Stolen Bees For Sale On The Black Market

Bees are being stolen, yes, stolen bees, because the honey they produce is in high demand and going for a lot of cash on the black market.

By on June 4, 2018
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

You’d never have considered that bees would be selling on the black market, but it’s true. Not only are they being sold on the black market, people are actually stealing bees. The little buzzing things we all avoid are being stolen and sold on the black market.

You’ve probably figured out by now that it’s because of honey. Honey is a great thing to have, especially when it’s made locally. It’s a sort of natural sweetener (and is great in tea), and when it’s local it can help you build immunity to allergens. So they say, anyway; we’re not guaranteeing that. Anyway, apparently the demand for fresh honey has been growing massively (and stores are even locking up honey in security boxes). Someone has discovered that they can capitalize on the honey industry, albeit dishonestly. One beekeeper, Katie Hayward, walked out to her field of beehives one day, and she noticed that there was no more buzzing, and that many of her hives had been stolen. “And the mastermind behind the big sting must have been wearing a beekeeping suit,” the article says. Well, yeah, no kidding. Also, puns are plentiful.

In total, there were about 150,000 bees stolen from her property. The value of those bees is only around $1,600 or so. The real value comes in the form of the honey that the bees produce. She is, naturally, devastated. Her farm has been in the family since 1532. “I love all my bees, they are my world. When you open a hive you see 25,000 little faces looking up at you — it is horrific that they’re gone,” Katie says. She was robbed from twice before, in 2015 and in 2017. One beekeeper lost over 1 million bees – that’s the biggest heist so far on record. You can’t “track” bees, so figuring out which ones are stolen is beyond difficult. There’s a lot more info available here.

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