Bee Killer's Weapon of Choice: Pesticide

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Jul 23, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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Urban Farms Sprout in San Francisco

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About 200,000 honeybees were killed Tuesday week when someone apparently broke into the Hayes Valley Farm and sprayed two of the beehives with pesticide.

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Two colonies of honeybees in San Francisco were apparently targeted in an attack that wiped out most of the hives' population.

About 200,000 honeybees were killed Tuesday week when someone apparently broke into the Hayes Valley Farm and sprayed two beehives with pesticide.

Beekeper Karen Peteros told the Mercury News that pesticide odor was heavy, liquid was dripping from the sides of the beehives and, "the dead bees smelled like household pesticide."

Each beehive housed 60,000 to 100,000 bees. A third, smaller beehive was also hit in the attack, killing about 60-70 percent of the bees in that hive. Peteros says she can't find the queen.

Peteros runs the non-profit San Francisco Bee-Cause and tends to the hives herself. The honeybees killed in the attack helped pollinate the farm and were part of the mission to train and educate.

It sounds like a typical teenager's prank but the farm's organizers say they believe the attacker was an adult. A police report was filed but Pereros believes there's not much that can be done to find the honeybee killer.

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