200,000 bees die when vandals topple hives, pour gas on them

A beehive in California.
(Corey Lowenstein / McClatchy-Tribune)
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A Prunedale, Calif., 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 honeybees on his property were attacked Saturday.

Hickenbottom says the bees are stored on his property during the winter, and beekeeper Alfonzo Perez leases the hives to pollinate almond trees 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.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and authorities said no arrests had been made.

Prunedale is about 100 miles south of San Francisco.