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US police arrest two boys after vandalism killed 500k bees

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Police have arrested two boys for allegedly vandalising a honey business in the US state of Iowa that killed half a million bees in late December.

The damage to 50 beehives at Wild Hill Honey farm in Sioux City resulted in the honey bees freezing to death.

The boys aged 12 and 13 are charged with three offences.

Wild Hill Honey's owners said they had caused $60,000 (£43,400) of damage and called the crime "completely senseless."

Co-owner Justin Engelhardt told the Sioux City Journal: "They knocked over every single hive, killing all the bees. They wiped us out completely."

Mr Engelhardt and his wife discovered the destruction on their property on 28 December when they went to dust off snow from their hives.

"They broke into our shed, they took all our equipment out and threw it out in the snow, smashed what they could. Doesn't look like anything was stolen, everything was just vandalised or destroyed," said Mr Engelhardt last month.

The losses faced by Mr Engelhardt and his wife drew national and international attention and police were able to track down the suspects with the help of tip-offs from the public.

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As insurers do not cover beehives, it was thought the burglary would wipe out the apiarists' livelihood. However, an online fundraiser has collected more than $30,000, allowing the couple to start again in spring.

The boys have been charged with criminal mischief, agricultural animal facilities offences, burglary, aggravated misdemeanour and possession of burglar's tools.

Related Topics

  • Bees
  • Crime
  • Iowa

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