Police in New South Wales, Australia are investigating the chemical poisoning of approximately 740 hives which killed thousands of bees poisoning honey worth $150,000. The incident is suspected to be the result of a vicious rivalry in the honey industry. A spokes person for one of the companies effected, Australian Rainforest Honey said the offender appeared to know where the bees were and how to poison them efficiently. ''I'd say they would have had to have a good knowledge of bees.'' The NSW Department of Primary Industries has taken samples of dead bees and poisoned honey from the hives to be analysed at its forensic laboratory operated by the Environmental Protection Agency in Lidcombe. The results of the testing are expected within the week.
*The results of the testing by the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed the chemical Permethrin, a common household insecticide, was used to kill the bees. Unfortunately, this is not a unique incident and has happened throughout the world of commercial beekeeping. Competition for available pollen and nectar can be fairly cut-throat amongst commercial beekeepers. As a spokesman for the Australian Honey Industry said, "This is not the first time something like this happened. They have been stolen in the past or destroyed," he said. "I've been in the industry 30 years and it doesn't happen regularly, but it does happen."