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'How could somebody do such a thing?': North Vancouver church's bees stolen

Twenty thousand beloved members of a North Vancouver church’s congregation are missing.

St. Andrews United Church has been home to a beehive for almost two years, and the insects have become well-loved members of the community.

Then last Wednesday, somebody swiped the hive, and all its bees, from the church grounds.

“I felt totally deflated, to think that someone would steal our bees,” said Rev. Judith Hardcastle, the church’s minister.

Hardcastle told CTV News the first thing she does every morning is check on the bees. On Wednesday, they were still there. That afternoon, she received a text from the office administrator asking what she had done with the bees. Confused, Hardcastle said no and asked why. The administrator informed her the bees were gone.

“How could somebody do such a thing? Hives are not cheap,” Hardcastle said.

She suspects the bee bandit is someone with knowledge of bee-keeping, because they would have had to pick up a hive surrounded by buzzing creatures without any fear.

Hardcastle said the theft has been reported to the RCMP, and an officer drove around the area to see if the hive was discarded somewhere. But as of Sunday afternoon, neither the culprit nor the bees have been found.

She added she will forgive whoever took the bees if they’re returned.

In the meantime, Hardcastle has put in a request for a new hive to Alvéole, the company that provided the first hive.

The North Vancouver RCMP, in a statement provided to CTV News Monday, said the criminal investigation into the "bizarre" case has been closed "pending further evidence." Anyone with information is urged to call (604) 985-1311. Top Stories

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