Beekeepers track hive thieves using tyre tracks
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
Settlers Honey manager Bryn Hudson had to do some sleuthing when thieves struck at Kai Iwi.