West Sac man convicted in bee theft


On Thursday, a Yolo County jury found 51-year old Viktor Zhdamirov of West Sacramento guilty of a felony charge involving receiving stolen property.

The property consisted of about 80 bee hives and their colonies.

According to the office of District Attorney Jeff Reisig, the theft was discovered by Tauzer Apiaries in 2012, after two sites were “ransacked” and hives stolen. Judging by the characteristic behavior of bees that have lost their queens, Tauzer estimated the theft occurred about eight days before the discovery on Sept. 11, 2012.

Owner Mark Tauzer and his employees went looking for the “distinctively marked” hives, and found their lids abandoned next to Jefferson Boulevard south of West Sacramento. There was also an empty five-gallon bucket of green paint.

Two days later, Tauzer’s hives were found – partially repainted green in an attempt to cover up the original markings. Hives were mixed with those belonging to Zhdamirov.

Sheriff’s deputies contacted Zhdamirov, who admitted taking the property. Even after the hives were recovered, damages were estimated at $65,000.

Zhdamirov will be sentenced on April 4. He faces up to three years in prison, plus restitution to Tauzer.

The D.A.’s office gave credit to Tauzer for marking his hives and then finding his own stolen property.
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