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Lab honeybees missing, man in a bonnet sought

blackbee240.jpgSeveral thousand lab honeybees were stolen from a facility outside a Scottish hospital on Sunday.

Worth around £3,000, the British black bees (Apis mellifera mellifera) belonged to the laboratory of University of Dundee neuroscientist Chris Connolly.

His team was using the bees for a £2 million project investigating the potential effects of miticides and pesticides on the insects’ nervous system. Such chemicals have been proposed as an explanation for worldwide bee die-offs attributed to colony collapse disorder, and Connolly was part of a team exploring this theory.

According to the BBC, Connolly last saw the four missing hives on Sunday morning when he arrived to work at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. The hymenopterans were gone 20 minutes later.

“Two middle-aged men in a white van were seen pulling up beside the hives at this time and clearly whoever did this knows what they were doing and how to handle bees,” Connolly told BBC. One of the suspects also sported a bonnet.

No word on whether the police plan to organise a sting.

Image of honeybee courtesy Wikimedia Commons


  1. Report this comment

    Buzz Lightyear said:

    Amazing story. I just can’t bee-lieve it.

  2. Report this comment

    Bea Prepared said:

    This story is sure to create a huge buzz in the community.

  3. Report this comment

    W. Aggle-Dance said:

    The police should trap the miscreants responsible for this crime using a honey trap.

  4. Report this comment

    Bee-ware of buzzkills said:

    What buzzkills! Trying to ruin research! Bee-ware of people trying to ruin your work.

  5. Report this comment

    Ucanot B. Sirius PhD said:

    This story is not something I would be expecting Nature to give time of day to.

    Dr Callaway should be ashamed of himself.

  6. Report this comment

    Beauford Buzzalot said:

    I already read this story on the Bee Bee C.

  7. Report this comment

    Hive Mind said:

    Someone should send this story to Brian Deer as proof that Nature can publish hard hitting investigative journalism.

  8. Report this comment

    Hannah Honeyhive said:

    I agree with Ucanot B. Sirius: this is none of Prof. Callaway’s beeswax.

  9. Report this comment

    Bee-yonce said:

    Set my people free bonnet man!

    Peta gonna bee on yo a*** soon!

  10. Report this comment

    Just a drone said:

    Callaway is just following the journalist’s maxim: follow the honey.

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