A beekeeper in Brunswick County reconstructs a new yard following the theft of a million of his bees


It’s a story that might be difficult to believe: One day, a beekeeper in Brunswick County discovered that practically all of his colonies had been taken.

“It was estimated that fifteen to thirty colonies were lost,” stated Master Beekeeper Ken Edgar.

Edgar stated that between sixty thousand and one hundred thousand bees might reside in a single colony. He claimed that since 15 to 30 of them were lost, he probably lost more than a million bees.

Edgar claimed, “They took everything in one shot—the bees, the boxes, the tops and bottoms of the boards.” The odd thing is that, rather than being angry, I’m more dissatisfied and ask myself, “Why did you do that?”

Edgar estimates he lost close to $30,000 due to the loss of the bees, equipment, and possible revenue from the honey he would have sold.

Edgar believes that the yard’s location directly off the highway may have played a role. He believes that someone chose to steal the colonies after spotting them from the road. By now, he added, he believes the bees are most likely in California or the West Coast, where a single colony may fetch $200 or more in sales.

This was an endeavor driven by profit. Edgar stated, “People were chasing the almighty dollar.”

Edgar claimed he hadn’t been informed of any leads in the search for information. Despite the pain of the theft, he is not giving up.

Edgar plans to have up to 45 colonies in the new yard he is creating. He has ordered fresh queen bees and made numerous equipment purchases. He moved his yard this time, this time away from the highway and any other notable features.

He claimed that following the theft, he never once considered giving up beekeeping.

Edgar remarked, “I enjoy doing it.” “It’s a great little side business and hobby.”

According to the New Hanover County Beekeepers Association, thefts related to beekeeping are not common in the area.