Officials believe more than half a million bees were killed over the weekend when more than a dozen beehives were dumped and set on fire, the Houston Chronicle reported.
According to the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association, the hives were vandalized at a bee yard in Alvin.
The association posted photographs on Facebook of beehives in various stages of damage.
According to Steven Brackmann, the president of the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association, a bee colony averages 30,000 bees. He estimated that nearly 20 beehives were damaged, the Chronicle reported.
"It takes a long time to establish a colony," Brackmann told KTRK. "It can take a year to get a full one, but the queens were probably killed, which means those that survived have nowhere to go."
Brackmann told the television station that bees serve an important role in agriculture.
"Tomatoes, squash, watermelons, bees pollinate those," Brackmann told KTRK. "So if bees don't pollinate those, you get zero vegetables, we would see next to nothing in the vegetable stores."
Brackmann said he could not understand why so many bees were targeted.
"Vandalism is one thing," Brackmann told the Chronicle. "But for someone to go in and spend their time dumping over those hives and lighting them them on fire ... I think it's someone that doesn't like beekeepers or bees."
A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest, the newspaper reported.
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