An apiary has been targeted by vandals for the second time in three months.

Sheds belonging to Swindon Honeybee Conservation Group at Stanton Country Park were destroyed by fire in March, destroying veteran beekeeper Ron Hoskins’ life’s work. The hooligans also toppled 30 hives.

Barely three months later vandals have struck again, trampling on a gazebo put up by the beekeepers to provide shelter while they work. A roll of chicken wire was also stolen. It is thought to have taken place on Wednesday night.

Swindon Advertiser:

Parts of the gazebo have been laid out on the ground by volunteers

Ron, 89, said: “The gazebo was pushed over and damaged beyond re-creation. We had that so we had somewhere to work. We’ve got nowhere to operate. We need to study the bees, we’ve got to breed queens. We need a chair to sit on and a bench to work at.”

After the suspected arson attack in March, well-wishers across the world donated to an online fundraiser, raising £25,000 for the group to replace kit destroyed in the fire.

Swindon Advertiser:

Ron Hoskins

Lost that night were a number of queen bees and the kit Ron and his colleagues used to breed a “super-bee” variety immune from the deadly varroa mite. He told the Adver at the time: “All the gear I used to create that bee – and after 24 years doing it – that’s all gone.”

You can donate online here: Donations to help cover the cost of replacing lost equipment can also be made to the Swindon Honeybee Conservation Group. Their website is: