Thieves steal 190,000 bees

YUBA CITY, CA (KNVN) — Beekeepers from all over the country are flooding California with their hives getting ready for the annual almond tree pollination.

One beekeeper drove hundreds of miles with his bees to Yuba City and promptly had them stolen: all 190,000 of them.

Beekeeper Lloyd Cunniff brought his whole operation, nearly 500 hives with millions of bees, on a truck from Montana. He was storing them here before being placed in an orchard in a couple weeks.

“He came down Monday, he had worked his bees, checked on them, got through about half of them and was going to come back the next morning, came back the next morning and they were gone,” says Philip Russell of Strachan Apiaries.

The bees disappeared in the middle of the night, stolen by someone who clearly knew what they were doing and leaving him without a product to sell to a local grower.

“With the prices we get now that’s lucrative and it helps taking care of the bees the rest of the year,” Russell says.

Cunniff reportedly left one beehive back home in Montana and that’s all he has left to try to re-grow his business. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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