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Dozens of hives were attacked and set on fire in Texas over the weekend in an act of “not contain”, that killed an estimated half a million bees, the officials said.
The hives were discovered on Saturday morning, scattered around the bee yard, the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) wrote on Facebook. A number of hives appeared ashen-black and a bread frame floated in the water nearby with bees still care for the eggs.
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“It is bad enough to think in today’s world this would happen, but dumping them and setting the fire is not to contain,” the BCBA said in the post.
Each colony averages of 30,000 bees, BCBA president Steven Brackman told the Houston Chronicle. He estimated at more than 20 hives were damaged and half a million bees burned or drowned.
Authorities are looking for suspects in the attack. The county sheriff’s office told Houston station KTRK-TV this would be a difficult case to solve, because there were no witnesses.
The suspects are expected to face charges of arson and felony criminal mischief, according to the station.
The BCBA, which has more than 300 members, said that it is offering a $1,000 reward, on top of the $5,000 reward offered by Brazoria County Crime Stoppers, for information leading to the suspects’ arrest.
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The bees are most active during this time of the year when the pollen is on the trees, which the bees use, reproduce, Brackman said. He said that it may take at least a year to replace the lost bees and honey.
“Every colony that we lose is a big disaster for the environment,” Brackman told the station.