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Quebec beekeeper stung by theft of five million bees from field worth $200,000

MONTREAL — A Quebec beekeeper is in a sticky situation after thieves buzzed off with about five million of his bees.

Jean-Marc Labonte says he discovered Wednesday that 180 hives were stolen from a field near Victoriaville, Que., about 150 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

He says the bees and the hives are worth about $200,000 and believes they were stolen sometime between Sunday and Tuesday this week.

The beekeeper says Quebec, like many areas in North America, is suffering from a shortage of bees that for years have been decimated by disease and pesticides.

Labonte says he thinks that lack of bees is the reason why his were stolen.

Provincial police say they're investigating but have not made any arrests.

Labonte said Thursday the bees were hibernating for the winter and in about five weeks time were set to pollinate the blueberry bushes around the Lac Saint-Jean region before moving on to cranberry fields in July.

The Canadian Press

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