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Washington County beekeeper claims theft of hives; 350,000 bees

| Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 12:06 p.m.
Surrounded by bees, keeper Mark Bedillion removes a frame from one of his hundred-plus bee hives in Hickory, Friday, October 13th, 2012. Bedillion had seven hives stolen earlier this week, and he believes the thieves were experienced in bee keeping. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
In a full suit, bee keeper Mark Bedillion removes a frame from one of his hundred-plus bee hives in Hickory, Friday, October 13th, 2012. Bedillion had seven hives stolen earlier this week, and he believes the thieves were experienced in bee keeping. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Bee keeper Mark Bedillion removes a frame from one of his hundred-plus bee hives in Hickory, Friday, October 13th, 2012. Bedillion had seven hives stolen earlier this week, and he believes the thieves were experienced in bee keeping. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review

A beekeeper says thieves took $2,000 worth of hives containing 350,000 bees from a Washington County farm.

“It's just amazing. It's just a shame. If you are going to steal a beehive, you'll pretty much take anything,” Mark Bedillion, owner of Bedillion Honey Farm & Farm Market in Hickory, said Friday.

Bedillion said he reported the theft to the state police Washington County barracks. A dispatcher there said Friday that police were not conducting an investigation.

The seven stolen beehives were removed from another farm in Morris sometime between Thursday and Monday, said Bedillion, who places his bees in scattered locations.

Each beehive weighs 160 to 180 pounds, is jammed with honey and honeycombs and is also home to about 50,000 bees, he said.

“You don't just pick them up and put them into a car. They have to be tied together and prepared for transport. You need to be wearing a protective suit, ” Bedillion said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at rwills@tribweb.com.

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