Growers get stung by beehive heists

OROVILLE, Calif. - There's a buzz around Butte County after a recent series of beehive thefts.

Bees are a very important part of growing crops, especially almonds.

Since November three separate reports of beehive thefts have been reported to the Butte County Sheriff's Office.  The thefts happened in Gridley and the northern part of Butte County.

Investigators believe the suspects have knowledge of agriculture, because they would know how important the bees are to the pollination process.  

Andrew Mendonca grows almonds in the Chico area.  He said beehives are very valuable to farmers.

"The reason they're stealing the bees is that they're a lot like livestock and are very valuable," said Mendonca. "They cost a lot of money to get them established."

It's estimated that more than 100 beehives have been stolen.  The estimated value of those beehives is as high as $60,000.

Anyone with information regarding these thefts should contact the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

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