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Vandals kill thousands of bees at Clock House Farm in Coxheath

Bee-killing vandals smashed hives wiping out half of the 30,000 insects inside - and the queen is still missing.

Clock House Farm in Coxheath was hit by four youths on Sunday night.

The damage caused at Clock House Farm in Coxheath. Picture: Michael Smith
The damage caused at Clock House Farm in Coxheath. Picture: Michael Smith

Accommodation manager at the reproduction farm is a frustrated Michael Smith.

"During the course of Sunday evening, we had a few visitors that we didn’t really want," he said.

"I had got about 25 beehives in a row.

"It was a fantastic hive and it was ready to be very fruitful basically, and low and behold, it has been kicked over and the people who kicked it over have run off.

"I didn’t know about it until the next day but, by then, all the eggs were dead."

Some 30,000 bees have been affected. Picture: Michael Smith
Some 30,000 bees have been affected. Picture: Michael Smith

When asked how many bees at the farm had been affected, Mr Smith replied: "I would say about 30,000, there or thereabouts.

"It was a good hive.

"It was one of my best hives and I would have had four supers of honey off it this year, had it been left alone."

A shallow super will typically yields between 25 and 30 pounds of honey, while a full-depth box usually makes between 60 and 70 pounds worth.

Mr Smith says he has, so far, only managed to recover less than a third of the bees - with the queen of the hive still missing.

Robert Pascall is chairman at the farm
Robert Pascall is chairman at the farm

He said: "I would say I have managed to save 30% of the flying bees.

"But all the eggs are dead, and all the babies are dead. There is just a handful of bees that are still alive.

"I can’t find the queen. I don’t know if she is dead or alive.

"If she is alive, that hive will be able to start again.

"But if she is damaged, which she possibly is, then I will just have to put the remaining bees into another hive and keep that lot altogether.

"It is something that you don’t like coming across."

Mr Smith also said he was unable to immediately pick the beehives off the floor on Monday.

He said: "Somebody else found out what had happened and put it on a WhatsApp group that I'm involved in.

"Then, I saw what had happened but, at that stage, I couldn’t touch because it was only about 9 degrees celsius.

"So I had to leave it until about 2pm on Monday when the temperature went up to 11 degrees celsius.

"It was still too cold for me to put them into a big box but I put it back together anyway, although you shouldn’t really open the box unless it is over 12 degrees celsius because you will chill everything, and it will die.

"But I had to put it back together unfortunately. It had spent all night and all morning open on the ground."

It is understood the vandals were four young men.

A police spokesman said: "It is reported that, between Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25, criminal damage was caused to a beehive, as well as to lights in a driveway at a location in Heath Road, Coxheath.

"No arrests have been made and anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/69501/21.

"You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."

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