Georgia city buzzing about bee bandits

Image 1 of 16

The city of Lula has been buzzing about a bee burglary.  Don Kuchenmeister owns Dixie Bee Supply.  He said the thieves knew exactly what they were doing. 

Monday afternoon he pointed out all the hives that were missing and the tire tracks on his property.  He says someone drove on to his front yard and stole $20,000 worth beehives. 

"They picked up the money ones, the ones ready to be sold," said Kuchenmeister. 

He said the thieves will likely sell them or rent them to farmers.  He said in a way he's not surprised.  Bees are in high demand right now, and there's no way to trace them. 

"There're no serial numbers, there's no way to trace them if you don't catch them in the act they're gone.  The only way you can check them is if you got 'em branded," said Kuchenmeister.

Kuchenmeister has been in the bee business since 1952. Now he has a bee school in Lula, in Banks County.  He teaches people around the world about bee keeping and shares his craft with disabled veterans.  "There's a lot of vets stressed, amputees, guys in wheelchairs come up here and I teach them how to keep bees, it's relaxing for them," said Kuchenmeister.

He said the theft stings, but not nearly as bad as the thieves would be hurting if he got his hands on them. "I'd coat them in honey, kick a bunch of hives over and have fun," said Kuchenmeister.

Kuchenmeister is known as The Fat Bee Man on social media.  He has followers around the world and said right now he has hundreds of people on the look out for his bees.