Two boys, ages 12 and 13, have been detained in Sioux City, Iowa, accused of killing half a million bees after they allegedly destroyed a honey farm. The “act of vandalism,” as the facts have been called, exposed the bees to deadly winter temperatures.
The children, whose names have not been disclosed for obvious reasons, were arrested and charged with felonies and offenses to Wild Hill Honey , the animal facility that was attacked. According to Justin Engelhardt, the owner of the site: “They demolished each and every one of the hives, killing all the bees. They annihilated them completely. They broke into our shed, took out all our equipment and threw it into the snow, broke everything they could, it’s a completely senseless crime, an act of unique vandalism.”
After the incident, a friend of the Engelhardts started a page in GoFundMe where he has raised more than $ 30,000 in donations, about half of what the couple says they will need to start their business again. According to Justin:
“It was amazing and we are deeply grateful for all of the contributions from the people of Sioux City and people around the country,” Engelhardt said. “It’s thanks to those contributions that we’ll be able to rebuild in the spring. We’ve already made arrangements to get some hives down south and we’ll bring them up in the spring and we’ll be right back to where we were.”
As for the children, although the charges could reach fines of up to 10,000 dollars and 10 years in prison, it is normal that the case is adjudicated to the juvenile court. Be that as it may, the death of pollinating bees in recent years has caused concern among researchers.
At the moment, there are several studies trying to discover what is killing the bees, once they have identified some factors such as pesticides intended to kill insects, some plants, mites and some diseases.