Bees burnt alive in cruel arson attack

A beehive at Oxford Island was destroyed in an arson attack killing 40,000 bees
A beehive at Oxford Island was destroyed in an arson attack killing 40,000 bees

Up to 40,000 bees have been burned alive in a cruel arson attack near Lurgan

The bees were in a hive at Oxford Island which was discovered badly torched by staff of Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council.

The bees wouldn’t have had a chance

Peter McVeigh

Peter McVeigh, Sustainable Project Officer with the local council described it as a ‘sick act’.

He said staff discovered the badly damaged hive on Saturday morning and believe the arson attack took place in the early hours of Saturday.

“Whoever did this has no conscience,” he said.

“The bees wouldn’t have had a chance. They would not have been able to get out of the box as the fire was lit at the front.

“They were burnt alive and with all the wax in the hive it would have added fuel to the blaze,” he said.

Mr McVeigh said it was one of only two hives the Council nurtures at Oxford Island.

He said the hive which was torched was in a wild flower meadow which was opened to the public.

Mr McVeigh said he and others at the council regularly take people to the hive including people from socially deprived areas to teach them about the importance of bees in the biodiversity of nature and how important they are to the environment.

He said it was likely this was carried out by people on drugs or alcohol.

And he said that, although Oxford Island is open 24 hours a day to the public, perhaps it should be locked up at night.

“This is a nature reserve for the public. These people are obviously drawn to nature but I don’t understand why they want to destroy it,” he said.

He revealed that the one and only remaining hive will be protected with CCTV cameras.