Staff at a castle on the Lincolnshire border are “devastated” after a pair of vandals broke onto the site and smashed up beehives, killing around 10,000 rare bees.
Police have released an image of two people in connection with the incident at Wisbech Castle.
The incident happened at about 5.15am on January 8.
CCTV footage showed two people breaking into the castle grounds and lifting the lids off of the hives, before kicking them and attacking the bees inside with sticks.
PC Kirsty Hulley from Cambridgeshire Police, who is investigating, said: “This was a cruel, unprovoked and completely unnecessary act of violence and castle staff are, understandably, devastated by the incident.
“They estimate as many as 10,000 rare bees have died, but are unable to check properly until March as further exposure to the cold air would kill the remaining bees.
“It will cost the museum around £2,000 to restart the project in the spring.
“I would urge anyone who recognises the people pictured, or has information concerning what happened, to contact us.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident should call police on 101 quoting 35/1817/20 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.