With bee populations at risk, moves to ban pesticides and upgrade beekeeping technology are on the rise. Still, in spite of such grand efforts, trouble loomed over Wild Hill Honey. Vandals ransacked the business of $50,000 in damage, unrecoverable — at least until the community stepped in.
“Some vandals came up and they destroyed all of our beehives and most of our beekeeping equipment. They tried to batter their way into our shed but eventually they piled some stuff up and went in through the window,” says [owner Justin] Engelhardt.
Legally, bees can’t be insured, and repairs are covered by personal expenses. But, in just a few days, neighbors raised $35,000 for the Engelhardts — over half of what was needed. Even better, police easily secured a lead.
“The police response was fantastic. We called and they came right away and they dusted for fingerprints at the shed, and there are some footprints that they’re using to try to further the investigation and hopefully that leads somewhere,” says Engelhardt.
Thanks to the donors, Wild Hill Honey will resume operations in the spring. A buzzing little heart sure does go a long way!