[14 September/ Rural News Group]

Apiculture New Zealand Chief Executive, Karin Kos said that the theft of honey and beehives was a growing issue for beekeepers, with police now taking the increase in thefts very seriously. Apiculture NZ and the police are working together on improving intelligence at national and regional levels, and are educating beekeepers on how to keep their honey and hives safe. Hawke’s Bay’s largest honey producer, Arataki Honey recently had approximately 500,000 bees, worth around $20,000, stolen from a pine forest block in northern Hawke’s Bay. Arataki Honey Beekeeper, Duncan Johnstone said theft was the worst it had ever been, and was driven by Manuka honey as it was one of New Zealand’s highest priced exports.