Bee thief nabs 92 hives from California almond orchard

Bees are big business. Almonds are in big demand as a cash crop in California, ever the more so as the almond milk trend grows. Growers use bees to pollinate the trees. The bees are already challenged enough as it is -- now there are bee stealing criminals who drive around stealing them. One such theft happened in Northern California on Friday, the Oregon-based beekeeper whose bees were stolen says.

“It’s hard enough keeping the bees alive without someone stealing them. It’s frustrating,” Potts told KCRA-TV.

From KCRA-TV's video interview with the beekeeper, who says the theft represents about a third of the bees in his operation:

In his 15 years of business, this is the first time someone has swiped his hives. Potts estimates the theft will cost him about $44,000 in lost revenue.

“I would like to catch them, and I think a lot of the beekeepers out here, they’re looking for them too,” he said.

Potts said the theft impacts more than just him. “This affects the farmer, too, because there’s going to be a shortage of bees,” he said. “Luckily, I have enough to cover what I did, or what we lost. But it affects the farmer, and it affects the farmers all the way in Oregon and Washington because of the loss of the bees.”

[via AP]