More than half a million bees have been killed and burned after an unknown person(s) set the hives on fire in a rural area of southeast Texas.
According to the Brazoria County Crime Stoppers, most of the 20 hives filled with bees had been incinerated while others had been tossed into a pond. A deputy from the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office found the burning beehives at the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association in Angleton, Texas, early Saturday.
Vandals had struck in the past, but a living hive had never been set on fire or drowned. There were no surveillance cameras at the farm, and authorities are not sure if it was a single culprit or more.
The honey bees, the dominant pollinator for decades, have been threatened by pesticides, poor nutrition and other causes. The dead bees belonged to four owners, who had been raising the bees as a hobby and for educational purposes. To raise funds, they would sell the honey. It is estimated a 1,000 pounds’ worth of honey was lost.
The remnants of four hive structures were saved, however the queen and her eggs have not been found. The remaining bees may not survive and went into a “panic mode” after the disappearance and possible death of the queen.
The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office urges anyone with any information in reference to the case to contact Brazoria County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-460-2222 or go online to http://www.crimeinfo.net/sitemenu.aspx…to report the information. A $5,000 reward has being offered through Brazoria County Crime Stoppers for Information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved.
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