An Iowa Honeybee Yard Was Vandalized, but the Story Has a Happy(ish) Ending

A bee in happier times.

Joy on Flickr

In a macro sense, this is a horrible time for bees. One story from Sioux City, Iowa shows that it can be tough for them—and their keepers—in a micro sense, too.

Let’s shift our attention away from the enormous, worldwide honeybee crisis to a more localized, but just as infuriating, situation. The Sioux City Journal reports on a family whose beehives were cruelly vandalized—but luckily, this story has a happy(ish) ending.

Wild Hill Honey, owned by husband and wife Justin and Tori Engelhardt, sells a few varieties of honey produced by the 50 hives on their property in Iowa. On December 28th, they went out to check on their outfit and found something horrifying: a vandal had wreaked havoc on their operation. Their equipment was ransacked and wrecked (though nothing appeared to have been stolen), and every single hive had been knocked over, killing all the bees.

With an estimated $50,000 to $60,000 worth of damage, and without the benefit of insurance, the Engelhardts were convinced that their entire business was over. But after sharing news of the story on Facebook, a Sioux City local named Todd LaCroix started a GoFundMe account. Five days later, their recovery goal of $24,000 was not only met, but exceeded; at the time of publication, the more than $30,000 had been raised for the Engelhardts.

via GoFundMe

“Thank you to everyone for your generous contributions and your amazing show of support,” wrote Wild Hill Honey in a note on the GoFundMe page. “Because of you, we will be able to continue our business in the spring. We are deeply moved by your compassion. Between the contributions and the equipment we were able to salvage, our needs have been met.”

The funding may not have an effect on the overwhelming pressure faced by honeybees worldwide, but it does ensure that one community will have its beekeepers, and its honey, for at least another year.


An Iowa Honeybee Yard Was Vandalized, but the Story Has a Happy(ish) Ending