In Sioux City, Iowa, two boys aged 12 and 13 years old have been charged with killing a half million bees after they allegedly vandalized a honey farm, knocking over hives and exposing the bees to deadly winter temperatures. As both suspects are minors, their names have not been released.
However, police announced last Wednesday that the boys have been arrested. They face charges of criminal mischief, agricultural animal facilities offenses, and burglary. According to The Sioux City Journal, all of the offenses are considered felonies. The charges could result in fines totaling $10,000 in addition to 10 years jail time, but as a result of their ages, the case will likely be adjudicated in juvenile court.
Justin Engelhardt, who owns the Wild Hill Honey farm with his wife Tori Engelhardt spoke to the newspaper last month when the vandalism occurred. They stated, “They [the two boys] knocked over every single hive, killing all the bees. They wiped us out completely.” They added, “They broke into our shed, they took all our equipment out and threw it out in the snow, smashed what they could.” The couple called the crime “completely senseless”.
After the destruction took place, a friend of the Engelhardts set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise enough money to restore their farm. The page garnered over $30,000 in donations, however, the couple says that is equal to about half of the amount they will need to pay in order to restart their business.
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