THIEVES destroyed a number of hives and killed the bees at a small farm in Baynesdrift.
Durban - A Midlands honey producer’s farm was attacked by thieves who killed all his bees and stole bottles of his award-winning honey last week.

The incident was the second robbery at the farm this year.

Guy Solomon, whose bee farm is in Baynesdrift, just outside of Pietermaritzburg, won best bottle of honey in KwaZulu-Natal at the Royal Agricultural Show earlier this month.

The thieves broke a number of beehives.

Solomon said he believed the thieves also tried to smoke out the bees as he found a number of cigarette butts on the ground near the hives.

Solomon said he did not believe his competitors were behind the attacks on his farm, but rather “someone who needed quick money and saw the prized honey as something to sell on the side of the road”.

Solomon said he started his bee-keeping hobby when he was younger as a way to earn extra pocket money, but as an adult he did it to earn extra money for his children’s school needs.

His business became so successful that he hired five people to work with the bees and extract the honey.

It’s estimated that bees are responsible for the pollination of 35% of the food crops that are consumed globally by humans, and locally the indigenous honeybee is regarded as the most important pollinator of many of South Africa’s food crops.

Last year, Gift of the Givers donated R250 000 to help replace more than 300 Cape honeybee hives that were destroyed in Knysna after the area was devastated by fires in 2017.

Solomon’s bees are sourced from the homes of local people who call in for bee removal.

Instead of killing them, Solomon takes them to his property in Baynesdrift.

The Mercury