Men Hospitalized After Purposely Driving Into Bee Yard
POSTED: 5:02 pm EDT July 14, 2005
UPDATED: 6:18 pm EDT July 14, 2005
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. -- Deputies said some young men chose the wrong place to vandalize. They drove right into beehive colonies to see what would happen and the result was what you might expect. Several of them were taken to the hospital.
"By throwing it off, the bees got all stirred up and come up in the air after 'em," explained beekeeper David Miksa. "It's very upsetting. We have a lot of work to re-do, to fix up the hives."
Two boxes make up a colony, with 25,000 to 30,000 bees in each one. So it's not the best idea to drive into them and see what happens. But Miksa said teenagers usually try it at least once a year.
"There's no excuse to be near the bee yard that close," Miksa said.
The bee yard is hidden away inside acres of orange groves. But deputies say 18-year old Adam Tyson, 20-year-old Jason Krueger and two younger teens found them anyway, backing their truck right in. But then their truck got stuck in the sand and they had to call 911 when hundreds of thousands of bees started swarming.
"A lot of 'em were probably just trying to get back to their home and their home was mashed all over the ground," Miksa explained.
All of the boys were stung. At least two went to South Lake Hospital for treatment. Miksa said, with millions of bees in his hives, the boys could have been killed.
"I don't want to see anybody get stung up bad and I think it's a lesson to be learned by anybody who wants to try to mess around with beehives that the possibility of being hurt is definitely there," Miksa said.
The trespassing charges the four already face are sort of like traffic tickets, but deputies said they could also face a more serious charge of criminal mischief for disturbing the hives.
Miksa said the damage to his hives could cost him up to $5,000. Many of the bees were queens that were disturbed in the middle of the mating season.
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