A bee killer toppled 100 beehives in Prunedale and sprayed hundreds of thousands of honey bees with gasoline over the weekend, KSBW reports.
The honey bees were being kept on Mike Hickenbottom's Prunedale property along Echo Valley Road during the winter. The bees are owned by a man who lives in the Central Valley, where it's too cold during winter months, and they like feeding from eucalyptus trees that flower on the Central Coast during this time of year.
Hickenbottom believes his neighbors were behind the incident, partially because they had complained to him three times.
The bees are allowed to fly freely around the property, and Hickenbottom's neighbors said their children were too scared to go outside.
Hickenbottom said the Italian and Russian honey bees are not aggressive.
"I go up around the bee boxes without any protective clothing on. I've never been stung," he said.
The vandals struck sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.
"Somebody came here, and tipped over all the boxes, and sprayed them with diesel fuel. It killed a whole bunch of bees," beekeeper Alfonzo Perez.
An estimated 200,000 bees died.