A VANDAL has condemned 400,000 bees to death by smashing a 940 litre container of artificial honey.
Businessman Steve Madley is currently in the process of setting up a beekeeping venture in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
But on Monday night a vandal smashed a huge container of artificial honey which was set to feed the hives.
No replacement is currently available for the vital food source which is now oozing through the streets, attracting hordes of wasps and other insects.
And after estimating that up to 400,000 of his 1m bees could perish, Mr Madley has taken to social media to hunt the criminal responsible.
On Facebook Mr Madley posted a still from CCTV footage of the incident.
He captioned it: “Does anyone know who this guy is? Just entered our land at Strand Lighting building in Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy.
“He tried doors and windows to gain entry to the building then decided to empty an entire IBC [intermediate bulk container] which was filled with 940 litres of honey for feeding our bees. It’s all now running down the road.”
Madley’s Facebook post has been shared by users on Facebook over 2,600 times, and was met with shock by other users.
One Facebook user asked: “Why would anyone do that?”
Another wrote: “What a disgusting waste of honey!”
Mr Madley, who is managing director for local firm Airsoft World Ltd, said: “We’ve got a number of hives up there and what we’re trying to do is increase the bee population if we can because we have a bee shortage global crisis.
“This IBC contains a bee food that we had imported from America – it’s basically a synthetic honey to keep them alive and we only got it a few weeks ago. It’s the next best thing to honey and this stuff costs around £1,000, so it’s not cheap to do.
“But this guy has decided to try and kick off the IBC tap and then pull it off fully, so all the liquid was running down the road. To be honest, if we can’t get it replaced quickly enough then I reckon we’ll lose between 250,000 and 400,000 bees.”
Honey bee numbers have fallen at rates between 20 and 30% in recent years despite a rise in the number of beekeepers.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police in Fife are currently investigating a report of an attempted break-in and vandalism, which took place on Monday 8 August at a premises on Mitchelston Industrial Estate in Kirkcaldy.
“Officers are currently following a positive line of enquiry, however anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the area or have information which can assist is urged to contact Police Scotland.”