There’s been a low act at a centre on Magnetic Island.
There’s been a low act at a centre on Magnetic Island.

Thief steals bees, leaves kids feeling ‘violated’

A heartless thief has targeted a kindergarten on Magnetic Island, leaving a group of children heartbroken because of their actions.

C&K Magnetic Island Early Childhood Centre had their bee hive vandalised over the weekend, with the thief taking off with the buzzing occupants.

Centre co-director Hailey Wetzel said it was a devastating site to uncover.

"Someone stole our bees, they took all the honey, the wax; everything they could," Miss Wetzel said.

"They peeled back the perspex at the top of the hive and grabbed whatever they could. They smashed up the hive and just left it on the ground."

A bee collecting pollen on fennel flowers. Generic bee. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS
A bee collecting pollen on fennel flowers. Generic bee. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS

Miss Wetzel said the bees had been at the centre for the last four years and had become an integral part of the facility.

"They're native stingless bees so the kids could pick them up and let them walk all over them," she said.

"We can't live without bees and the children learn how they pollinate everything.

"We've got a sustainable garden with a bore and worm farm. It's all part of our bio diversity.

"The children feel violated this has happened, someone has come into their safe space and done this.

"They don't understand how a big person who knows how to make good choices could do that. A lot of them don't have pets at home. These are their pets."

Miss Wetzel said they'd been overwhelmed by the community's response since the incident.

"I can't thank the locals enough for their help. We put a post up asking if someone knew what happened to let us know.

Image of an Australian native honey bee seen at Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney.
Image of an Australian native honey bee seen at Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney.

"Since then we've had someone start a fundraiser for us and someone come over to check it out and see if they can save what's left.

"Another person said they'll do a welded cage, we've got a great community. But it's sad that it's come to that.

"If we could have them back that would be great, but I don't think it's going to happen."

If you'd like to assist the centre they can be contacted on 4758 1168.

Originally published as Thief steals bees, leaves kids feeling 'violated'


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