Honey theft leaps by 50% as country faces COVID-19, beekeepers stingless

Police apprehended on Monday a man who allegedly stole dozens of honeycombs. Beekeepers warn criminals changed methods, now focusing on honey rather than bees.

Honeycombs which were broken into in July 2020 in the south of the country (photo credit: HONEY COUNCIL)
Honeycombs which were broken into in July 2020 in the south of the country
(photo credit: HONEY COUNCIL)
Honey-related crimes have surged 50% in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honey Council and the Union of Beekeepers reported Tuesday.
In the past, thieves would steal beehives with the bees inside them, but now they focus on stealing the honey, the groups said in a press release.
On Monday, police apprehended a man who allegedly stole dozens of honeycombs. The alleged thief, a resident of Nazareth, was arrested 24 hours after the chief beekeeper at Kvutzat Kinneret, Gal Kinnerti, reported the crime.
A single beehive contains up to 50 kg. (110 lbs.) of honey. They are usually located in open spaces to allow the bees to graze, and thefts are difficult to prevent in real time.
“The honey bee is an important pollinating agent that oversees 80% of the planet’s agricultural plants,” Kinnerti said, adding that this service is worth about NIS 3 billion in in Israel.
There are about 510 beekeepers in Israel who supervise some 120,000 beehives, two-thirds of which serve farming needs.
Various crimes, including cybercrime and domestic violence, have been attributed to financial upheavals caused by the novel coronavirus.


Tags crime honey