Beekeepers facing various challenges in 2019 as local law enforcement cracks down on thiev…


VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) — Between the stings, shrinking land and the specter of thieves, beekeeping within the Central Valley has its challenges.

“Looks like the only constant thing is change,” stated David Bradshaw. He owns Bradshaw Honey Farm in Visalia and has been working with bees for forty five years. He cares for 2,400 colonies, and the bees do every thing from pollinating almonds and plums to producing honey alongside the coast.

Bradshaw says shrinking open land and a scarcity of assets is part of the challenge of owning an apiary in 2019.

“We’re always traveling around on the lookout for the most effective pasture for our bees, they are not a lot totally different from cattle. If there is no grass, you gotta discover grass… The forage is getting more durable and more durable to seek out,” he stated.

Early within the yr, beekeepers make their colonies obtainable for farmers to make use of to help their crops. The colonies are rented for months at a time and locations in bins inside orchards until the pollination course of is complete. That is when beekeepers also should cope with thieves, a few of whom are beekeepers themselves.

“Yearly I get a specific amount stolen… all our exhausting work is to profit some crook,” Bradshaw stated.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has had four reported thefts via mid-March, with a complete of 121 hives stolen for a loss of $51,000. In the meantime, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Workplace has seen three instances from February to early March, with a total loss over $35,000.

To date, the entire is decrease for TCSO than last yr, once they had six instances. TCSO’s Ag Unit can doubtless take a number of the credit for that. The unit, which is made up of four detectives and a sergeant, is handpicked by Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and is crammed with individuals who grew up on the planet of agriculture.

“Any loss for these guys who exit and work all night time lengthy to ensure this work is getting accomplished, this necessary work, we feel for them,” stated Sgt. Bobby Rader. “We attempt our hardest for them and provides them our best each time.”

TCSO recommends that beekeepers and others apprehensive about agriculture theft use SmartWater, a water-like spray that is revealed underneath blacklight and can be utilized to hint criminals to the crime. For extra on SmartWater, click here.

Regardless of the challenges the career is dealing with, Bradshaw says he isn’t planning to cease.

“That is one of the best job I’ve ever had.”

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