BEEKEEPER Mike Roberts has seen his business stung by a bizarre burglary.
Thieves pinched an incredible four tons of honey – equivalent to seven years worth of stock – from his Easy Bee Products base in Shurdington.
It happened on Friday morning, shortly after midnight and Mr Roberts has been left worried about the future of his company. With no stock to sell, he said he would be unable to feed the millions of bees under his watch.
"I just don't understand who would do this," he said.
"They must have known what they were looking for – stealing a couple of pots of honey is one thing but taking four tons is a different kettle of fish. How will I feed the bees next year now?
"I've got to sell honey to feed the bees.
"How will I pay staff if I've got nothing to sell? This honey was supposed to keep us going next year because 2012 has been so bad, with the weather over the summer."
He said he had CCTV images of the theft, which appear to show a man, woman and younger man piling the 30lbs tubs of honey into a lorry, having broken the locks on three storage areas at his yard.
"The only kind of person I can think who would do this is another beekeeper because what on earth would anyone else do with it," said Mr Hopkins, who has run the company for more than 30 years.
The honey was stored in dozens of 30lbs tubs at Mr Roberts's yard, off Main Road in Shurdington.
A reward is being offered for the return of the stock.
Police confirmed they were investigating the burglary and have asked anyone with information to call 101 quoting incident 119 of December 21.