Bee rustlers attack puts future of colony at risk

Bee rustlers have struck for the second time within weeks at a colony at Compton Verney art gallery in Warwickshire, leaving volunteers devastated and putting the lives of the remaining bees at risk.

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Bee rustlers strike at Warwickshire hives

A bee colony in Warwickshire has been struck for the second time in weeks, leaving volunteers devastated and putting the lives of the bees at risk.

One of two hives at Compton Verney art gallery was removed by thieves in November.

Compton Verney bees Credit: ITV News Central

12,000 bees were originally in the two hives at Compton Verney before attempts were made to steal them.

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Volunteer speaks of dismay at bee rustler attack

A volunteer who looked after a colony of bees owned by a Midland art gallery has spoken of his dismay after the second attack by bee rustlers in just six weeks.

Rod Oates took care of the two hives at Compton Verney gallery in Warwickshire, which were set up in April thanks to donations from members of the public.

But in the past few weeks, one has been stolen and the other destroyed in a botched attempted theft.

What has happened has been very disturbing for us and the bees.

Over winter honey bees cluster around their Queen to maintain a temperature of 35C to 40C.

As so many of the bees were destroyed in this fumbled attempt to steal the hive and the colony, we are unsure whether the remaining bees will survive the winter. Only time will tell.

– Rod Oates, volunteer bee keeper, Compton Verney

Bee rustlers strike at Midland colony

Bee rustlers have struck for the second time within weeks at a Warwickshire colony, leaving volunteers devastated and putting the lives of the bees at risk.

Thieves first struck at Compton Verney art gallery in November, removing one of the two hives.

One of the bee hives at Compton Verney Credit: Compton Verney

And now the colony has fallen victim to a second attack, in which the bumbling crooks dropped the hive, killing many of the bees and leaving the others at risk of dying from the cold over the winter months.

The bee hives were installed in April thanks to donations from members of the public, and were looked after by volunteer Rod Oates. They thrived over the summer, managing to produce around 40lbs of honey.

Volunteer keeper Rod Oates tends to the hive Credit: Compton Verney

The death of some of the bees puts the whole hive at risk, as they crowd together for warmth during the winter - and the fewer they are in number, the more exposed they are to the cold.

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