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Honey worth a lot of money: $60K worth of bee colonies stolen from Sask. yard

Italian and Russian honey bees at the University of Regina.
Italian and Russian honey bees at the University of Regina.

It’s not easy to steal 148 bee hives. That’s why Derek Moyen of Moyen Honey Farms believes the thieves who targeted one of his yards were likely fellow beekeepers.

“They had a truck and a forklift so they could load them and take off, so they’re honey producers, or they’re pollinators,” Moyen said.

Carrot River RCMP were notified of a theft in a rural area southeast of Zenon Park on Monday, according to a news release. Police believe the theft of nearly 150 bee hives, valued at $60,000, occurred sometime between 4 p.m. on May 10 and 11 a.m. May 13.

“I’ve talked to a lot of beekeepers over the last week and a lot of them have never even dreamed of this many hives going missing,” Moyen said.

Moyen said the theft has cost him anywhere from 40,000-50,000 pounds of honey.

“I’ve lost my production hives, so that means I’m missing hives to create a honey crop with,” he said Friday.

Moyen said he now has to make bees to replace the missing ones, which means tearing apart production colonies that were supposed to become a honey crop.

“Instead of having one colony that will produce me 300 pounds of honey, I’ll have to break them into four different hives so that I have four hives next year to try and replace those hives that I lost,” Moyen said.

The Moyen family has considered trail cameras or sensors for their farm, but their expanse of 75 bee yards means it would be costly and clumsy.

Moyen Honey Farms was established in 1964 by Urbain Moyen. The family-operated beekeeping business expanded their small scale of 50 hives into 2,500 hives by 1986. Today, Derek and his dad Gerry manage and operate 3,500 hives.

Zenon Park is approximately 258 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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