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Massive bee bust in California stings Laveen business

Posted at 7:09 AM, May 18, 2017

A near million dollar bee bust in California hit a Laveen family business for around $70,000.

"Just starting into this, having this situation was really tough for me," said Tymofey Balzhyk, co-owner of Desert Valley Honey.

Balzhyk started beekeeping with his father four years ago. They work with a broker in California who typically rents their hives to California almond farmers.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says 51-year-old Pavel Tvertinov was behind a massive bee theft scheme, stealing around 2,500 hives up and down the state, including 244 belonging to Balzhyk.

"It's horrible because he's hurt so many beekeepers, so many hardworking people," he said.

Investigators say Tveretinov had the stolen hives at three different locations and was renting them out to unknowing farmers.