700k bees killed in ‘arson attack by rival beekeeper’
The attack earlier this month saw 20 beehives set alight, with figures suggesting bee-related crimes have increased substantially.
Losing a honeybee colony to theft or being killed can be likened to losing a close family pet, trust me, you put a lot of time, effort and money into each honeybee colony.
Currently, honeybees are treated like property, until the few who have little respects for others honeybees are brought to justice and made an example of, the many will continue to suffer.
By Sharon Marris, News Reporter
A beekeeper has said she feels “numb” after hundreds of thousands of bees on her property were killed in a suspected arson attack.
Michaela Tulett is the owner of Api-Bees in Sellindge, near Ashford, and said about 700,000 honeybees were killed when 20 of her beehives were set alight.
The attack was reported to be the second in less than a year. Last June, 26 hives were destroyed in a similar incident.
Ms Tulett told Sky News: “There has been a financial loss that can only be recovered over time by producing more bees.
“But we are not going to let this act of violence affect our business.
“The initial feeling after the arson attack was shock that it had happened again followed by a feeling of numbness.”
In December it was reported that the increasingly lucrative beekeeping market had seen bee-related crimes – mainly thefts – rocket. Some queen bees, for example, can fetch up to £180.
There were 135 thefts reported during the previous six years, with many hundreds of thousands of bees taken.
Some of the crimes have also been blamed on rivalry between some of the UK’s estimated 30,000 beekeepers.
Ms Tulett said: “Although there is rivalry between beekeepers I can’t say for sure that this is what has happened in this case.
“It has made us think seriously whether to continue using this site or to just stick with the other sites we have.
“Although this is a devastating blow to us, it is not enough to make us go out of business, so it that was the intention of the arsonist it hasn’t worked.”
Curated from: news.sky.com