A hard-working beekeeper is struggling with heartbreak after roughly a million of his bees were killed in a senseless act of arson against the hives he was taking care of.
Mariusz Chudy, who has been keeping bees for three decades, was heartbroken after discovering the fire at a farm in Nottinghamshire on Saturday.
Six of the beehives, which Chudy made from recycled materials, were “burnt to a crisp” in the incident.
The unknown assailants, who remain at large, also poured fuel across the arm field, endangering the 20 beehives at the site.
The Nottinghamshire Police are investigating what they describe as “a deliberate cruel act,” reports the BBC.
“This was wanton vandalism, a malicious attack which has resulted in the deaths of all these bees,” said Inspector Rob Lawton.
Chudy sells honey, bee bread, and candle wax under the brand Goldendrops, but also considers beekeeping a passion and the bees themselves to be “like family.”
“This is my big passion because I have worked all my life with bees,” he said, noting the importance of the pollinators for the local farms.
“I do not understand these people,” he added. “They have killed six colonies and all the equipment – and I don’t know why.”
Fortunately, Chudy’s heartbreaking story has also led to an outpouring of monetary support so that he can fully recover from the tragic attack.
When supporter and friend Steven Mayfield, who uses Chudy’s products for his baking company, set up a fundraiser on Monday with a humble target of £500, it quickly reached its goal.
At this time, the GoFundMe has already raised £3595, or nearly USD $5,000.
“We all need bees to pollinate our beautiful plants and when they produce such delicious honey why on Earth anyone would want to kill them all, I’ll never know,” Mayfield said.
While still deeply hurt by the arson attack, Chudy is excited by what he will be able to do with the donations, he told the Nottingham Post.
“It’s amazing when people are helping me with the colony, because for me this bee colony was like my family – it was terrible,” Chudy said.
“I’m very happy that people are giving me a hand,” he added. “It’s nice to see people like what we do and it’s very helpful after what happened.”
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