Max Hopkins’ bee hive is usually buzzing with thousands of honey bees but this photo shows the empty hive after a theft of the honeycomb caused the death of up to 100,000 bees which was a devastating loss for Max’s honey production business.

On June 9, 2019, Fairfax resident Max Hopkins went to check his bee hives, west of Rock Port. When he opened the hive to inspect it, he found that all 10 frames of honey had been taken from the deep honey super. This is approximately 90-100 pounds of honey.

This is a devastating loss to Hopkins, who recently won the Missouri FFA Specialty Animal Production Proficiency Award at the 91st Missouri FFA Convention for his bee hive production. He produces and sells honey locally and uses the money to put towards his college tuition.

Because the honey was stolen, the bees died off because their food source was taken. Hopkins has lost not only the honey but approximately 60,000- 100,000 bees. The loss doesn’t stop there. If he would have been able to split this hive this spring, he could have had two producing hives. The monetary loss is over $1,000 for one harvest alone, plus future honey sales. To replace these bees will cost Max $260. If he had doubled the hives and his harvest, this young man lost well over $2,000 toward his college tuition. That’s not including the cost of the frames that he lost.

If anyone has information about this theft, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement.