Beehive Chop Shop

Beekeepers Feel the Sting of California's Great Hive Heist

Earlier this year, around $1 million worth of stolen bees were found in a field in Fresno County. Sgt. Arley Terrence with the Fresno County Sheriff's Department says it was a "beehive chop shop." [...]

"This is the biggest bee theft investigation that we've had," Terrence says. Most of the time, he says, beehive thieves turn out to be "someone within the bee community."

That was the case in the giant heist earlier this year. The alleged thief, Pavel Tveretinov, was a beekeeper from Sacramento who used the stolen bees for pollination and then stashed them on a plot of land in Fresno County. He was arrested and could face around 10 years of jail time. And authorities say he didn't act alone. His alleged accomplice, Vitaliy Yeroshenko, has been charged and a warrant is out for his arrest.

Steve Godlin with the California State Beekeepers Association says the problem of hive theft gets worse every year. "There used to be kind of a code of honor that you didn't mess with another man's bees," Godlin says.

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