West Sacramento Bee Hive Rustler Convicted

There were no honeyed words in the verdict handed down by a Yolo County jury February 27 convicting Viktor Zhdamirov, 51, of West Sacramento for stealing bee hives worth $65,000.

Back on September 11, 2012, employees at a Tauzer Apiaries, a Woodland commercial beekeeping facility, discovered two separate bee hive stockpiles had been ransacked with parts of approximately 80 hives removed. With more than 40 years experience as beekeepers, the Tauzer employees were quickly able to discover the thefts. When a queen is removed from a hive, the bees remaining in that hive act in a predictable and recognizable manner.

Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven stated “The stolen hives were distinctively marked inside and out so that Tauzer and his employees did their own hunting and investigating into the theft.” They found dozens of hive lids strewn along Jefferson Boulevard in a rural area south of West Sacramento near Clarksburg. Empty buckets of green paint were mixed in with the chaotic collection of hive lids scattered by the side of the road. After further investigation, the Tauzer employees found the stolen hives among hives owned by Zhdamirov at his own beekeeping facility near the Sacramento River.

The stolen hives were partially painted green. But Tauzer employees recognized their company brand on them despite attempts to paint and putty them over, reported Raven. However, even though Tauzer recovered the stolen hives, severe damage was done.

Yolo Sheriff Deputy Don Harmon contacted Zhdamirov, who admitted he’d stolen the Tauzer bee hives, and tried to cover up the theft. Zhdamirov was convicted of a felony for receiving stolen goods and faces up to three years imprisonment. Also he will be required to reimburse the $65,000 in damage to Tauzer’s hives.

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Daily Democrat: Yolo jury convicts West Sacramento bee thief

West Sacramento Bee Hive Rustler Convicted was last modified: May 23rd, 2014 by admin
Categories: Yolo

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Brian Elsasser

Brian Elsasser is a freelance journalist working in the Solano/Yolo area. He writes for CrimeVoice, Patch.com and other news publications. He may be reached at brianels@dcn.org