A Ballarat beekeeper has been left stunned after his beehive filled with a wild swarm was stolen from a Humffray Street South address on Thursday night.
Cubby Haus Brewing’s Anne Lucas put the call into Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat on Thursday after noticing a large swarm of bees on a tree out the front of the brewery. The insects has been gathering around the brewery from early in the morning.
Aaron Maskell went out to collect the wild swarm just after 3pm, placing a beehive box labelled with his registration number under the tree.
But when he returned to pick up the swarm at 10.30pm, the box was gone.
“We got called by the brewery but by the time I came back someone beat me to it,” the Brown Hill beekeeper said. “It’s the first time its happened to me and I haven’t heard of it happened to anyone else.”
Mr Maskell has since visited the Ballarat Police Station to file an incident report, however since at the time of theft the bees were still considered wild, the only crime listed is for the stolen beehive box.
The creatures are considered livestock once they have been successfully captured from the wild.
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Mr Maskell said while transporting bees could be done safety, the thief must have been a beekeeper to recognise the box and have the confidence to take it.
“It was a decent swarm so I’d say there would have been roughly 10,000 bees,” Mr Maskell said. “As long as you block the entrance (to the beehive) they will stay in there until it’s reopened...at the end of the day it's someone who would have known what they were doing.”