By Jamie Leary

NORTHGLENN, Colo. (CBS4)– There are still 12 of 30 beehives unaccounted for in a case Northglenn police are calling a “misunderstanding.” The owners of the hives believe that’s not exactly the case and hope to not only raise awareness but rebuild what’s lost.

“To call it a misunderstanding I think is kind of a sugar-coated term. I think the people involved would like to think it’s a misunderstanding but I think that there was a lot of mistruths to that,” said Shannon Sublette, a family friend of the beekeepers.

(credit: CBS)

Sublette says the beekeepers, Zoya and Boris Cherny, have been raising the bees on her parents’ dairy farm, Karl’s Farm Dairy, since the 1990s.

“One day they just approached my parents about starting to put some hives up and two turned into 30,” Sublette continued, “Boris and Zoya never sold their honey for profit they just would harvest it and return it to people in their lives that were good friends of theirs and that’s kind of how they paid rent. Nothing was ever expected they would just every now and then knock on the door with a jar of honey.”

Two weeks ago, Boris went to check on his bees and discovered all of the hives were missing. Initially, it was reported to Northglenn police as theft but recently deemed it a misunderstanding.

“We discovered that one of our old tenants at the dairy had told a friend that everything in the place was up for grabs because it was going to be developed, however that was not the right information and in the meantime we had 30 hives stolen off of the property,” she said.

A photo of the bee hives before they were stolen in Northglenn. (credit: CBS)

Since, 18 hives have been recovered.

“A lot of them were re-sold on Craigslist and we had one great gentleman out of Golden come forward saying he bought 18 hives and was determined to replace them or return them however, in the process, over nine of those hives died and so there are still only nine viable beehives and 12 hives totally unaccounted for.”

On Friday, Boris moved four of the nine viable hives to a new secluded location in Adams County and plans to move the remaining five in the coming weeks.

“Currently, they’re looking to replace 21 colonies and so each colony with a queen is about $150 and if they were ordered today, those orders wouldn’t be filled until April and so it’s kind of something we need to get on,” she said.

Sublette created a GoFundMe page to help raise the money needed. She says anything beyond their goal will go towards the Colorado chapter of the HoneyBee Conservancy.

Jamie Leary

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