09/18/2014 12:53 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:57 EDT

Bees Poisoned? RCMP To Investigate Report That Thousands Were Killed Intentionally

FILE - This April 25, 2007 file photo shows a colony of honeybees at the Agriculture Department's Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. A new federal report blames a combination of problems for a mysterious and dramatic disappearance of U.S. honeybees since 2006. The factors cited include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition and pesticides. Experts say having so many causes makes it harder to do something about what's called colony collapse disorder. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation's bees to just disappear over the winter each year since 2006. The report was issued Thursday by the Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)
BRANDON, Man. - RCMP in Brandon, Man., are investigating a report that thousands of honey bees have been poisoned in the region recently.

Mounties say in a news release that two locations northwest of Brandon in the rural municipality of Elton are involved.

They say the alleged poisonings are believed to have happened between Aug. 14 and Sept. 3.

Mounties say the bee producers have suffered a substantial financial loss.

Dwindling bee populations have been an increasing concern in the agricultural community, though generally not because of any criminal action.

In recent years, bee populations worldwide have been ravaged by pesticides, parasites and colony collapse disorder, a mysterious phenomenon in which worker bees suddenly disappear.

In California, a record drought has reduced supplies of honey, raising prices for consumers and making it harder for beekeepers to earn a living.

In Ontario, a proposed class-action lawsuit has been launched against two chemical companies that make pesticides widely blamed for massive bee deaths.