between Monday night and Tuesday morning at a rural Mount Pisa property.

Police think someone must have seen something.

"The sheer volume of hives would require a large vehicle, ute or trailer and police want to hear from anyone who has seen a hive-laden vehicle, or any suspicious activity," police say in a statement on the incident.

A local beekeeper says close to 50,000 bees, including a queen, would likely live in each hive, although by this time of year much of their honey may already have been removed.

He says honey is worth only $4 to $5 a kilogram at the moment, but when it was fetching a higher price, hive thefts were common, with the relatively more expensive mānuka blend often targeted.

He says the beehives themselves, without any bees in them, are worth close to $250 each.

Know anything? Information can be provided to police via 105, either by phone or online at by clicking 'Update Report'. The case reference number is 240305/2110.

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