07/22/2014 11:40 EDT | Updated 09/21/2014 05:59 EDT

5 beehives stolen from Clearwater beekeeper

Someone is stealing honey again in the North Okanagan and the RCMP says it's not a big black bear with a sweet tooth.

Last week while the owner was away, thieves made off with five bee hives from the Coldstream area, each filled with thousands of excitable bees and weighing between 50 and 150 kilograms.

Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk suspects at least two people were involved in the theft, likely someone who knows how to properly lift the large hives full of buzzing bees on to a truck or into a SUV.

"I would suspect it's an individual that has some knowledge of the industry for sure, just to pick up a hive and move it," said Molendyk.

The estimated value of the honey in the hives is more than $3,000, but the total loss for the beekeeper represents more than $10,000 in future income.  

"Obviously we are getting near the summer when the hives are filling up and individual or individuals are obviously targeting other people's beehives. Honey is pretty hard to trace, as you can appreciate."            

Molendyk says there were also several thefts of beehives from the Vernon area last year.

In 2012 more than 100 hiveframes were stolen from a beekeeper in Abbotsford, B.C.