Man Accused of Stealing $50,000 Worth of Bee Hives

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. - Without bees, farmers wouldn't be able to grow much, which is why bees are such a hot commodity in the agricultural industry. One man in Fresno County is accused of stealing $50,000 worth of bee hives.

Former commercial bee keeper Greg Gaddie said, "You have to have bees. Without bees, I think we're all growing wheat or corn or something."

Gaddie has been around bees his whole life. He said bee hive thefts is common since the value of bees is so high. But, he's never heard of someone stealing a very large amount.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office said it's Ag Task Force helped the Madera County Sheriff's Office recover about $50,000 dollars worth of stolen bee hives.

They found the stolen property near Central Avenue and Temperance, and they said they arrested a 51-year old man on Friday for the alleged crime.

Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen said, “We've seen in the past these folks steal it for themselves. They may be in the bee industry or they may have some alliances in the bee industry that they may sell them to.”

Both Jacobsen and Gaddie believe whoever stole this amount of beehives must have put a lot of effort into the operation.

Investigators said the suspect was in the middle of transferring bees from the stolen hives when detectives caught him.

“It takes somebody with some special expertise obviously to steal that type of equipment normally,” ended Gaddie.

He said one bee hive can cost you anywhere between $150 to $250 dollars and on one pallet, typically there are four to six hives.

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