Today, on Aubrey “Drake” Graham’s birthday, we should all be contemplating the best place in the world to live out rap star’s trademark YOLO motto. The answer, of course, is Yolo County, Calif. — that is, if YOLO really means: You only live once, so why not steal boxes full of live bees?
As told to Modern Farmer, a recent rash of beehive thefts in central California has terrorized commercial beekeepers. Thanks to the rapid decimation of bee populations by colony collapse disorder, bees are in high demand. And since the black market loves a rare commodity, organized bee rustlers (!!!) have stolen hundreds of hives. And they are ruthless!
Viktor Zhdamirov knew the beekeeping rudiments enough know how to remove the queens and honey from Tauzer’s hives. However, en route back to his bee yard, he’d ripped the lids off the hive boxes and blithely tossed them aside when reaching in for the treasure. Doing so, he’d violated a code that prevails among most beekeepers.
“Most people go into beekeeping because they love bees,“ Tauzer explained. No matter how fierce competition may get among beekeepers, it’s understood, he said, “You don’t hurt the bees.”
The bee rustler of Yolo County was eventually brought to justice, but further thefts have spread throughout the state. The good news is that local bee justice vigilantes and law enforcement have begun to try to tackle the bigger issue of bee crime.
California criminals: on their worst bee-havior? Champagne Papi might be proud.