Vandals destroy 50 beehives in Iowa, killing at least 500,000 bees

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CBS) -- The future of a honey business in Sioux Falls is uncertain after vandals destroyed dozens of their beehives.

The owners of Wild Hill Honey said they discovered that 50 beehives were destroyed when they went to clear off snow on Thursday.

The owner, Justin Engelhardt, told The Associated Press that at least 500,000 bees were killed, and that the estimated cost of damage was between $50,000 and $60,000.

Engelhardt said the vandalism wipes out his business and it will be impossible to recover.

"I knew it was going to be bad when we went around the shed and every hive was knocked over, dead bees in the snow, it was terrible," Englehardt said, adding that the couple's shed was also damaged in the incident.

He said a window was broken and the lock was damaged.

Engelhardt said there was a security camera installed but it was stolen during the vandalism.

Police found fingerprints at the scene and an investigation is ongoing.