back to article White van men swipe British black bees

Tayside police are asking the public to keep an eye out for four hives containing thousands of British black bees which were lifted from the Centre for Neurosciences at Dundee Uni's medical school. BLACKBEE Black bee Photo by Commons Wikimedia The missing bees were part of a £2m research project investigating "the …

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  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Do you have a description of the bees

    Or at least their serial numbers? That's the advantage of bees - they come with built in bar codes

  2. Pete 40
    Joke

    I'm sure...

    ... they just did it for the buzz.

  3. pctechxp

    @Yet Another Anonymous coward

    Groan, that is all.

  4. Repo
    Coat

    Surely the researchers have a Plan B ?

    /gets coat

  5. fridaynightsmoke
    Coat

    Details are fuzzy;

    however rumours are buzzing that police are preparing a sting operation using a honeypot to catch the fly-by-night thieves.

  6. Evan Essence
    Grenade

    Smack in the gob

    So the thieving bastards not only take advantage of the decline in bee numbers, they ruin an experiment to investigate the problem. They deserve to get their lights punched out.

  7. Evan Essence
    Headmaster

    One of a kind

    > Connolly described the bees as "very unique"

    The bees were created in the lab, or something? Or perhaps he means the bees are very *rare*?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Connolly described the bees as "very unique"

    Whereas other bees are only slightly unique?

  9. Drew Scott
    Alert

    Surprisingly common

    My girlfriend is an urban beekeeper and she tells me this is surprisingly common. Just two weeks ago someone tried to break into their shared apiary, where there were about 20 hives. The hives are commonly sold on to beginners who wouldn't know better.

    1. MinionZero

      @"the bees as "very unique""

      There's a lot of different types of bees. They could be some rare variation on a honey bee or some related type that are or are not affected in the same way honey bees are effected to various toxins etc..

      We often think of just honey bees, but there's literally tens of thousands of different types of bees and some of them don't even look like a typical bee, some look like strange wasps & flies etc.. Some don't even live in hives, some are not even social pack like animals, some don't even sting. (Although I hope they stole some of the stronger stinging kinds that get pissed off at being moved around rapidly and then escape in their van). Anyway there's a lot of different types of bees.

      (About a year ago I had the chance to speak to a couple of bee research scientists and they said estimates of the numbers of different types of bees are at least 20000 types and perhaps as many as up to 30000 different types of bees. Its a huge research area and a lot more complex than it would at first appear).

      These thieving Narcissistic bastards who stole these research hives, are sick pathetic worthless rejects, that society doesn't need and that's the best way to treat them when locking them up for a long time, as it'll cut deepest into their otherwise arrogant personas.

      1. Evan Essence
        Headmaster

        Missed point error

        Go to the back of the class

      2. xj25vm

        Tens of thousands?

        "They could be some rare variation on a honey bee or some related type that are or are not affected in the same way honey bees are effected to various toxins etc..

        We often think of just honey bees, but there's literally tens of thousands of different types of bees and some of them don't even look like a typical bee, some look like strange wasps & flies etc.."

        Steady on there - I think you are getting ahead of yourself. If they lived in hives (how else were they stolen - or sold on?) - they were pretty surely one of the breeds of honey bees - a.k.a. 7 species or 44 subspecies in the genus Apis. That is if we are really generous and include all sorts of honey bees from around the world - a lot of which are really unlikely to survive in the UK weather in the first place.

        More likely they are one of the breeds (not species) of Apis Melifera - the European honey bee we all know and love (well, maybe just know).

        1. MinionZero

          Apis Melifera

          @xj25vm: "More likely they are one of the breeds (not species) of Apis Melifera"

          Well we can't be sure it was Apis Melifera (European honey bees) and "Connolly described the bees as "very unique"" which strongly suggests it wasn't Apis Melifera.

          Plus it would make a lot of sense to test wider varieties of bees to see if any of them have genes that protect them, that are missing in European honey bees, which would allow them to find new ways to help the bees or even perhaps lead to the creation of new honey bees with greater protection.

          1. xj25vm

            Bees

            Well - that's still a long way from "tens of thousands". Most non-Apis bees don't even live in colonies large enough to be worth the bother. The absolute majority of honey bees kept in colonies around the world (and that includes the ones outside Apis Melifera/European honey bee) are well within the 50 species mark and the Apis family.

    2. JohnG Silver badge

      Re: Details are fuzzy

      You forgot to mention that the police station is a hive of activity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Activity ?

        I think you mean hive of inactivity ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy

    Surely having a white van is experience enough. White van men can do anything!

  11. Daren Nestor
    Stop

    Why?

    Why on earth is there an "apian black market"? Lazy new beekeepers? Or is it something to do with CCD?

    1. laird cummings

      Honey Bees under threat

      For various reasons, the common honey bee is under great pressure - numbers have fallen drastically over most of the world - and without resident bees or a rent-a-hive ready-to-hand, it's hard to get your crops pollinated. For that reason alone, a few hives would be worth swiping.

  12. Grahame 2
    Coat

    Maybe the police...

    ..could catch the thieves in a sting operation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Hmmm

      Bee on the lookout for stripy jumped thieves!!

  13. zakneutron
    FAIL

    Hmmm

    "Bee" on the lookout for suspicious individuals with lots of stings on hands wear stripy jumpers!!!

  14. J-Wick
    Happy

    Covered in Beees!

    Also, does Sarah still write for El Reg? This story is made for her...

    1. Homard
      Pint

      Look no further than the twat on the magners advert !

      bet that's where you'll find them

  15. Graham Bartlett

    Surely done by Cockney crooks

    Doing it for the bees-and-honey...

  16. gilesey

    One of the men was wearing a bonnet.

    according to the beeb, maybe he just wanted a bee to go in it?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-13335327

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    White Van

    I bought some speakers last week.

    Can anybody tell me how to stop them buzzing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alien

      White van ?

      Who says, and who has the evidence ?

      On the same vein as vupen, I think ass-van is right.

      Just hope they got stung.

  18. ManUtdUSA
    Coat

    the cops said ...

    ... let's bee having you.

  19. kain preacher Silver badge

    ok some one had to say it

    Has any one here asked our Ms Bee? Paging Sarah.

  20. Peter Clarke 1
    Coat

    Illegal Trade

    Surely it would be a black and amber market?

  21. Zippy the Pinhead

    All I can picture

    Is John Belusi from SNL dressed up as a killer bee loading hives into the back of an old pickup truck.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Connolly described the bees as "very unique"

    Is it coz they iz black?

  23. Sim

    beekeeping has become popular

    The BBKA has increased its membership greatly in recent years and there are now many more (several thousand) beekeepers now in the UK. The cost price of buying a nucleus package of bees ( a queen and several hundred workers ) has increased greatly and is currently about £150 or more . The supply to the market has limits and demand has increased.

  24. ravenviz
    Joke

    Gordon Sumner C Bee E

    Has Sting been asked for his opinion yet? We need to know.

  25. Blue eyed boy
    Go

    Will Plod be hunting the culprits using . . .

    .... remote-control drone aircraft?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Bees

    Having studied there some years ago the normal problem was local drug dealers stealing the super-accurate scales we used in the labs.

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