Arsonist torches half a million bees in Texas, destroys colonies

A bee-hating firebug set dozens of hives aflame in Texas, killing about half a million honey-makers, authorities said.

The arsonist struck the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association Bee Yard in Alvin Saturday morning, the association said in a Facebook post, with several photos of the destruction.

“I broke down in tears when I saw a floating brood frame in the water with bees still caring for the brood,” an organization representative wrote. “When we left after setting the ones left up, the bees were recovering, but will remain stressed for several days. Pray that the queens are still there in the remaining colonies.”

A patrol deputy with the Brazoria County Sheriff’s office quickly extinguished the blaze, but thousands of dollars of damage was already done, police said.

The sheriff’s office is offering up to $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprit — and the beekeeping organization pledged $1,000 more.

Organization president Steven Brackmann told the Houston Chronicle that there are about 30,000 bees per colony, and that nearly 20 hives were damaged.

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