BEE KILLERS HUNTED; 5000 insects left to die after mindless vandals wreck community hives.
Byline: julie gilbert firstname.lastname@example.org
AROUND 5000 "Buckfast bees" have been killed - after mindless vandals targeted their hives.
The yobs discovered hives set up by a community project involving schoolkids, housing bees first developed by a monk at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, where the infamous tonic wine is made.
Three of the hives, on a disused railway line between Stonehouse and Larkhall, in Lanarkshire, were set upon by the yobs last Friday.
Although damage was minimal, around 5000 bees, worth PS2000, were unable to get back inside their hives and were left outside to die.
Another 55,000 housed in different hives were unharmed. Police are treating the vandalism as a wildlife crime and have urged anyone with information to contact them.
Despite the vandalism, the beekeepers running the project have vowed to carry on. Secretary of The Avondale Community Beekeepers David Paterson added: "We chose the 'Buckfast bee' because it is native to the UK and it's docile and easy to work with.
"We've laid surfaces, planted fruit trees and wildflower seeds to make sure our bees are happy and well fed."
There has been a drive in recent years to boost honeybee numbers because they boost food crop pollination, but their numbers have fallen by 15 per cent across the UK in the last two years.
DAMAGE Yobs set upon the hives