Vandals topple beehives, kill 200k bees
Vandals toppled and poured diesel fuel on 100 beehives, killing 200,000 bees.
Posted by FOX8 on Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Vandals killed hundreds of thousands of bees in Prunedale, California over the weekend, scattering dozens of beehive boxes and leaving piles of bees dead.
KSWB reports the bees belonged to Alfonzo Perez, a beekeeper wintering the bees on Mike Hickenbottom’s property in Prunedale.
The bees love the eucalyptus trees, Perez said. He thought the area would be safe for the bees because it didn’t get too cold. But the vandals proved otherwise.
“Somebody came in here and tipped over all the boxes and sprayed them with diesel fuel, so it killed a whole bunch of bees,” Perez told KSWB.
Two hundred thousand bees were killed as a result of the damage, putting a large portion of Perez’s yearly earnings in jeopardy.
“This damage is more than $50,000 dollars,” said Perez, who leases the hives to pollinate almond trees on farms around the state. This year, he’ll come up short.
“It’s supposed to be the money I collect next month is for the rest of the year for my family,” Perez said. The timing of the loss of income is critical for Perez. His family is expecting a new family member soon with a child due to be born next month.
The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and authorities say no arrests have been made.
Prunedale is about 100 miles south of San Francisco.
Hickenbottom says neighbors have complained about the bees in the past, but the bees are not aggressive.
Bees, bats, hummingbirds, butterflies and other species are critical to the environment, and to the agricultural sector that contributes $500 million annually