CHICAGO (CBS) — A hive heist had people buzzing on social media Wednesday – 80,000 bees were stolen in Lakeview.
CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross caught up with their keeper to find out how they were eventually tracked down.
It is believed that most of the 80,000 bees were finally returned to the hive. But a portion of the bees at the hive vanished for several hours, and who is responsible remains a mystery.
The hive at Bosworth and Cornelia avenues is normally buzzing with activity – but not criminal activity.
“They weren’t here and, you know, it was very emotional,” said Caroline Corboy.
Corboy maintains the Southport Corridor bees, which have their own Instagram account.
“It’s a fun thing to do,” she said.
Corboy’s beekeeping hobby began back in April on a plot next to an apartment building. But overnight or early Wednesday morning, someone hatched a plot – taking two hives and the insects inside.
The hives were dumped about a mile away, including in Rena Trapani’s alley.
“I was a little shocked,” Trapani said.
“They had backed into it with their car by accident,” Corboy said.
Of all the things Trapani’s husband could have backed into as he entered the garage, stolen and discarded beehives were not on anyone’s list of the likely.
“Not something I expected,” Trapani said. “Bees swarming everywhere, around the car, in the back.”
Trapani’s surprise discovery eventually caught the attention of local beekeepers, who helped rescue the bees and their hive home. They found another hive nearby.
Unfortunately, it is not the first time that someone has disturbed the bees.
Back in June, Corboy said, “Someone took the lid off of my hive and it was raining that night, so they all got wet, but they ended up being fine.”
“It’s kind of upsetting,” added Trapani. When asked why anyone would want to do such a thing, she said, “I have no idea.”
For now, some of the bees have found a new home, but most have returned to the hives.
As to their condition after the run-in with a car, Corboy said, “No, they’re in really good shape.”
When asked what she hopes happens to those responsible, Corboy said, “I’m sure they were stung, so I hope that hurts.”
Corboy said she has filed a police report and is considering putting the hives under lock and key and buying a surveillance system.