Bringing the gritty underworld of crime to the quaint British countryside, sticky-fingered thieves have stolen 24,000 bees from a 17th-century estate in South Yorkshire, UK.
The thieves made off with the thousands of bees, along with the six hives and their honey, from the Hooton Pagnell Hall estate during the night last week. Although the whole loot was worth £2,000 (around $2,590), the hives are said to be particularly valuable as they contain the irreplaceable queen bees.
Who would commit such a heinous crime? The owners suspect rogue bee-keepers.
“It has got to be someone who knows about bees, someone who knows how to transport them and handle them because otherwise they would have been stung to death,” Amanda Clayton, owner of the estate, told The Times.
Bee thievery is more common than you might think. New Zealand had around 400 bee thefts within a period of six months late last year, with the bees presumed to be stolen and traded by organized crime syndicates. There’s a similar situation going on in the US too.
Damn, you can’t even trust the beekeepers anymore.