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Somebody Stole This Couple's Beehives Containing 30,000 Honeybees

Marianne and Matthew Gee say they're worried the bees won't survive the winter.

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An Ottawa couple who run a honey business say two of their beehives were stolen over Christmas. Each beehive contains a cluster of about 15,000 bees.

Marianne Gee

Marianne Gee told BuzzFeed Canada her husband Matthew went to check on the bees on Boxing Day after "unusually warm weather on Christmas Eve" only to find they had disappeared.

“It was definitely pretty shocking," Gee said. "He’d been there a week earlier."

Gees Bees / Via Facebook: GeesBeesHoneyCompany

The couple, who run the Gees Bees Honey Company, own about two dozen beehives that they rent out to homeowners and businesses around Ottawa as a source of locally-produced honey.

“I’ve never heard of anyone stealing bee hives before," Gee said. "I suspect it was someone who was interested in keeping bees and maybe wanted a couple new bee hives for Christmas. It was pretty unusual."

Marianne and Matthew Gee started their honey business a decade ago, after discovering a colony of honeybees on the side of their house.

Gees Bees / Via Facebook: GeesBeesHoneyCompany

Gee said her husband wanted to remove the bees without the use of pesticides but couldn't find many options for homeowners. So he removed the colony himself and moved them into a proper beehive. The two of them have been keeping bees ever since.

“We’re totally in love with honeybees," Gee said. "They’re absolutely amazing creatures. I learn something new about them every day.”

She said she was baffled by why someone would steal beehives.

"It would have to be someone who knows enough about bees to be interested, but not enough to know not to move them in the winter.”

Marianne Gee

Honeybees cluster together over winter for warmth, and Gee worries whoever took the hives might break up the clusters and kill all 30,000 bees as a result.

She said it costs $400 to $500 to replace a hive, though she's not too worried about her business.

“It’s not devastating, but we’re sad because we had our bees stolen.”

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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