The beehives stolen from a field in an audacious and unusual heist are likely to have been stored locally, police have revealed. Five active beehives were stolen from Tresillian House in St Newlyn East near Newquay, between 6pm on Saturday, June 11 and 6am on Sunday, June 12.
Local beekeeper Guy Barnes said each hive contained 80,000 bees and removing all five of them without a trace, bar some tyre tracks in the grass, must have required expertise and a large vehicle. After discovering the theft at the weekend, Mr Barnes said he believed the heist must have been carried out by another beekeeper as beehives are heavy and tricky to transport and handle.
He said: “It might have been for the money, but I don’t know and unfortunately my gut feeling is it’s another keeper. You’d need to know what time of day to get them, have multiple people, and have a vehicle big enough to transport them.” Now police Sergeant Steve Applewhite, the Newquay Sector Neighbourhood Team Leader from Devon and Cornwall Police and a beekeeper too, believes that for exactly that reason, the stolen hives are likely to have been kept locally.
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He said: “We have been told that some bees have returned to the site where the hives were, before being stolen, this means that it is likely that these hives have been initially relocated or stored only a few miles away from Tresillian house. It would also take quite a large vehicle to carry a cargo of this considerable weight and it would be incredibly difficult to handle and carry alone.
“Tresillian House runs adjacent to the A3058 which runs past Dairyland; this is a well-used road so it is very likely that passing drivers may have seen suspicious people or the vehicle carrying the hives.” As a beekeeper too Sgt Applewhite said the theft of beehives and bees raised concerns for the welfare of the bees.
He added: “This crime is of concern as not only has it meant that a person’s property has been stolen, but as a beekeeper myself, I am also concerned for the welfare of the stolen bees. We are appealing for witnesses and asking for anyone who was in the area late Saturday and into Sunday to report anything of note. We are also asking for our public to check CCTV and road users to check dashcams in case they have captured anything of note.”
Police have called on the beekeeping community in Devon and Cornwall to come forward if they have heard of anyone offering hives and swarms of bees since the incident happened and report them to the police.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting CR/053074/22 . Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling freephone 0800 555111.