Less than three miles from where they were taken, around 700,000 bees kidnapped during a nighttime raid have been discovered.
A total of 14 beehives vanished from Blackwood Lane near Llangollen, North Wales, some three weeks ago, leaving their owners, who had just started their beekeeping business, “heartbroken”.
The hives were found on Tuesday after a police public appeal and a tip from a member of the public.
The co-director of West Coast Apiaries, which owns the hives, Nathan Egerton Evans, expressed relief that the insects appeared uninjured on the BBC’s Today show.
“We’ve got some fantastic news, and that is [that] all of the missing bee hives are now back in our possession and are looking in a reasonably healthy state,” he said.
Beekeepers Applaud Public’s Help in Recovering Stolen Bees
The bees were stolen, according to Mr. Evans, who runs the company with Giuff Tomos, a co-director, who is 27. He also noted that the hives were “quite cleverly concealed” when discovered.
“This was absolutely a carefully considered operation for them. They had a specially erected area where they had the hives and it was obviously pre-planned,” he said.
But because there is an “ongoing police investigation,” he declined to say how he discovered the location of the bees.
He added that “everybody had a part to play in this” and complimented the general population for being alert to the bees.
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Neighbourly Facebook Post May Have Led to Theft of Bees
Sian, 59, and Lily Barnett, 32, mother and daughter and relatives of Mr. Tomos’ partner, described the hives as “expensive” and some of them as being handcrafted.
They noted that one of the robbers may have been alerted by a “neighborly” remark on a neighborhood Facebook page.
“I think somebody put a post up just to say: ‘kids and dogs beware’, which you would, being neighbourly, you’d say there’s beehives here, watch out,” Sian Barnett said.
“But unfortunately you’re alerting people who want to steal beehives where they are.”
Ms Barnett added: “I should imagine it would be someone local who’s seen that local post, which just gave the name of the road.”
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