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120,000 bees killed by ‘mindless’ vandals

10:34 pm, 25th June 2018

The perpetrators climbed over a 9ft-high fence and demolished the hives in Hepburn, Northumberland, sometime between 22 and 27 May.

Owner Steve Cattanach, who has been a passionate beekeeper for the last decade, said: “It’s just mindless, heart-breaking really.

“Beekeeping is like any hobby – it’s my passion. But for people to just carry out such a disgraceful act with no thought whatsoever as to the consequences or harm it may cause, it’s hard to take.”

“Hopefully, someone who saw the hives being vandalised will see this and come forward – and help bring whoever destroyed them to justice,” Mr Cattanach said.

A JustGiving page has been set up to try and help him salvage his hobby after members of the community praised his work in the local area with schools.

Mr Cattanach has been sharing his knowledge and passion with hundreds of children across South Tyneside through talks about bees in schools and at events.

The page has already over its £200 target, which it is hoped can help Mr Cattanach rebuild his man-made hives.

He said: “I’ve been going into schools for six or seven years now. I think it’s important for children to learn about these things.

“Albert Einstein once said that if bees didn’t exist then man would only have four years to live, because of pollination and what would eventually lead to a shortage of food.”

Police are now appealing to anyone with information and have been asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 578 270518 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

There has been public anger since Northumbria Police posted the appeal on its Facebook page.

Moira Flowdy wrote: “I truly hope they catch the person/people responsible. We need to keep sharing and hope police receive information regarding the mindless culprits. We make a stand for the bees and the beekeeper. And, we will expose the vandals.”

Hayley Clark wrote: “What’s wrong with those people for doing such a cruel act? I mean what is truly wrong with them? This is disgusting, bees are so crucial for us and to harm such a humble creature…. they should be ashamed of themselves! Those poor bees and the beekeeper.”