By Claire Walla
On Tuesday, December 14, Sag Harbor beekeeper Mary Woltz noticed something strange. At the four hives she maintains at East End Community Organic (EECO) Farm in East Hampton there was a distinct odor of gasoline. In fact, Woltz soon discovered that her hives had been doused in gasoline and the lids placed back on the hives in a way that prevented the bees from escaping.
The toxic liquid effectively killed the entire colony and, in one fatal drenching, stripped away all potential profits Woltz could have collected from future honey sales — not to mention the cost of the bees (both emotionally and monetarily) and the hives, themselves.
According to East Hampton Town police reports, there are numerous employees who work on the farm and there’s no surveillance in the area. The hives were kept in the middle of the farm, which is fenced off, but not locked.
There are no reported suspects at this time.