$200,000 worth of beehives recovered in Lincoln Co. sting operation

Beehive Theft 2
Credit: Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office

LINCOLN CO., Wash. — An estimated $200,000 worth of beehives were recovered during a sting operation in Lincoln County.

The Sheriff’s Office said 56-year-old Perry David Bayes is accused of stealing hives across California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The value of the local theft was estimated to be about $18,000.

Deputies initiated the investigation after receiving tips from a beekeeper who had his bees on a canola crop outside of Almira. The victim went to retrieve his hives and they were gone.

The investigation led to additional tips and deputies set up the ‘sting’ which led them to the arrest. Bayes was arrested Sunday and now faces a possession of stolen property charge, which is a class B felony.

Deputies recovered the hives with the help of two beekeepers. The Sheriff’s Office said beekeeper “chop shops” are new to Lincoln County, but are common in California.