South East Wales

Thousands of Ebbw Vale honey bees killed by vandals

One of the vandalised hives Image copyright Gwent Wildlife Trust

Thousands of honey bees and their young have died following an attack by vandals.

The two hives at the Ebbw Vale offices of the Gwent Wildlife Trust were tipped over and smashed with large stones and logs.

Around two thirds of the bees died after being exposed to the rain and cold, while all their larvae perished.

Early April is a key time for bees, as they start producing young and looking for food.

Image copyright AP

The beehives were installed in the environmental resource centre by Blaenau Gwent council as part of a Welsh Government scheme to encourage pollinating insects.

Veronika Brannovic, Gwent Wildlife Trust manager, said the attack over the weekend was "very upsetting".

"Spring weather has been unpredictable but our colonies had started to produce larvae within the hives," she said.

"Luckily, we think the queen in each hive has survived. That means they could possibly recover - but they only have a limited number of eggs."

The centre was opened in 2010 as part of the redevelopment of the former steel works site, and has become a haven for wildlife.

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