April 05, 2019

Susquehanna University is on the lookout for a honey thief.

Though we have no eyewitness accounts, the university believes it was a black bear with a rumbly in his tumbly who broke into the beehives outside the Center for Environmental Education and Research last weekend.

Two of the three hives are intact, but the third hive was pulled apart, dragged about 50 feet away and heavily licked.

Staff reassembled the hive, but the naughty bear came back the very next night for more honey.

Last summer, we became the first university in Pennsylvania to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, so we’re very proud of our bees! Pollinators like bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees and many others are responsible for the reproduction of 90 percent of the world’s wild plant species and 30 percent of the world’s food crops.

The bees are currently in the protective custody of our bee mentor, Lloyd Knouse the beekeeper from Richfield, who has secured them behind an electrified fence on his property until we can build our own.

Not willing to give up more honey, university officials are working with the state Game Commission, which has baited a live trap with the next-best bear treat—doughnuts.

UPDATE: Our sweet-toothed swindler seems to have become one of America’s most-wanted animals! Our story went viral, reported by more than 200 media outlets across the country, from Vermont to Hawaii, from CNN to TIME! There’s still no sign of our honey hijacker, so bee careful out there and keep guarding your hives!