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Thousands of honey bees stolen from Alberta farmer

Stolen bees mean a $6,000 loss for Nixon Honey Farm

A central Alberta farmer is feeling the sting from the theft of 600,000 honey bees and 12 hives.

Kevin Nixon of Nixon Honey Farm near Innisfail says he can't understand why anyone would stoop to stealing somebody's livelihood.

Staff checking the hives on Wednesday discovered that the bees were missing.

Nixon, who is the chairman of the Canadian Honey Council, says he's looking at about a $6,000 loss.

He's now considering a GPS tracking system to protect his hives.

The theft is the first since he first started keeping bees in 1998.

"We've had the odd case of vandalism, but we've never had hive theft,'' said Nixon.

"I don't even know what to think. There's no reason to steal a person's livestock. For some it's cows. For us it's bees,'' he said.

"Over the past few years, the value of hives has gone up. For us to purchase bees, it's expensive. People don't realize.''

The hives would have been stolen at night when bees weren't flying around, he said. But the bees would have been agitated when moved, so whoever took them would have required at least a veil and gloves for protection.

Nixon said the really sad part is that the thief could be another beekeeper. It's a small industry with about 120 commercial beekeepers in Alberta.

"It's just needless and disappointing. You lose trust in your community.''

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