Beekeeper who lost one million bees from arson attack 'overwhelmed' by donations

A beekeeper who says a million of his bees died when their hives were set alight has been overwhelmed by people offering financial help.

Mariusz Chudy makes and sells honey from his bees at the family-run farm near East Bridgford in Nottinghamshire but last weekend he was left heartbroken after discovering six of his hives had been destroyed after being doused in petrol and set alight. With roughly 150,000 bees in each colony,

As well as selling honey, he also holds open days for school children to teach them about the importance of bees as pollinators. So losing so many hives in one go is a huge financial blow. 

It was at this point Steven Mayfield stepped in. A customer of Mariusz, Steven was so appalled at what had been done, he set up a fundraising page to help him rebuild his bee colony. 

He set a goal of £500 to fund someone to help rebuild the hives. That sum has been dwarfed with a current total of more than £7,000.

Mariusz has kept bees for more than 30 years and his connection with them is strong for all to see. 

Police have described the attack on the beehives as a cruel, deliberate and wanton act of vandalism. And are treating the fire as suspected arson. 

Mariusz says he'll be moving the remaining bee hives to a different location. And says he plans to use the money raised to build new hives & start a new bee colony.