Thief steals bees, $900 worth of honey in Kandiyohi County

Some area beekeepers are taking security precautions after a number of beehive boxes and about $900 worth of unprocessed honey were stolen near the west-central Minnesota town of New London.

Authorities are investigating the theft that happened sometime between Aug. 26 and Aug. 29 on private property near U.S. Highway 71, according to Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt.

The hobby beekeeper, who has a number of hives in the area, told Felt that he checked the hives a few days before the theft and that they were nearly ready to be harvested. When he returned Aug. 29, the beekeeper said he noticed the boxes and trays inside the beehives weren't his, and that they were empty.

About 90-100 pints of honey and a "good quantity" of bees has been stolen, the beekeeper said.

Since the theft, some beekeepers have installed motion sensor cameras and branded the hives, Scott County beekeeper Joseph Coffey tells KSTP-TV.

"A picture is worth a thousand words, if you can get a picture of the person, a picture of the truck, and hopefully a tag, that gives you some easy identification," Coffey said.

Investigators believe the thief used a large vehicle or trailer, donned protective clothing and committed the crime at night when bees are the tamest.

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