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Honey Price Increases Lead to Jump In Beehive Thefts

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DIXON (CBS13) — The price of honey has jumped in the last decade, leading to a jump in beehive thefts.

That has beekeepers turning to technology to try and stop crooks from taking the hives.

Keepers like Phil Hofland hoping the latest technology will sting those thieves trying to make off with the valuable hives.

“You can come in here with a forklift and snag—I’ve seen people steal 30,000 to 50,000 in a half an hour,” he said.

Beekeepers have always been concerned about theft, and have long tried to develop ways to prevent that from happening.

But the age-old problem has a new remedy. Hofland now uses tiny GPS chips to track if one of his hives is stolen.

“If it gets moved, I get an email or a text on my phone immediately,” the Dixon beekeeper said.

Along with the chips, Hofland also brands his boxes in hopes of scaring away those who may look to swipe the hives.

“I look at it as if my boxes are marked really good and somebody else’s aren’t,” he said. “Somebody has a choice between picking mine and somebody else’s, they are going to do that.”

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