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Amnesty offered in theft of honey

Beekeeper Philip Barr is offering amnesty to whoever stole honey from an old office building by grain elevators between the Buffalo River and Ohio Street.

A dozen or so jars and beekeeper gear were taken earlier this week from the building at the industrial site known as Silo City. Barr said if the items are returned to Sweetness 7 Cafe on Grant Street, he will drop the matter.

"Whoever took it, bring it back and all will be forgiven," he said. "They took about a dozen small jars of honey that was going to be given out as thank-you gifts We have the majority of honey."

Barr suspects the things, worth about $250, were stolen by someone who watched him work last week. He removed a beehive that stretched six feet up a window pane of the boarded office building. He vacuumed the bees inside and then moved them to a new home: a special hive-holding glass case suspended inside a hexagon-shaped steel tower at Silo City, designed and built by University at Buffalo architecture students.

"There is comb being built, which means they're there. They're not going anywhere," Barr said. "They like their new home."

The bee project, sponsored by Rigidized Metals and its CEO Rick Smith, is part of a new effort to develop Silo City into a design campus and place for art happenings and design projects. The bees were moved June 8, and the theft occurred sometime between Sunday evening and Wednesday morning. "It's so random that someone would take a beekeeping jacket. You cannot sell it on the black market," said Barr. "May they get stung a thousand times."