ROBBED: Thieves force beloved Warwick honey stand to shut
SENSELESS thieves have not only stolen thousands of dollars from a hard-working Warwick bee keeper, they have robbed the community of delicious honey that used to be right at our fingertips.
Trevor Sorensen was heartbroken the first time his honesty honey stand on the New England Highway, about 5km south of Warwick, was broken into two years ago.
But thieves have continually returned and swiped about $2000 worth of cash and honey from the stand over its lifespan.
About a year and a half ago they used an angle grinder to remove his money box, which contained the weekend's earnings of $350.
"I've had nights where I've had $600 worth of honey sitting on the stand and they've flogged the lot," Mr Sorensen said.
"Honey is around about $10 per kilo, it doesn't take much honey for it to hurt."
Mr Sorensen said the stand had been operating for three years and he had installed cameras, a fire-proof safe and chains to try and deter dishonest customers.
But his anger came to a head last Friday, after $150 in cash and about the same amount in honey was stolen and then the same afternoon his money box was broken into again.
Mr Sorensen said he was ropeable and decided to temporarily shut the honey stand.
"These people don't give a crap about anyone else and it's an easy target," he said.
"For the first year and a half all the silver coins I got in the money box I was giving to Scripture Union who have chaplains in our schools helping youth.
"But it got to a point where I couldn't do that because I was getting too much stolen."
Mr Sorensen works six days a week in his family business, GW and MJ Sorensen Apiarists, and relies on the money from the stand to pay for equipment for the business.
He said a small minority were ruining the system for everyone else.
"I'm born and bred in this community, I've got two kids and I'd like to think better of Warwick," he said.
"But it doesn't necessarily have to be people from Warwick."
But the thefts have not deterred Mr Sorensen from running the stand, he is more determined than ever to find a way to make it work.
He will spend the next month designing a new money box and rethinking his strategy to ensure quality honey is available for the community.
"I don't want to be a push over, I don't want the minority to ruin it for the majority," he said.
"I think it's important for all Australians to stand up for themselves and this is a part of my income."
Mr Sorensen said he had also been taken aback by the level of honesty showed by some customers and receives notes and phone calls singing the praises of his honey.
"That motivates me to stuff the b****** that are doing it and I'm determined to make it work," he said.
Finding a way to thwart thieves is also important to support the local bee keeping industry, which is responsible for pollinating a large amount of fruits and vegetables as well as producing honey.
"If our bee industry goes down the tube, a lot of our big food crops won't be pollinated," Mr Sorensen said.
"Without pollination you lose a lot of fruits and vegetables and it's important to support your local bee keeper."
To purchase honey while the stand is shut, phone Trevor on 0488 677 991.