Quantcast

Vandals Kill Tens of Thousands of Honeybees in Iowa

Jason Riedy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A farmer in Iowa lost tens of thousands of honeybees and after vandals destroyed several hives on two separate occasions.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Grateful Acres Farm northeast of Des Moines said it found three of its strongest hives smashed by logs, bricks and cinder blocks. Each hive can hold up to 60,000 insects, the Des Moines Register reported.


The tops were knocked off the containers, exposing the bees to days of heavy rain and causing most of the insects to perish, according to USA TODAY. The hives also held about 150 pounds of winter honey stores, which was left open for other bees in the area for the taking.

This is not the first time Iowa hives were targeted by vandals. Earlier this year, two boys, 12 and 13, were charged with killing more than a half million bees and causing between $50,000 to $60,000 in damages at a honey business in Sioux City.

Jake Knutson, who owns Grateful Acres Farm, suspects that kids are also to blame for his trashed hives. He did not contact the authorities at first because he did not want to see youngsters face potential criminal charges, the Des Moines Register reported.

But on Wednesday, Knutson said on Facebook that he filed a report with the police after finding another hive completely knocked over and another one teetering on the stand.

"That means whomever did this came back within the last day and a half with the intent to destroy them," he wrote. "The first time I guessed it was curious kids and I was just wanting to speak to their parents but after the recent incident I filed a police report and will prosecute when they find them."

The act cost an estimated $400 to $500 in damages, Knutson told the Des Moines Register. However, he said that the bigger loss was the time and effort it took to establish the hives and to build up the bees' genetics to withstand Iowa winters.

A friend of Knutson's created a GoFundMe to help the farm recoup the costs.

"We will be able to recover on our own it just sucks when you invest that kind of time and labor only to have some a holes destroy it all," Knutson wrote on Facebook. "Unfortunately this seems to be a growing trend so teach your kids about the important role bees play, seek out a bee keeper close to you and support them."

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

But declines in bee populations have been widely reported around the world in the past several decades. A report from the Center for Biological Diversity last year found that population levels of more than 700 North American bee species are declining due to a range of serious threats, including severe habitat loss and escalating pesticide use.

Sponsored
by [D.Jiang] / Moment / Getty Images

By Alena Kharlamenko

Tofu is a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets.

Read More Show Less
KarinaKnyspel / iStock / Getty Images

2018 saw a number of studies pointing to the outsized climate impact of meat consumption. Beef has long been singled out as particularly unsustainable: Cows both release the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere because of their digestive processes and require a lot of land area to raise. But for those unwilling to give up the taste and texture of a steak or burger, could lab-grown meat be a climate-friendly alternative? In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the Oxford Martin School set out to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Three scissor-tailed flycatcher fledglings in a mesquite tree in Texas. Texas Eagle / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Gary Paul Nabhan

President Trump has declared a national emergency to fund a wall along our nation's southern border. The border wall issue has bitterly divided people across the U.S., becoming a vivid symbol of political deadlock.

Read More Show Less
PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images

By Daniel Ross

Hurricane Florence, which battered the U.S. East Coast last September, left a trail of ruin and destruction estimated to cost between $17 billion and $22 billion. Some of the damage was all too visible—smashed homes and livelihoods. But other damage was less so, like the long-term environmental impacts in North Carolina from hog waste that spilled out over large open-air lagoons saturated in the rains.

Hog waste can contain potentially dangerous pathogens, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. According to the state's Department of Environmental Quality, as of early October nearly 100 such lagoons were damaged, breached or were very close to being so, the effluent from which can seep into waterways and drinking water supplies.

Read More Show Less
This picture taken on May 21, 2018 shows discarded climbing equipment and rubbish scattered around Camp 4 of Mount Everest. Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world's highest rubbish dump as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind. DOMA SHERPA / AFP / Getty Images

China has closed its Everest base camp to tourists because of a buildup of trash on the world's tallest mountain.

Read More Show Less