"Completely senseless": Boys charged after vandalism killed half a million bees

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Sioux City police have arrested two boys in connection with vandalism at a honey business that resulted in the destruction of roughly half a million bees.

The Sioux City Journal reports Wednesday that police arrested the boys, ages 12 and 13, on felony charges of criminal mischief, agricultural animal facilities offenses and burglary. They boys also were charged with the aggravated misdemeanor possession of burglar tools.

Their arrest followed the December vandalism at Wild Hill Honey, where owners found all of their 50 hives had been knocked over, killing at least 500,000 bees. Damage was estimated at $60,000.

"They knocked over every single hive, killing all the bees. They wiped us out completely," owner Justin Engelhardt told the Sioux City Journal in December. "They broke into our shed, they took all our equipment out and threw it out in the snow, smashed what they could. Doesn't look like anything was stolen, everything was just vandalized or destroyed."

He told the paper the crime was "completely senseless."

The operation wasn't insured, as companies typically don't offer beehive coverage. However, people have donated tens of thousands of dollars, and owners Justin and Tori Engelhardt say they will rebuild their business.

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