PROGRESS PHOTO/Diana Dickinson

A theft of more than 400,000 bees was a big financial loss for beekeeper Bob Martin of “weBEEjammin Honey BEES.”

Seven beehives containing more than 400,000 bees were stolen recently from a local beekeeper, causing a loss of income.

Beekeeper Bob Martin called the Rogers County Sheriff's Office last week on Tuesday notifying them of the theft in the Foyil area.

Martin, of “weBEEjammin Honey BEEs,” said the bees are on a manageble pollination schedule where they are transported by a semi-truck to various states — like California and Texas — for pollination.

These bees had arrived in March, but Martin sometimes gets calls to rescue nests of bees hanging on mailboxes or swarming on trees — all used to make honey and/or split with other beekeepers.

The loss of the hives range anywhere form $2,500 to $3,500. In terms how much money will be lost from the making of honey, Martin said, that is hard to calculate.

“We get anywhere from 100 pounds to 1,000 pounds of honey,” he said.

But the yield is higher depending on the nectar flow. “So far, that (nectar flow) has not been good,” he said.

The bee loss will put him behind financially, but said he will find out who stole the hives eventually.

He said whoever stole the bees were inexperienced with bees after abandoning a few brood bodies and leaving the blanket to cover the bees behind.

“Whoever it was, got out in a hurry and must have gotten stung quite a bit,” he added.

Martin said the brood bodies were white with a red letter “H” on the outside.

The honey supers were baby blue shallows (boxes).

Although a report was not requested of RCSO by Martin, the theft falls under RCSO jurisdiction. If anyone has any information about the theft or an encounter is made with someone trying to sell bees and are suspicious, they are asked to contact the Rogers County Sheriff's Office tip hotline at 918-341-3620.