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Scores of honeybee colonies stolen; beekeepers urged to boost security

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF) has warned of an increase in the theft of bees in St Thomas, Clarendon and St Catherine, and is urging beekeepers to improve the security of their apiaries.

According to the ministry's Apiculture Unit, beekeepers in the three parishes have reported that they have been losing honeybee colonies, honey and beekeeping equipment from their apiaries due to larceny.

The unit, in a press release a short while ago, said in the latest incident reported in the past week, assailants entered premises occupied by four farmers and removed a total of 73 colonies of bees having double and triple chambers valuing over J$3,000,000, the unit said.

The theft of items from these apiaries has followed similar reports from beekeepers in Manchester and St Elizabeth that occurred in early January, the release continued.

The unit is now urging beekeepers to increase security for their apiaries by installing proper marking systems on all hives or hive parts; keep proper inventory of their apiaries; restrict new persons from entering their apiaries; report all sightings of the transportation of bees and beekeepers stock on major roadways to the Apiculture Unit and or the nearest police station or if possible, document using pictures, videos, recordings of license plates, make and type of vehicles involved in transporting bees.

Meanwhile, the unit stressed that the movement of bees requires a transportation permit.

“All transportation permits must be had in writing from the Chief Plant Protection Officer, Apiculture Unit, MICAF before any movement on roadways.”

It further noted that the police are requested to demand a transportation permit from the owner or manager if they are found transporting bees and any person found in breach of such law is guilty of an offence and will be prosecuted.

The public is being asked to make contact with the unit, Crime Stop or the nearest police station to report any information on incidences of stolen bees and equipment.


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