Murrells Inlet buzzing about banged up bee boxes

Someone stirred up a bee's nest in Murrells Inlet.

Stephen Mantell says somebody kicked over the bee hives behind his home.

Mantell says he's had the boxes in his backyard for at least eight years.

He says he gets a lot of satisfaction out of keeping bees and collecting honey.

"It's a good exercise, OK? It keeps me bloody fit," said Mantell.

Last Saturday, Mantell says he was shocked to find many of his bee boxes knocked over, with some of them dumped in a creek.

At first he thought the weather or an animal did it.

Then he spotted foot prints on the boxes.

"They kicked a few in here and knocked down the other ones and knocked down more. I certainly did lose an awful lot of my boxes," he said.

Mantell says he may have lost up to 90,000 bees and "more honey than you can shake a stick at."

He doesn't know who did it.

He says someone has complained to the Collins Glenn Homeowners Association about the hives.

"The HOA sent me a nice letter, asking me to remove them, but our HOA rules, there's nothing in there against having bees."

Mantell says he gives all his honey away.

He says the destruction cost him little in money, but a lot in time.

"If you think about your time to build a hive, that's two years in building it, three years before I get a substantial amount of honey out of it," he said.

Mantell says the police filed a report about the crime, but he doubts anything will come of it.

What he'd really like to find, he says, is a suspicious-looking person who has 30 or 40 bee stings.

NewsChannel 15 contacted the agent for the Collins Glenn Homeowners Association.

HOA board chairman, Janet Gage, responded that the HOA would not comment on the advice of their legal counsel