Top left: The main scene of the crime; frames exposed and scattered around.
Top right: One of the hard to reach boxes and frames.
Bottom left: Hive number one re-assembled; this one has a queen!
Bottom centre: Both hives re-assembled. Frames for which there was no room stacked to the side, under the red cloth.
Bottom right: Photo from February, showing the set-up then. The chair has gone missing.
29 March 2017
I’ve done some weird and wonderful things in my life, but putting together a vandalised beehive, well … that was a first!
Two days ago, I got a call from the local beekeeping association that someone had reported a vandalised hive near a small stream, close to where we live. Would I please go over and investigate?
I found the remains of what I initially thought was one hive, but when I looked around me and futher up the stream, there seemed to be too many frames for just one colony. I ran back to get booted and suited and started gathering all the pieces. Getting to the second hive – which had been dumped about 20 meters away – was pretty hard: the local beaver population has made a veritable obstacle course of this area. I also had to fish a lid and some frames from the water.
It looked as if some of the bees had died on the frame from the cold, so I guess they must have been exposed for at least one night if not more (we still get night frost around this time in Stockholm).
When I assembled all the pieces I found, it turned out there were in fact two hives. To my utter delight, I spotted a queen in one of the frames. It took a while to puzzle it all back together: the bees were of course very disturbed and not in the least bit grateful I was putting them back in their hives.
In order to find the owner, I posted some pictures on a local Facebook group. Someone who often walks along the stream sent me photo she had taken in February to show what the set-up was then. As I suspected, one of the hives had a second box but I could not find the pieces for it.
The beekeeping association has now found the owner, who will remove the hives to a safer place.
Whoever it was who vandalised these (perhaps thinking there would be honey in them, which there ain’t at this time of year), I hope they got a few stings in the process. What an utterly pointless thing to do.