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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Horrible Whodunit: Vandals Destroy Tens of Thousands of Bees

Heather Callaghan

Bees are becoming as precious as lost water in the drought-stricken Western states. When millions of them die, it might be referred to as a bee 'holocaust.' Urban beekeeping has been shown to be safer for bees as it keeps them from agricultural plumes. It's no wonder then that the people who keep hives in their off time are praised as heroes. Even the government is willing to pay people in some states to raise them.

So imagine the horror of beekeeper Stephen Mantell when he went into his back yard this weekend to find his hives strewn about and wrecked. Natural or animal causes didn't add up - he found footprints on the hive boxes that contained the living cargo.

Who would have the motive to do such a thing? With or without meaning to, even the newscasters can't help but hint at whom the perpetrators might be.

Stephen went to care for his bees this past weekend only to see 10 years worth of special care evaporated. Multiple tens of thousands of bees are lost - he estimates 30,000 have died and the number will keep growing for awhile.

He said:

I built these form scratch the money isn't the big issue it's just killing something like that there is no sense in it.
Footprints showed evidence that made him believe someone had kicked down the wooden structures containing the hives, many of which were discovered in the nearby creek. He was able to reassemble some of the wreckage but has experienced a 25% loss.

For 10 years, the hives were quietly tucked behind his Murrells Inlet, South Carolina home.

Wouldn't you know - it just so happens...
In the last two months, Mantell had received a letter from his home owners association (HOA) Chicora Development, requesting that he remove his hives. He responded to them highlighting the fact that the hives do not violate any HOA regulations.

Before a resolution could be reached, his hives were destroyed. And Mantell doesn't expect anything to come from the police report he filed. He said that whoever did not like his bees, found a better way to get rid of them.

We've written about conflicts people have when what they do on personal property is threatened by city ordinances - law within city limits. For instance, the little boy who could not have a free library lending box in the front yard.

If you're one of 62 million people in the U.S. who belongs to an HOA, you're under yet another set of jurisdiction - rule of law within housing limits. While HOAs are subject to statutes regarding non-profit corporations, they aren't really regulated - their word stands. HOA standards are supposed to be beneficial and the people who pay their dues expect to have a voice, but that isn't always the case. Imagine getting threatened with a foreclosure lien and $8,000 in fines - not because you didn't pay your dues - but because you placed an American flag near your doorstep. Or how about getting sued by your HOA for planting flowers?

If raising an eyebrow in the HOA's direction seems extreme, look what happens when WBTWNews13 tries to get answers about Chicora Development's rules:

WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Recently, two activists who were accused of freeing mink from a corporate fur-farm were tracked, watched and arrested by the FBI - and indicted as terrorists! How? Under this law - the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. But when vandals kill off a beekeeper's bees - another threatened population? Nothing.

It appears that some corporations people are more equal than others.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook. 

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:

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