Donations have come flooding into a bee farm in Brazoria County, Texas after an unknown person deliberately burned down several hives over the weekend.
"Last night someone did major damage to a BCBA Bee Yard in Alvin," the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) wrote on Facebook on Saturday. The post shows images of several burned hives that would have contained hundreds of thousands of bees.
The remains of hundreds of bees can be seen in images of the aftermath of the suspected arson, which the beekeepers association estimates killed half a million bees, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The state the farm was found in has led the farmers to believe the damage was done on purpose. The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest of whoever burned down the hives, while the BCBA is also offering $1,000.
"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 on Facebook.
"[The association and Brazoria County Crime Stoppers have] offered a reward to lead to conviction and anyone with info please forward it to the sheriff's office as a case [number] has been filed.
"I broke down in tears when I saw a floating brood frame in the water with bees still caring for the brood."
The beekeepers are trying to repair the damage done to the farm and look after the remaining bees.
"When we left after setting the ones left up the bees were recovering but will remain stressed for several days. Pray that the queens are still there in the remaining colonies."
The BCBA has asked for donations to deal with the massive amount of damages, and so far over $16,000 has been raised from more than 500 kind donors.
"[The beekeepers] need our support and hopefully we can all donate something to help them with their losses."
This isn't the first time bee farms have been damaged in this way. Last year, around 200,000 honey bees were killed on a Californian farm after vandals doused hives in diesel and set them alight.