SUTTER COUNTY (CBS13) — The search is on for the thieves who stole dozens of beehives from a Sutter County property.

(credit: California State Beekeepers Association)

Investigators say 92 new hives were swiped near South George Washington Boulevard, not far from Yuba City.

They say the suspects used a flatbed truck, possibly making multiple trips. Hives reportedly cost between $200 and $500 each.

READ: Protecting Pollinators: Program Works To Register Money-Making Beehives

Beehive thefts have become a big problem in California recently, thanks in part to surging almond production. Bees were used to pollinating nearly 1.4 million acres of California almond blossoms last February. Almonds generate $5 billion in revenue for the state, so protecting these pollinators is paramount.

There are more than 500,000 acres of almonds in Fresno, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Counties. At least two hives per acre are required for proper pollination.

In 2017, California was responsible for 80% of the world’s production.