Intervale farm picks up pieces after vandal destroys beehives, greenhouse
By Cam Smith
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Farming businesses in Burlington’s Intervale are picking up the pieces after a vandal destroyed beehives and greenhouses.
“I don’t know what they could be thinking to do something like this,” said Ron Hernandez, a beekeeper in Burlington’s Intervale. He says on Wednesday evening around 7:30 a.m. he received a call that his hives had been destroyed. “I immediately grabbed every blanket, extra jacket, and tarp and stuff and came down here in the dark and covered up as many bees as I could see that are still living.”
Hernandez says after talking with the Burlington Police, the damage could be linked to a stolen truck found on Riverside Ave. later that night. He says the truck drove through the fence, destroying six hives in the process.
“The car that they found that was abandoned was a brand new 2022 Chevy pickup truck or something — a black pickup truck. The parts looked like brand new parts and it matches up with the color, so they’re going to check it out but he’s pretty sure that it was the same vehicle,” Hernandez said.
He works with Bill Mares selling honey at the Intervale Community Farm. Mares says the two of them lost thousands of bees. “It hurts. There are probably 150,000 bees that are dead because of human malice and retched behavior. I mean, why would you do this?” he said.
Not only were the hives destroyed, but they say the driver also plowed into greenhouses, leaving parts scattered on the ground.
“One of the houses is damaged enough. I’m not sure if it makes sense to fix it or if we need to just start over. The other we can fix but it’s certainly not going to happen without some effort,” said Andy Jones, farm manager at the Intervale Community Farm. He says over the years they’ve been the victim of vandalism but never something like this. “It’s always a bummer when something like this happens. There was no requirement, it wasn’t an accident. It was somebody deliberately going out to mess people up.”
Hernandez and Mares say collectively they have about nine hives left and enough honey to sustain the business through the winter but will need to start over in the spring.
Copyright 2022 WCAX. All rights reserved.