A portion of stolen bee pollen was returned to Fredrich's Honey farm early Friday morning by a mysterious visitor. Approximately $15,000 worth of unprocessed bee pollen was stolen from the farm on Sept. 29 in what was described as a devastating blow to the family business.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, a man visited the home at the Cedar Road farm on Friday morning to drop off seven food grade plastic bins and two large plastic bags filled with pollen.
The amount returned was approximately half of the 500 pounds originally stolen.
"Somebody had heard about it in the news," said Const. Gary O'Brien, spokesman for the Nanaimo RCMP.
"At some point he got access to this bee pollen and took it upon himself to return it to the honey farm."
Police have spoken with the man, who they do not believe is involved with the theft.
"He is co-operating the investigation," said O'Brien. "There have been no charges laid at this point, and there may be other people involved."
The farm was established by Theo Fredrich Sr. in 1966, and the break-in was their first in 20 years.
"It was early in the morning, but that's all I know about it because it's under investigation," said Fredrich. "It was a surprise."
The pollen had been kept in freezers to ensure freshness, so Fredrich said he hoped it was still in good condition.
"It may be spoiled, but I haven't seen it yet. It's stored in a safe place now," said Fredrich. "If it's OK and we can use it, that would be great, you know?" The theft has led to an outpouring of concern from the community, said Fredrich. Recent sales have been up slightly as people have dropped by the farm to express their support for the business.
Bee pollen is typically used as a nutritional and medicinal supplement. A 500 gram bag of the product sells for approximately $30 in Canada. The theft was particularly difficult for the family because there are only six weeks in the year when pollen can be produced, and it cannot be collected again until July 2014.
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