Vandals Kill Thousands of Bees, Cause Almost $1,000 in Damage to Ankeny Beekeeping Operation

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ANKENY, Iowa -- An Ankeny beekeeper wants to press charges after one of his hives was vandalized not once, but twice.

Jake Knutson counts on money from his beekeeping to keep his organic farm, Grateful Acres, running. Now, he'll be taking a big loss now as he pays to repair the damage done to his hives. They had been tipped over and exposed to the elements, killing tens of thousands of his bees in the process.

At first, he didn't want to press charges.

“I thought they were just curious kids and you know, I've done a lot of stupid crap when I was growing up, but when they came back the second time it's more than just being curious, it's being destructive” said Knutson.

The hives were just north of the Ankeny Airport, and their destruction is going to cost him.

“These hives are totaled. There was over 150 lbs of honey in there so they could make it through their Iowa winter; and if you want to consider that in, that'd be about $500. The bees, you know, it's going to cost me probably another $300-$400 just to get started again” he said.

But it sounds like he won't have to do it alone.  The bee-keeping community, and the community in general, has offered him a hand.

“Money, time, labor, anything. We're pretty humble when it comes to accepting help from the outside but it's been really nice to get the offers” said Knutson.

Knutson hopes police will be able to find whomever is responsible, but for now, he'll just have to move the hives someplace else.

“At this point I'm just waiting for the ground to dry up a little bit so I can get the truck in here and get ‘em out of was a good location” he said.

Police say they're looking for any witnesses to come forward. They also recommend anyone with property in a secluded area to invest in a motion activated trail camera.

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