BRAZORIA COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Texas are searching for the person/persons who set fire to dozens of beehive boxes in a small town just outside of Houston.

The Brazoria County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) posted on Facebook about the crime that happened at one of their bee yards in Alvin on April 26.

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(credit: Brazoria County Beekeepers Association)

The ashen remains of most of the hives were discovered scattered across the yard. One box was thrown into a nearby pond where club members said surviving bees were “still caring for the brood.”

“It’s bad enough to think in today’s world this would happen, but dumping them over and then setting fire to them is beyond comprehension,” part of the post read.

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BCBA president Steven Brackman told the Houston Chronicle that each colony had an average of 30,000 bees and at least 20 hives were damaged — that means some 500,000 bees were burned to death or drowned. Workers say it could take more than a year to replace the lost bees and honey.

Brazoria County Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Those responsible could face charges of arson and criminal mischief.

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Alvin, Texas is about 30 miles southeast of Houston.