Up to 10,000 rare bees killed in attack on hives

Insects unable to escape or defend themselves in cold winter weather

Colin Drury
Thursday 30 January 2020 18:47 GMT
Two men wanted in connection with attack
Two men wanted in connection with attack (Cambridgeshire Police)

An estimated 10,000 rare bees have been killed by men who kicked over their hives and then attacked the insects inside with sticks.

Still CCTV images of two men wanted in connection with the devastating violence have been released by Cambridgeshire Police.

Officers say the pair broke into the grounds of Wisbech Castle where they lifted the lids of the hives before knocking them over.

The bees inside would have been helpless to defend themselves in the cold winter weather.

PC Kirsty Hulley, from the force, said: “This was a cruel, unprovoked and completely unnecessary act of violence and castle staff are, understandably, devastated by the incident.”

She added: “They estimate as many as 10,000 rare bees have died, but are unable to check properly until March as further exposure to the cold air would kill the remaining bees.”

“I would urge anyone who recognises the people pictured, or has information concerning what happened, to contact us.”

The insects were at the attraction as part of its British Black Bee Conservation Project, a £2,000 scheme to protect the endangered species.

Speaking shortly after the attack – which occurred at 5.15am on 8 January – the chairman of the Wisbech Castle committee, Steve Tierney, said the intruders were “brain dead morons”.

He told the Wisbech Standard newspaper: “There was no reason to do this, there was nothing to be gained; it was simply to destroy bee hives and bees for some sort of sick pleasure of destruction.

“We hope these morons are caught and punished. It is lucky for them some of the volunteers did not catch them in the act.”

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