Over the weekend, several beehives were set ablaze in Texas, an attack that officials described as “beyond comprehension” and killed approximately 500,000 bees, Fox News reports.
Beekeepers discovered the beehives on Saturday morning scattered across the yard, according to a Facebook post from the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association (BCBA). Numerous hives were black with ash.
“It’s bad enough to think in today’s world this would happen but dumping them over and then setting fire to them is beyond comprehension,” the BCBA wrote in the post.
Each colony had an average of 30,000 bees, according to BCBA president Steven Brackman. He said that the attack damaged at least 20 hives and killed at least a half a million bees by setting them on fire or throwing them in the nearby lake.
County officials are searching for the attackers, but it would be “difficult” to find them because there were no witnesses.
The BCBA has offered $1,000 for anyone with knowledge of the potential suspects, in addition to a $5,000 reward put up by the Brazoria County Crime Stoppers.
According to Brackman, it will likely take over a year to replace the bees and honey lost in the fire.
"Every colony that we lose is a major catastrophe to the environment," Brackman said.