When Justin and Tori Engelhardt, owners of Wild Hill Honey in Sioux City, Iowa, went to brush the snow off their 50 beehives last week, they were met with a horrifying sight – vandals had knocked over all their 50 beehives, and at least 500,000 bees were left dead in the snow.
None of the hives were stolen, but the vandals had smashed every piece of equipment they could reach.
“I knew it was going to be bad. We went around the shed, and every hive was knocked over – dead bees in the snow – it was just terrible,” Justin Engelhardt told KMEG News. He said the security camera had been taken.
Police discovered footprints and fingerprints at the scene, but the investigation is reportedly still ongoing.
Damage was estimated at $50,000 to $60,000, and Engelhardt said “this has probably sunk us,” as insurance is not available for beehives.
However, a GoFundMe account was set up for the business, and Wild Hill Honey posted on their Facebook page that, because of the generous contributions from the public, they would be able to continue their business in the spring.
Between the public’s financial contributions, and what they were able to salvage, Engelhardt said they would be able to bring the bee sanctuary back to its former glory, and that all fundraisers are now closed.
“We thought if we posted about our tragedy, maybe someone would have info about it. We didn’t expect the huge response,” he wrote.
See photos of the damage in the Wild Hill Honey Facebook posts below.
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