COOLSPRING TOWNSHIP – Beekeeping – and the honey it brings – is becoming more and more popular, but one local beekeeper found out about the downside of that popularity when several of his bees, and honey, were stolen last week.

La Porte County Sheriff's deputies were called Friday to the 7400 North block of CR-525W in unincorporated Coolspring Township for a theft report after a man called 911 to report several beehives stolen.

The beekeeper, a 70-year-old La Porte resident, said he didn't live on the property, but keeps three of his beehives, and thousands of bees, there, according to a report from the sheriff's department.

He showed the deputy the beehive boxes, made of wood and containing "brewed frames" that are used for collecting honey, and said each of the brewed frames is "significantly expensive," the report said.

The beekeeper said he checks on the beehives every 10 days, but when he arrived to check on the bees about 2:30 p.m. Friday, he noticed they had been tampered with.

He said about 15 of the "good" brewed frames were missing, and had been replaced with "bad" frames. However, he said the deputy would not be able to get near the beehives because he would get stung by the bees, the report said.

Whoever tampered with the beehives also drained them of honey, the beekeeper said. But he believes the culprit "didn't know what they were doing, because they did not take the brewed frames properly out of each box," he told police.

The victim told police he had no suspects in mind, and the damage to each hive was estimated at about $500.

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