Salford beekeepers stung by callous theft and trashing of expensive lab equipment

The hard work of Salford beekeepers is suffering serious setbacks after callous thieves broke into their laboratory, stealing expensive equipment and causing serious damage, yesterday.

The city’s first ever bee laboratory, founded last year by the Kersal Vale Beekeepers group, has been left out of action after the theft of the £1,200 power generator.

The thieves, who have yet to be identified, also caused thousands of pounds worth of damage by cutting locks off the Lower Kersal laboratory and storage unit.

A wendy house used by disabled gardeners with allotments on the site as a room to relax in was also broken into – even the tea and sugar was stolen.

Kersal Vale Allotment and Horticultural Society’s Chairman Harry Davies said: “You can’t believe someone would steal from a community facility like this that is helping to educate local children.

“Not only have they taken the generator, but we’ve had to replace all the locks. They cost £150 each so thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused.

“And to break into the wendy house for our disabled gardeners just to steal a bit of tea and sugar is a real low.”

The apiary houses eight hives and half a million bees and is a popular local attraction, regularly playing host to visiting schools and community groups from Greater Manchester.

The laboratory, which carries out research into deadly diseases affecting honey bees, is funded through a grant.

The grant is provided by Salix Homes, through their Your Salix, Your Say fund which offers support to community projects.

Salix Homes’ Chief Executive, Sue Sutton said: “The bee project is a wonderful community resource which we have been very proud to help fund over the years, so we are incensed to hear about the break-in.

“It’s a real kick in the teeth for everyone at the allotment site who work so hard and give up their own time to keep the project up and running. I would urge anyone who may have seen or heard anything about the break-in to contact the police.”

Mr Davies is determined that the laboratory will soon get back on its feet as quickly as possible.

He said: “We are gutted about what’s happened, but we’re not going let them get us down – we’ve got to plod on.”

Anyone with any information on the break-in on the night of Thursday September 25 should call police on 101.

Image courtesy of peoplesvoicemedia, via YouTube, with thanks

Inset image courtesy of Marco Moretti, via Flickr, with thanks

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