Nearly a million dollars in stolen bees rounded up in Fresno County

Stolen bees found near Fowler

The biggest stolen bee theft case in Fresno County has been solved but the accused bee rustler remains on the loose. The Fresno County Sheriff's ag task force says it uncovered $875,000 of stolen bees at a field at Temperance and Central north of Fowler.

Madera County detectives found dozens and dozens of bee boxes in the same field back in late April. The ag task force got involved and discovered the bees had been stolen from Madera and Kern counties plus four other counties up north. Out of state beekeepers from Missouri and Montana also got stung in the heist.

51 year old Pavel Tveretinov from the Sacramento area is believed to be the mastermind of the operation. Detectives say Tveretinov operated as All State Apiaries. Sgt. Arley Terrence with the task force says many times after he stole boxes he would paint them over but he didn't do a very good job. "He was not the most sophisticated. He would paint over the numbers but it was obvious you could still see the numbers through the victim's numbers that they had placed on the boxes."

Detective Terrence says the beekeepers are a very tight community. He says they personalize their boxes for easy identification. That's how they were able to retrieve their bees.

Tveretinov who's been arrested once in this case is now wanted on several other felony charges. "We'll catch him again. He's still coming to the Fresno area we believe and he's still in the Sacramento area back and forth and we'll catch him. Detective Terrence says the stolen bee cases dates back to 2014. So far 2500 hives have been recovered.