A Johnston County beekeeper is feeling the sting following a hive heist.
It happened last week in a field on Sandy Road outside of Four Oaks.
The beekeeper said someone stole four bee hives located near a barn. The owner said the four hives were worth a total of $1,000.
Authorities said the person or persons who stole the hives must have been familiar with handling honey bees.Rising honey prices have made hives attractive to sticky-fingered criminals.
Beekeepers are encouraged to keep bees out of sight and mark the hives, lids and box frames with contact information in case they are stolen.
In some states like California where bee thefts are a major problem, some beekeepers are placing hidden GPS tracking devices in the hives.