Bee­keep­ers track hive thieves us­ing tyre tracks

Stratford Press - - News - By JESSE KING Whanganui Chron­i­cle

It started out like any work­ing day.

Kieran Wood got ready, got into his Set­tlers Honey work ve­hi­cle and got on the road. The bee­keeper drove from Waito­tara to his sites, just off the main road in Kai Iwi, Whanganui.

It was just an­other day un­til Wood re­alised his sites had been stripped bare and his 64 bee­hives were gone.

He called his boss, Set­tlers Honey man­ager Bryn Hud­son, and they no­ti­fied Whanganui po­lice.

“It was just dis­heart­en­ing,” Hud­son said. “The boys put a lot of time and ef­fort into keep­ing the bees strong across win­ter and it’s frus­trat­ing when some­one pinches your prop­erty to earn a bit of rev­enue off your hard work.” How­ever, Hud­son and his work­ers de­cided to do a bit of de­tec­tive work of their own.

They be­gan talk­ing to con­tacts about who the of­fend­ers may have been, and they came up with some places of in­ter­est to check out.

“A few of the boys iden­ti­fied the tread pat­tern of the tyres that had been used on the site,” Hud­son said. “They ob­vi­ously weren’t from any of our ve­hi­cles.”

Their in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tin­ued and they found a ve­hi­cle whose tyres matched the tread they had iden­ti­fied. More com­pelling ev­i­dence was a trailer nearby that had re­cently been used to shift bees.

“There were dead and dy­ing bees on the back of the trailer,” said Hud­son.

“We found out about a prop­erty out at Tu­rak­ina and sure enough we’ve gone there and we’ve seen a bunch of blokes in bee suits go­ing through our bee­hives.”

Po­lice were no­ti­fied and Hud­son and his work­mates ap­proached the peo­ple work­ing on the hives, ex­plain­ing they be­longed to Set­tlers Honey.

Hud­son said they were met with ag­gres­sion.

“There was a bit of a skir­mish when we first ar­rived at the prop­erty.”

Hud­son said a man came to­ward them, picked up a tree

PHOTO / STU­ART MUNRO

Set­tlers Honey man­ager Bryn Hud­son had to do some sleuthing when thieves struck at Kai Iwi.

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