The recent outbreak of hive theft is not new, it seems. This clip from The Independent online is from 2002 (good to know I'm right up there and current, eh?).
"Angry as the buzzing hives they carried in protest, dozens of Israeli beekeepers lined a road with burning tyres today to demonstrate against the thefts of thousands of their beehives.
Wearing protective work suits and net masks, the beekeepers demanded that Israel and the Palestinian Authority stop what they said was the theft of their beehives by Palestinians in the West Bank.
The demonstrators at Jalameh Checkpoint near the West Bank town of Jenin had planned to release the bees they brought with him as a protest, but police stopped them.
The beekeepers suspect Palestinians are entering Israel by night from the West Bank and making off with the hives, since most of the thefts have taken place in areas near the border between Israel and the West Bank.
"I have nothing against the Palestinians," beekeeper Roni Feldman said. "But Israeli agricultural workers are paying the highest price for peace."
According to Feldman, 2,600 hives were stolen in 1999. A single hive with its bees and full combs of honey can easily be worth a thousand dollars."