Vandals Topple Prunedale Beehives, Kill 200,000 Bees With Diesel Fuel

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A California man says vandals toppled 100 beehives and killed hundreds of thousands of bees after dousing them with diesel fuel. Mike Hickenbottom told KSBW-TV that the Italian and Russian honey bees on his property in Prunedale were attacked on Saturday. Hickenbottom says the bees are stored on his property during the winter, and beekeeper Alfonzo Perez leases the hives to pollinate almond trees growing on farms across the state. Hickenbottom says neighbors have complained about the bees in the past, but the bees are not aggressive. An estimated 200,000 bees died.

'Somebody came here, and tipped over all the boxes, and sprayed them with diesel fuel. It killed a whole bunch of bees,' beekeeper Alfonzo Perez told KSBW. 

The bee killer also destroyed the Perez's main source of income, putting the father of three- with a baby on the way- out for $50,000.

In warmer months the beekeeper maintains his hives in Central Valley and only moved them to the Prunedale location to keep them safe from the cold and to allow them to continue feeding on the eucalyptus trees that flower on the Central Coast during winter months.

Perez leases the hives from his company, called Perez Generation Honeybee Ranch, to pollinate almond trees growing on farms across the Golden State. 

The bees, which are Russian and Italian honey bees, are not known to be aggressive.

'I go up around the bee boxes without any protective clothing on. I've never been stung,' Hickenbottom said.  

However, he says, his neighbors complained three times that their children were afraid to play outside with the bees buzzing around the property. 

Poor bees: An estimated 200,000 bees killed during the attack on Saturday January 13th, 2018. Hickenbottom believes that the vandalism and subsequent bee killings may have to do with his irate neighbor.

The beekeeper's business seemed to be a labor of love for Perez as he proudly shares shots of his business and his bees on the Perez Generation Honeybee Ranch Facebook page

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office is investigating, and authorities say no arrests have been made. Prunedale is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

It's murder this is a crime to humanity not just to the BEE's. Poor bee's I haven't gotten this pic out of mind since I have seen it, also I cannot find any story telling me they have made any arrests or charges since this happened that's more than a year ago. I need your help to bring justice to these BEE'S, PLEASE LOVE OUR BEE'S they are the most important insect for our future survival on this planet. Please share this petition and sign. I also ask for justice to the poor Bee keeper, these bees would have been more than just an income to him they were his family. SUCH A DEEP LOOSE TO US ALL.

We are asking that an investigation be made into the killing of these bees. Further that a method of education be implemented to help communities and people become aware of the importance of our BEE'S. Their importance to our future survival!!!. And finally that those responsible are held accountable and due justice is served. If this criminal act is not exposed and dealt with further such acts upon bee's and animals will continue.

Thank you for your HELP!!