German authorities are having a honey of a time trying to find out who is stealing beehives.
In recent weeks, at least two entire hives were stolen, complete with thousands of bees, resulting in a severe buzzkill for beekeepers in the Lower Saxony region, according to the German website TheLocal.de.
The burglarized beehives weighed 66 pounds and housed between 10,000 and 15,000 bees, but what bugs the apiarists even more is that each hive is worth hundreds of dollars.
Police in Hidesham -- near where the thefts took place -- believe that the hive thefts were done by experienced beekeepers because. “Amateurs would not know how to deal with a beehive," a statement said.
No word on if a sting operation is planned, but hive thefts seem to breaking out around the world.
Last month, thieves swarmed a Houston restaurant and flew off with a 500-pound colony containing 5,000 bees that was worth an estimated $1,000, according to Mother Nature Network.
Jennifer Scott of the Harris County Beekeepers Association said bees are in short supply and, as a result, beekepers are taking drastic steps to protect their investment.
"Beekeepers are very careful now where they keep their bees, because bees are stolen." Scott told KHOU-TV, adding that many beekeepers are now branding their hives and other equipment to protect themselves from what the industry now calls "bee-rustlers."