Crime & Accidents News
02 April 2024

North West – In an unsettling turn of events, approximately 80 beehives, clearly marked “TA 557”, have been reported stolen. 

The theft was discovered by Lichtenburg bee farmer Kobus Schmidt, 56, during a routine check on his farm on 26 February 2024, pinpointing the incident to likely have occurred on 23 February 2024.

“I was shocked to find the bees and their hives missing. These weren’t just any hives; they were a crucial part of our agricultural ecosystem,” Schmidt shared. The stolen beehives, essential for pollination and honey production, represent not only a financial setback for Schmidt but also a broader environmental impact on the area’s flora.

In a bid to recover the stolen goods, Schmidt has issued an appeal to fellow farmers and residents, urging them to keep an eye out for hives bearing the “TA 557” mark within their sunflower fields and eucalyptus groves. “These hives could very well be concealed anywhere. It’s more than just property; it’s about preserving our community’s agricultural integrity. I earnestly hope for their return,” he added.
Further complicating the matter, Schmidt alleges to know the identity of the thief, a claim backed by substantial evidence including the sighting of his hives on the suspect’s truck. “The individual in question operates around 6,000 hives and has a history of similar thefts across the North West, Free State, and Lowveld regions. We’ve spotted our hives on his vehicle and have the truck’s license plate documented,” explained Schmidt, his resolve firm in the face of adversity. “Thanks to AfriForum’s cameras, we tracked the suspect’s movements to Makokskraal, near Ventersdorp. But the hives are still missing.” 

With a case officially lodged with the Lichtenburg police, the search for the stolen beehives is ongoing. Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone confirmed that no arrest has been made as yet, but that investigations continue.  

Community members and farmers with any leads or information are encouraged to contact Kobus Schmidt directly at ?082 856 6832.

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