In a bizarre heist, a thief unknowingly stole a vacuum full of European hornets, queens, and yellowjackets from bee specialist Don Shump.
Don Shump, owner of Philadelphia Bee Co., had his portable shop vac, filled with hundreds of hornets, stolen. European hornets are the largest social stinging insects in the eastern United States.
Shump estimated around 400 hornets, including a hundred feisty queens, were trapped in the vacuum, left from a removal he had performed the day before.
Shump searched for the stolen vacuum but didn't report the theft to the police, as it was just a $100 vacuum. He posted an open letter to the thief on Facebook, joking about the spicy queen bees.
Unlike "murder hornets," European hornets' stings are very painful but not lethal. Shump worries that the thief could unknowingly release the hornets or sell the vacuum.
Shump, who started Philadelphia Bee Co., enjoys the thrill and danger of beekeeping. He's stung daily but remains unfazed.
Hornets that Shump captures are put down, as they cannot be relocated. He urges the thief to return the vacuum to avoid danger.
Shump advises anyone stung by these hornets to remain calm, as swelling and discomfort may last for 24 hours. The lesson is clear: "Don't steal other people's stuff - it might be filled with bees."