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Red Lodge beekeeper Andy Ladham left furious after hives are kicked over




A Red Lodge beekeeper has said he has ‘had enough’ after his hives were repeatedly targeted by vandals this month.

Andy Ladham, who has kept bees on land off Heath Farm Road in the village for five years, has had four of eight hives of bees die over the last two weeks as a result of people unstrapping the hives and kicking them over.

“You go down there and there are just dead bees everywhere,” he said.

RED LODGE: Beehives pushed over Heath Farm Road. Picture by Mark Westley. (34978839)
RED LODGE: Beehives pushed over Heath Farm Road. Picture by Mark Westley. (34978839)

“The hives have got straps on them to stop them flying off in the wind, but these people are undoing the straps and then kicking the hives over.

“Once that happens the bees are exposed to the elements and the chance of them surviving is pretty slim. It’s just so senseless.”

The latest incident occurred on Saturday but the hives were also targeted on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the week before.

“I’ve been here for five years and this is a relatively new thing,” said the fencing landscaper.

It’s so frustrating because the difficult part of keeping bees alive is during the winter and we got through that fairly easily. It’s annoying that we got through that and it was all for nothing.”

Andy, who lives in nearby Bridge End Road, said the area was often used by people to throw parties late at night – the aftermath of which he and other residents were forced to clean up.

He added that he suspected that people had been dared to kick over the hives during the course of a party.

“It’s private land and people see it walking around and people just think they can have a party there,” he said.

“I get sick of picking up cigarette packets, drink bottles and beer cans but kicking over the bees is the last straw. I’ve had enough and it’s soul-destroying when you’ve worked really hard to make it nice down there.

“I’ve spent a lot of money getting the land flat and cutting it back. I’ve planted fruit trees, cut the grass and cared for the bees and people are just coming along and causing mindless damage.”

And Andy said he didn’t know how to prevent the incidents from happening again.

“There’s already a four-foot fence up there and they’re climbing over that to get in,” he said.

“I’ve already tried putting up signs to let people know it’s private land but they were just torn down and thrown back into the field.

“I’m going to try barbed wire but that’s something I really didn’t want to do and I shouldn’t have to. I don’t understand why people can’t respect that it’s my property and just leave it alone.”

Suffolk Police is investigating the beehive attacks and have asked witnesses or anyone with information to call 101 quoting reference number 37/26824/20.