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Bloomington Business Starts Program To Prevent Beehive Theft

Bees could be more vulnerable to mites this summer.

A Bloomington business is starting a program to stop the theft of beehives.

Indiana University students founded The Bee Corp., an agriculture technology startup, in 2015. It offered a program for monitoring the health of the queen bee, as well as other aspects of hive production.

Now, the business is offering the QGPS Hive Theft Tracking System. The program lets commercial beekeepers insert a GPS tracker into a hive, which alerts them to any unauthorized movements. It also shows the location of the hive to help with retrieval.

The Bee Corp. CEO Ellie Symes says hive theft usually happens in California, while beekeepers are transporting hives for different pollination seasons. But she says it impacts the industry nationwide.

“In January and February, two-thirds of the entire country’s beehives are being shipped out to California,” Symes says. “So it affects everybody, including beekeepers in Indiana.”

The Bee Corp. will demonstrate the system at two national events Jan. 9-13.

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