In a troubling series of events at Tofthill Farm, Inchyra, four boys have been cautioned and charged following the vandalism that led to the death of more than 4,000 bees.

The boys, three aged 15 and one aged 13, are facing charges for two separate incidents of vandalism at the farm.

The first incident occurred between May 24 and May 25, during which various plants and farming equipment were damaged. Additionally, two bee boxes containing approximately 2,000 bees were vandalised, leading to the death of all the bees inside.

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While police enquiries were still ongoing, a second act of vandalism took place on June 12. During this incident, another two bee boxes were destroyed, resulting in the death of another 2,000 bees.

A farm spokesperson described the incident as ‘heart-breaking’ in a statement to the police.

This incident highlights a broader issue of rural crime in the UK. According to the latest figures from NFU Mutual, rural crime cost the UK £49.5 million in 2022. The rise in criminal activities, including vandalism, significantly affects farming businesses, disrupting operations and causing financial and emotional distress.