Last night under cover of darkness, two trucks pulled up to the local community garden with high beams showcasing the object of their desire…3 beehive hives. Working with steadiness and speed, they loaded the two empty hives into one of the trucks and made preparations to move the large 3-story active hive. Plugging the hive with duct tape, strapping it together and carefully sliding a net over the top the two giant men slowly moved the precious cargo. Within 30 minutes the deed was done and the two trucks packed it all up and drove away, leaving behind the legacy of the garden hive and beginning a new adventure in Liberty Hill.
Such are the things of stories, but much to my daughter’s delight, it happened last night. We’ve had a hive in a local community garden for a few years and although there are many gardens and lots of blooms, we have never been able to extract honey from that hive. Although it was a strong hive with TONS of thriving bees, we never saw a drop of honey. Realizing we were going to start the nectar flow Bubba added a honey super to the hive about six weeks ago in anticipation of the nectar flow. We would check it every few weeks to check on their progress. The last time we went, we realized that the comb they had been building was gone and the frames were older and dirtier. It was then Bubba realized that our honey had been stolen. And, we figure that it’s probably been stolen every year that it’s been there. We just didn’t realize it until this year.
What prompted us to move the hive? We had anticipated moving the hive on a colder day, but we received word from our beekeeper’s association that another local family had all 8 of their hives stolen FROM THEIR PROPERTY! It was all we needed to prompt a covert bee removal operation in the middle of the night. Bubba has worked too hard for too long to have someone steal his hives as well. We realize how fortunate we were that only our honey was stolen. They could have easily gotten the entire hive and the other pieces of equipment we have in the apiary at the garden.
As of last night we have all of our hives much closer to us so that we can keep an eye on them. We feel so incredibly sad for the family that lost their hives. They were a year’s worth of work for a 16-year old boy. Prayers for their family, and even the thieves, would be appreciated.