Bee rustlers hit California

March 7, 2008 4:59:05 AM PST
Rustlers are going after livestock in the West.

However, these thieves aren't after meat-on-the-hoof, but bees-on-the-wing.

Bee snatchers are stealing hives in California and third-generation beekeeper Roscoe Hall says he's lost 180 hives to the bee-bandits in just a few weeks.

He says those hives cost him nearly $70,000 in lost bees.

The threat of being stung isn't deterrent enough.

Now, Hall says he'll be locking his hives to keep the bees safe.

Farmers rent the hives from beekeepers to pollinate blossoming nut trees.

A bee shortage has driven up the cost of hive rentals and the value of bees.