Fresno authorities say they've uncovered the biggest beehive theft they've ever seen. They recovered nearly a $1 million worth of bees belonging to a dozen victims.
Sgt. Arley Terrence of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department Agricultural Crimes Task Force said detectives got a tip about some stolen hives.
When they showed up at an orchard on the outskirts of town, they found 51-year-old Pavel Tveretinov in a beekeeper suit tending to a motley assortment of beehives.
"It was like a chop shop of stolen bees," Terrence said Thursday. "There were just lots and lots of different bee boxes."
In total, detectives discovered 2,500 stolen hives, which Terrence said belong to 12 different victims. Authorities believe all the bees were stolen in California over the past three years. Many belong to local beekeepers, but some hail from as far away as Montana and Missouri.