Vandals kill bee colonies and cause thousands of pounds of damage at Sheffield apiary

Phil Khorassandjian and Cathy Butcher at the apiary tartgeted by vandals
Phil Khorassandjian and Cathy Butcher at the apiary tartgeted by vandals
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Vandals have trashed a Sheffield apiary killing at least four colonies of bees – setting a group’s hard work back by 12 months.

Sheffield Beekeepers chairman Phil Khorassandjian, has described the attack as ‘mindless’ and a ‘kick in the teeth’ which have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The damaged bee apiary

The damaged bee apiary

Vandals broke into the apiary and one bee hive was thrown onto a nearby hotel car park at Sheffield Business Park, Tinsley, on Thursday, January 7.

Concerned hotel bosses contacted police who are investigating the incident which happened around 5pm.

Apiary manager Steve Gribbon, said “What a sad and pointless waste of honeybees.

“Each colony was headed by a healthy new queen we bred last year and we were relying on these for our honey crop in the coming year.

“This mindless vandalism has set us back a whole 12 months or more.”

Mr Khorassandjin said: “We got the call from the hotel which is not far away to say that one of our hives had been thrown into the car park.

“We went to the apiary and found that it had been broken into and trashed.

“Due to the exposure from the damage, at least four colonies have been killed and another two others are not expected to survive.

“What can you do? You can’t watch them 24/7 but it’s such a shame. Our group has worked so hard to develop this strain of bee and we’ll have to start over again. It’s a kick in the teeth.

“This is no ordinary apiary. We set this up with the kind support and encouragement from Sheffield Business Park whose management is keen to play its part in protecting the environment In Sheffield.”

Police are investigating the incident and are examining CCTV from the nearby Mercure Hotel.

Officers are appealing for anyone who may have information to come forward.

n Contact police 101 quoting incident number 795 of January 9, 2016.