By Laura McLean
The British farming industry faces huge losses as thousands of bee-hives are stolen around the country.
A number of recent break-ins has caused farmers across the UK to fear there may be an apian black market in operation. The value of the common Honeybee has risen dramatically in the last year following a reduction in numbers caused by disease and wet summers.
And now 800,000 bees have been stolen from a farm inStaffordshire, costing the owner over £6000.
Richard Lindsey, a bee farmer who runs the Great Little Honey Company at Rowley Hill Farm in Stretton said he was deeply upset by the scale of the theft.
“It’s soul destroying. I went to check on the hives and all that was left were the stands. It had been cleaned out completely.
“It must have been someone who knew what they were doing — someone in the trade. You would need equipment to load them on to a truck and they’re not easy to lift.
Farmers across the UK have launched an appeal to the thieves claiming that any harm to bees may seriously affect British agriculture. Their declining numbers have meant less pollination and may mean fewer crops in the future.