Responding With Love After Tragedy
Beehives have been increasingly targeted by vandals over the past few years. Recently, one beekeeper in Iowa had his hives trashed by vandals, which resulted in him losing 150lbs of honey. The bees were left to die in the cold weather, thousands of them.
In a separate circumstance, two minors are facing charges after they destroyed hives at a honey farm in Sioux city. Their actions resulted in the death of 500,000 bees, roughly $60k in damage.
In California, vandals there decided to target at least 100 hives, they toppled them and sprayed them with gasoline. It's estimated that roughly 200,000 bees were lost as a result. In many of these circumstances, beekeepers have faced tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
Who would do such a thing?
One beekeeper from Long Island, C. Kelly, who has been looking after bees for decades with almost 50 years of experience, was another victim who had several of his own hives vandalized.
After the tragedy that he faced though, he wanted to respond with love; looking to combat what he saw as evil with what he believed to be good. Fueled by his faith, Kelly made the decision to donate the necessary supplies for several others to either start their own beekeeping adventure, or to try and repopulate lost hives.
Kelly wrote on his social media account after the incident, that he wanted to try and sow light and hope in the community after experiencing such a sad and painful event.
The equipment, he said, was easy to replace, but the loss of his bees is what hurt him the most. Kelly is still passionate about training and teaching beekeepers about the importance of beekeeping, how to manage their hives, and more.
Other suggestions for how to prevent theft from occurring are ideas such as painting the hives a muted color to help them blend in and go unnoticed, or to put the hives in a location that is hidden and out of sight from the general public. Many people might not have considered this option, but what about putting them on the roof? Other ideas include using a fence or a hedge, which won't keep out everyone but is likely to deter some. Bolting down or locking-up the hive is another idea to consider, though that isn't compatible with every hive type out there.
Beekeepers have recommended that it's important to be insured, as the damage can be very costly if the hives are targeted. Investing in some sort of surveillance technology for the hive is another great idea, if you want to have footage if an event does take place so that you can pursue charges against the wrongdoers.
Educating the community is one solution that some beekeepers have become increasingly invested in pursuing. We often fear what we don't know and there might be some individuals who are afraid of having hives around them because they aren't fully aware of what that entails, the dangers or benefits that come along with that. Educating the community on what the differences are between various bees, the benefit that they can offer, and more, is what many beekeepers have become passionate about doing. Whether it's contributing to a blog or holding various community meetings, you can find a number of passionate individuals working in this space who are eager to relay the importance of beekeeping to the next generation.
The attacks on beehives haven't only taken place around the United States, you can find similar attacks that have occurred in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, England, and other areas. Thankfully, there are a myriad of potential solutions that can be utilized to deal with this threat.