Fundraiser for beekeeper raises £24,000 after his life’s work was destroyed

A pensioner left heartbroken after his life’s work with bees was destroyed in a matter of minutes has been given a fundraising boost to restore his hives.

Sheds, a greenhouse and equipment owned by Ron Hoskins, 89, were vandalised in mid-March. Ron had spent 20 years breeding a super-bee that was able to survive attacks from a killer mite that destroyed millions of bees across the world.

Nearly a month later and a fundraising page has already raised £24,000 to help him rebuild. Beekeeper suits also went missing from the site in Stanton Fitzwarren, near Swindon.

His son David said: ‘On Monday March 16 some lowlife burned down his sheds and greenhouses and kicked over a lot of his beehives, doing thousands of pounds worth of damage. This included generators, microscopic equipment and over 20 bee suits for training future beekeepers and so much more.

‘The chances are these people would probably have smelled of smoke and got stung by the bees.

‘My poor old dad is absolutely devastated and any information would be much appreciated. If you know anyone that has smelled of smoke or has been stung by bees in the last couple of days, please do the right thing, please contact me with any information.’

Police Constable Sam Walton said: ‘We are interested to hear from anyone who was in the area on that day who may have seen anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.

‘We would also like to hear from anyone who may have seen any beekeepers’ suits around the park on the day itself, or the days following the incident, as we believe that some suits were taken prior to the fire being started.

‘This mindless act of vandalism has destroyed the life’s work of an enthusiast who has conducted some world-renowned work in the field of beekeeping.

‘We are determined to find those responsible and any information the public may have will help use find these individuals.’