Quantcast

Two Boys Charged With Killing Half a Million Honeybees in Iowa

Animals
The two young Iowa vandals knocked over 50 hives and exposed the bees to deadly winter temperatures. Colby Stopa / Flickr

Two boys were charged with killing more than a half million bees at a honey business in Iowa last month.

"All of the beehives on the honey farm were destroyed and approximately 500,000 bees perished in the frigid temperatures," Sioux City police said in a release.


The suspects, a 12 and 13 year old, allegedly destroyed 50 hives at the Wild Hill Honey in Sioux City. The juveniles have been charged with criminal mischief, agricultural animal facilities offenses and burglary. Their names will not be released due to their age.

The felonies could result in fines as much as $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail, but criminal cases involving minors are typically adjudicated in juvenile court.

Wild Hill Honey owners Justin and Tori Englehardt called it a "senseless" act."

"They knocked over every single hive, killing all the bees. They wiped us out completely," Justin Engelhardt told the Sioux City Journal after the incident.

"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 vandalized or destroyed."

Englehardt later told the Journal that this story resonated with so many people because of the well-known (and horrific) decline of worldwide bee populations.

"Bees are critical, and people are conscious of the fact that bees are having a hard time right now and facing some real challenges," Englehardt said.

A report from the Center for Biological Diversity last year found that more than North American bee 700 species are in trouble from a range of serious threats, including severe habitat loss and escalating pesticide use.

Bees are a precious natural resource—an estimated 35 percent of food production is dependent on pollination from the insects.

The Englehardt's losses were estimated between $50,000 to $60,000. The damage was not covered by insurance.

A fundraising campaign has raised thousands of dollars for the recovery. More than $30,000 has already been donated.

"Thank you to everyone for your generous contributions and your amazing show of support," a message from the Wild Hill owners states. "Because of you, we will be able to continue our business in the spring. We are deeply moved by your compassion. Between the contributions and the equipment we were able to salvage, our needs have been met. There are so many great causes to support. Our wish is that this spirit of compassion will be used to help others now. Thank you."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Investing in grid infrastructure would enable utilities to incorporate modern technology, making the grid more resilient and flexible. STRATMAN2 / FLICKR

By Elliott Negin

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' recent decision to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to scientists who developed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries reminded the world just how transformative they have been. Without them, we wouldn't have smartphones or electric cars. But it's their potential to store electricity generated by the sun and the wind at their peak that promises to be even more revolutionary, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and protecting the planet from the worst consequences of climate change.

Read More Show Less
Two Javan rhinos deep in the forests of Ujung Kulon National Park, the species' last habitat on Earth. Sugeng Hendratno / WWF

By Basten Gokkon

The global population of the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros has increased to 72 after four new calves were spotted in the past several months.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A tiger looks out from its cage at a new resort and zoo in the eastern Lao town of Tha Bak on Dec. 5, 2018. Karl Ammann believes the "zoo" is really a front for selling tigers. Terrence McCoy / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Are tigers extinct in Laos?

That's the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.

Read More Show Less

A group of scientists is warning that livestock production must not expand after 2030 for the world to stave off ecological disaster.

Read More Show Less
The largest wetland in Africa is in the South Sudan. George Steinmetz / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images Plus

Methane emissions are a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – about 28 times more powerful. And they have been rising steadily since 2007. Now, a new study has pinpointed the African tropics as a hot spot responsible for one-third of the global methane surge, as Newsweek reported.

Read More Show Less