There seems to be an international network of beekeeper thieves. There has been a sting of bee-kidnapping in Western Europe.
In France, there were 400 hives stolen last year but this year there are already more than 600 hives reported stolen. Beekeepers are waking up at night to find their hive boxes empty so the thieves work stealthily at night. One beekeeper had 25 hives stolen at once! He must be a heavy sleeper.
Many bees in Europe are endangered so they fetch a higher price than ever before. Experts suspect that these hives are sold to novice beekeepers who don’t know any better. They’re not like pets that can be easily tracked or chipped. Beekeepers are now being encouraged to install better security on their buzzing friends.