A devastated beekeeper has hit out after an animal abuser killed around 500,000 honeybees by setting their hives on fire.
The twisted crime saw around 20 wooden hives strewn across a bee yard in Houston, Texas, before they were covered in an accelerate and torched.
Stunned members of the Brazoria County Beekeepers’ Association found the trashed hives on Saturday morning.
Association President Steve Brackmann, whose hives were targeted said: ‘It’s bad enough to think in today’s world this would happen but dumping them over and then setting fire to them is beyond comprehension.
‘Vandalism is one thing.
‘But for someone to go in and spend their time dumping over those hives and lighting them them on fire…
‘I think it’s someone that doesn’t like beekeepers or bees.’
Some bees did survive the attack, with Brackmann overwhelmed with emotion on seeing them tending to a honeycomb-filled hive that had been dumped in a pond.
Writing on the group’s Facebook page, he said: ‘I broke down in tears when I saw a floating brood frame in the water with bees still caring for the brood.’
Brackmann says he and his fellow beekeepers are anxiously waiting to discover whether any of the queen bees survived.
The continued presence of that top bee would help the colonies rebuild themselves much more quickly.
Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the destruction, and a $6,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the bee killer’s capture.