AN audacious thief is probably walking around with welts on his face after making off with 12 beehives from Geham National Park.
But beekeeper Mark Rook isn't laughing.
He quit a fulltime job last week to pursue a career in beekeeping and said it was a massive hit to his business.
He discovered $6000 worth of equipment including beehives, livestock and honey had been stolen yesterday between 8am and 1pm.
"We have worked hard to purchase these hives and to just have them stolen is heartbreaking," he said.
"I'm feeling absolutely gutted.
"These were stolen from a registered apiary site I leased from the State Government, so I could have my hives in the state forest."
Mr Rook lives in Ipswich and travels to Toowoomba regularly to tend his bees.
"If anyone hears of my hives trying to be sold or know who has them please let me know," he said.
The hives are branded with R820 and P128.
Mr Rook thinks it may have been someone in the industry or an amateur who stole the hives.
"The people of Toowoomba have been great. I joined Facebook pages and everyone has been sharing my story and getting the word out there."
Mr Rook has other hives around Toowoomba including at Mt Lofty and Highfields.
Toowoomba Police are investigating the matter.
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