Beekeepers have been left buzzing after a thief made off with 14 hives containing thousands of bees from a mountain farm.
The hives are thought to be worth several thousand pounds and their loss is believed to be a ‘terrible blow’ for the owner.
Suspicion has now fallen on members of the beekeeping community, with the police believing the culprit must have ‘some knowledge’ about the hobby.
The crime happened at a farm at Mynydd y Garth, near Llangollen, Denbighshire, at night between Friday and Monday.
Hobby beekeeper Cathy Williams, a member of South Clywd Beekeepers’ Association, said the impact of the crime ‘would be catastrophic’ for the owner.
Suspicion has now fallen on members of the beekeeping community, with the police believing the culprit must have ‘some knowledge’ about the hobby
She said: ‘It was 14 hives that were stolen – that would make a big punch in his profits for the year, a huge punch and it would set him right back to next year.
‘It’s because the colony goes on from year to year, season to season through its lifecycle and if you’ve lost all those bees, you’re not going to have honey from those colonies next year, it’s really very serious.’
Speaking to the BBC, Ms Williams, who only has a small colony with eight hives, added: ‘If they are hobby beekeepers like me then you have lost everything. It’s a terrible blow.’
‘Whoever has taken these has got very probably very good sturdy colonies, which will then go through the winter.
‘If they were to steal spring colonies, they will probably be a lot smaller.
‘So again, whoever has stolen them knows what they’re doing.
PCSO Iwan Owen of North Wales Police said the crime is likely to have happened late at night ‘because the bees would presumably return to the hive after about 8.30pm’
Urging people to come forward with information, PCSO Iwan Owen, of North Wales Police said: ‘Firstly, we are appealing to the beekeeping community.
‘Clearly, anybody seen with these hives would have some knowledge about beekeeping.
‘A total of 14 hives have gone, so they’re likely to have been taken in a vehicle similar to a long-wheelbase Ford Transit, or a trailer.
‘Or are you aware of somebody who has had a sudden influx of beehives, or know somebody who’s starting to sell hives or new colonies? ‘
He said the crime is likely to have happened late at night ‘because the bees would presumably return to the hive after about 8.30pm’.
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