FORT MYERS

A church is upgrading its security after thousands of its bees died.

Covenant Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers uses bees to make honey for hungry families in the community.

The bees were the newest addition to the church and have been busy helping feed those in need.

“It’s been really exciting for the congregation to know that we now have bees that are producing honey that we bring out to the farmworkers in Immokalee,” said Pastor Jeffrey Deyoe.

But one of the hives has a lot fewer bees buzzing around.

“For several days, it was going fine and everything was great,” said church photographer Kent Sheets. “And then all of a sudden there was no activity.”

Church staff found a small plastic bottle cap at the entrance of the hive, where 30,000 bees died.

“I am pretty sure that someone mixed the sugar syrup with some poison because if the bees die because of something wrong in the honeycomb, not all of the 30,000 in one step,” said Uwe Rusch, and professional beekeeper.

The church’s beekeeper wonders who is responsible.

“Who can do that?” Rusch said. “They are innocent animals. Bees love human beings.”

“We have some really disappointed people,” Deyoe said. “We are going to put some cameras out here. We are going to put a fence around the beehive, so people can’t get to it.”

Deyoe says they will still be able to send honey to feed Immokalee families, but it will be less with the thousands of bees gone.

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