Hive heist hits Eastern Townships honey retailer
Owner of Miel Labonté suspects $200K worth of hives taken by another beekeeper
The father of the owner of 180 beehives swiped from a locked enclosure in Saint-Valère, Que. says he suspects the culprit is another beekeeper.
The theft occurred in a field on Highway 955, near Victoriaville, Que., sometime between April 24 and 26. Saint-Valère is about 150 kilometres northeast of Montreal.
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The hives were owned by Francis Labonté, owner of Entreprises Francis Labonté, who sold the honey to his father Jean-MarcLabonté's company, Miel Labonté.
Jean-Marc Labonté told Radio-Canada that the stolen hives were almost all rented by blueberry farmers to help pollinate their crops this summer. He estimates the loss at $200,000.
The hives were in a secured area, but someone broke the lock to take them.
Labonté believes anyone interested in that many hives must be a beekeeper. He suspects the hives were stolen because, with higher-than-average rates of bee deaths, times have been hard for beekeepers.
Quebec's provincial police are asking for the public's help to find the hives. Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Geneviève Bruneau said all hives are engraved with the name "Miel Labonté."
She said investigators are looking for a cube truck or vehicle that could contain all of the equipment.