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Abbots Langley Garden Society members horrified as burglar bees steal 100-jars worth of honey
Rumours are buzzing over how the season's crop of honey has disappeared from a beehive in Abbots Langley.
Abbots Langley Garden Society discovered their village hives had been broken in to just before the members were looking forward to having their first taste of gardening society honey.
Up to 100 jars were ready and waiting to be filled but every drop, approximately 15 to 20lb of the "golden nectar", disappeared between Sunday, September, 9 and Thursday, September 13.
Jars of honey weighing around 1lb are thought to be worth between £5.50 to £6.50 and members of the society were hoping to raise money towards funding new beehives and equipment.
Members from the society, based in the Gleanings, Marlin Square, are speculating it may have been other bees that stole the honey from the hive.
It is thought the bees worked over the four days, entering through the main entrance and a small gap in the hive.
Society chairman Chris Bromwich went to inspect the hives on Thursday (September 13) and noticed the honey had disappeared and bees were trying to get in through a small gap in the hive.
Kate Macnish, the club’s travel manager, said: "It is simply the problems of the natural world, which is amazing and I still can't get my head round it.
"Members were informed at our society meeting on Thursday and there was a gasp of horror across the room.
"It is unbelievable how they were able to do this.
"This has been an awful year for our wildlife and even the best kept honeybees have found the going tough.
"When they have realised that their colony will not have enough stores for the coming winter, bee scouts have been sent out to find vulnerable hives to attack."
Kate Macnish and Chris Bromwich decided to upkeep the society's very own beehive and attended a Beekeeping Course in February last year.
They then bought their hive and their very first colony of honeybees in July last year to get the project going.
It is thought the British population of bees is under threat of extinction in the UK because of diseases, loss of habitat, chemical pesticides, environment and climate change.
Research shows colony numbers in England fell by 16.2 per cent last winter and if numbers continue fall it could have a huge impact on the wider food chain.
Kate added: "It is a great shame for not only the bees but the members who have put the work in, when taking courses and exams to learn how to deal with the beehives.
"There is also a demand for local honey in the village because it is particularly popular with hayfever sufferers who find it can alleviate their symptoms.
"We don’t know if our colony will survive the coming winter without their precious stores.
"All we can do is keep feeding them sugar syrup and hope for the best."