WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) — About a thousand beehives worth hundreds of thousands of dollars have been reported stolen across California in the past few weeks.
It's a crime that occurs uniquely in the state this time of year when almond trees start to bloom. That's when beekeepers from around the United States truck billions of honeybees to California to rent them to growers who depend on the insects to pollinate their valuable crop.
Experts say a tightening bee supply and the soaring cost to rent a hive is motivating the thieves. Beekeepers are turning to GPS tracking devices, surveillance cameras and other anti-theft technology to protect their precious colonies.