Friday, 22 June 2012

Honey war sting feared in beehive poisonings

DETECTIVES on the NSW south coast are investigating the possibility of vicious rivalry in the honey industry after a massive and deliberate chemical attack on hundreds of beehives.

About 740 hives were sprayed with a toxic chemical at the weekend, killing tens of thousands of bees and poisoning honey worth $150,000.

Several different beekeeping businesses were affected near Batemans Bay, some of them in remote bushland sites up to 40 kilometres apart.One company, Australian Rainforest Honey, which provides honey to Woolworths around the country, said about 240 of its 5000 hives had been sprayed, killing all the bees inside. ''All I know is they've been sprayed - all the bees are dead,'' a company spokeswoman, Wendy Roberts, said. She said the offender appeared to know where to find the hives and how to poison them efficiently.

''I'd say they would have had to have a good knowledge of bees.''

The honey on some of the hives was ready to be harvested, but is now contaminated. The company estimated the loss was tens of thousands of dollars.


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