Beekeeper accused of stealing hives pleads guilty

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Associated Press

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 4 at 11:02 AM

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A Washington beekeeper accused of stealing 28 hives from a competitor will have to pay more than $14,000 in restitution.

But, Joseph Eugene "Skip" Guilmette of Everson avoided jail time in a plea agreement last week in Bellingham. He says he pleaded guilty to theft and possessing stolen property to stay out of jail and keep his honey and candle business going.

Guilmette told The Bellingham Herald (http://bit.ly/1gtXirk) he took the hives last spring in a disputed business deal, but he is sorry for the theft.

Authorities say Guilmette hauled off seven pallets of hives, bees and honey on his forklift.

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Information from: The Bellingham Herald, http://www.bellinghamherald.com

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