Authorities in Texas are looking for a total coward who has no values or understanding of how the world works. The person of interest killed about half a million bees last week after breaking into a yard and torching dozens of hives.
It happened early on April 27th in an apiary field in the city of Alvin, about an hour south of Houston. A CTV News report says that in addition to the burning bee boxes, there were more thrown into a nearby pond.
Of the 24 colonies, 20 were destroyed, each one containing tens of thousands of bees.
The Brazoria County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to US$5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person or people involved. The Brazoria County Beekeepers Association is offering an additional US$1,000 reward to the pot.
On its Facebook page, the beekeeper’s group says the scene after the fires were put out was heartbreaking.
The group is raising money to help the family that owns the bee yard. So far, more than $16,000 has been collected.
No Big Deal?
For anyone who doesn’t think this is such a big deal, it is. This story out of Texas is devastating.
Bee populations around the world are on the decline. Although crazy arsonists aren’t killing most of them, we have climate change and the widespread use of pesticides and other chemicals to blame. That’s on us.
According to the Earth Day Network, 1 in 4 wild bee species is currently at risk of extinction. Over the last ten years, beekeepers across the United States and Europe have reported hive losses of nearly 30%!
The Trickle Down Effect
We rely heavily on bees for pollination. A BBC report says there are 369,000 flowering plant species in the world, and 90% of them require insect pollination for survival.
And according to the FAO, a honeybee can visit 50-1000 flowers in one trip, which typically takes anywhere between 30 minutes and four hours to do. The report says if a colony of 25,000 forager bees each made ten trips a day, 250 million flowers could be pollinated.
Animals are also dependent on bees for food. Berries, nuts, seeds, and fruits rely on insect pollination. And don’t forget us! The agricultural industry needs bees to pollinate their crops, making up for 35% of global food production.
Imagine walking into a grocery store and not seeing any broccoli, melons, tomatoes, almonds, berries, cherries, or apples?
Sheer ignorance means we are short half a million bees now. Whoever lit the hives on fire doesn’t understand that without them, we don’t survive.
Spread the word.
Anyone in the Texas area with information is asked to send their tips into Brazoria County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-460-2222, or to their website.