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Hundreds of bee boxes go missing in Lee County

Posted at 9:45 AM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 18:45:35-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A string of beehive thefts around Lee County has investigators combing the area for suspects.

Authorities say there have been at least four bee hive box thefts over the last four months, with a value of over $100,000 in total.

In May, unknown suspects removed two pallets, containing 12 hives from a remote property in Lehigh Acres.  The hives had a value of approximately $4,500. 

In late June, deputies received another report of 100 wooden bee boxes stolen from a Cape Coral property.  The victim said the fence protecting the area where the hives were being kept had been cut, allowing the suspects access to remove the boxes.  

On July 7th, Wonderful Bees, a national company with hives in both Lee and Charlotte Counties, reported that all of their boxes from a location in Alva had been taken.  In total, 192 beehives were removed from the site, valued at more than $41,000. 

Now last week, another Wonderful Bees location was targeted in south Lee County.  During this theft, 180 double boxes of beehives were stolen, leaving a total loss of $42,000.

According to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, the thieves would have needed heavy machinery to remove the boxes.

Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of the suspects responsible is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers and up to $10,000 from Wonderful Bees.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.