BEEKEEPERS are being advised to be vigilant as police investigate rustling in other parts of the country.

The North Wales Police Rural Crime Team is currently investigating large scale bee thefts with one high profile raid reported in the Leader’s sister paper, the North Wales Chronicle, in August when a hive containing 40,000 bees was stolen from a field on Anglesey.

Bee owner, 43-year-old Paul Williams, checked on his £400 hive, which he looks after as a hobby, once a week and noticed it was missing.

A thief, likely dressed in a full beekeeping suit, swiped the hive containing 40,000 bees.

PC Dewi Evans said: “The fact there were thousands of bees inside suggests they were wearing a full beekeeping suit or they risked being stung to smithereens.”

There were similar thefts in 2015.

Jill Wheeler of the Flint and District Bee Keeping Association says that although there have been no recent incidents in this area, keepers should always be wary.

She said: “In our area there hasn’t been any incidents that I’m aware of but they are expensive and people perhaps see them as a way of making money.

“They are not easy to keep so whoever steals bees must know something about beekeeping.

“You are not going to get someone coming in the middle of the night stealing a Queen Bee.”

She added: “There has been an increase in the number of people keeping bees in the last decade and some media spotlight on keeping bees and pollinators, but that is levelling out now.

“People are finding that you have to put in a lot of work to learn about how to keep bees.

“I would advise any of our new members to think carefully about the site where they keep their bees and the security.

“Be aware of where you are putting them and do not keep them in an obvious place.”