Two Iowa Boys Charged In Connection With Deaths Of Half A Million Bees
Two boys, 12 and 13 years old, have been charged in an act of vandalism that nearly destroyed one family’s livelihood, and impacted the environment. The perpetrators knocked over hives and destroyed equipment and property on a honey farm. Half a million bees were exposed to freezing temperatures. Wild Hill Honey owners Justin and Tori Engelhardt lost every single hive, and all of their bees were killed by the cruel and senseless crime. Now, officials say they have charged the minors, and the community has come together to help save Wild Hill Honey farm.
The Engelhardts livelihood was wrapped up in their bees. They sold honey and honey products, and the bees were vital to the surrounding area. This act of vandalism could have ruined them.
Back in December, Justin discovered the destruction when he went out to clear snow from the hives. “We went to clean snow from our hives on the west side near Woodbury Heights and found complete destruction of all our hives and supply shed. It is under police investigation since all 50 hives were destroyed, killing hundreds of thousands of bees. With this kind of loss, the future of Wild Hill Honey is uncertain. Please share and help us find the culprits of this horrible crime!”
Because of the loss of everything, the Engelhardts were unsure if they would be able to continue with their business. But thankfully, their community came together in their time of need. A GoFundMe was started, and they raised more than $30,000. That money will allow them to replace the equipment destroyed by the vandals, and start over with new hives.
Authorities are not releasing the names of the vandals, because of their age. Both of the little jerks have been charged with criminal mischief, agricultural animal facility offenses, and burglary, all felonies. The charges carry fines of up to $10,000 and 10 years in prison, but the case is likely to be sent to juvenile court.
The die-off of pollinating honey bees has been a great concern of scientists in recent years. We’re so sad to see this senseless act of vandalism nearly destroy one family’s business and impact the environment. But we’re happy to hear Wild Hill Honey will be back in the bee business soon.