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Bee on the lookout: Georgia keeper stung by $20K hive heist

This Jan. 28, 2014 file photo shows a hive of honeybees on display at the Vermont Beekeeping Supply booth at the annual Vermont Farm Show at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction, Vt. (Andy Duback / Associated Press)
This Jan. 28, 2014 file photo shows a hive of honeybees on display at the Vermont Beekeeping Supply booth at the annual Vermont Farm Show at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction, Vt. (Andy Duback / Associated Press)
Associated Press

LULA, Ga. – A Georgia beekeeper says thieves stole dozens of hives, taking off with up to $20,000 worth of equipment.

Don Kuchenmeister tells WSB-TV the hives disappeared Sunday morning.

With more than five decades of experience in beekeeping, including 35 years as a commercial beekeeper, Kuchenmeister operates Dixie Bee Supply in Banks County, where he often teaches disabled vets his craft.

He theorizes that at least half a dozen people were involved in the heist. He says the thieves likely had beekeeping experience and were looking to either resell the hives or use them to pollinate their own beekeeping business.

Whatever the reason, Kuchenmeister had one message for the abductors: “I hope you get stung good.”

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