ALBION — Sheriff’s officials are searching for suspects who they say are responsible for damaging several beehives and causing thousands of dollars in damage at one of the largest beekeeping operations in the state.

Several beehives were damaged by vandals at some point over the weekend at Swan’s Honey in Albion, according to Kennebec County sheriff’s officials. Photo courtesy of Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office

It appears at least one vehicle, perhaps an ATV, drove into the beehives at some point over the weekend at Swan’s Honey farm on Bessey Ridge Road in Albion, according to a post on the farm’s Facebook page. The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office released a photo showing the damage and the owners of the farm, the Sennett family, posted more photos on Facebook.

Broken hive bodies, the wooden boxes where a bee colony lives, are seen scattered about tall grass and an adjacent dirt road. Clusters of bees can be seen on some broken hives.

Swan’s Honey says it is the largest apiary in the state. The owners, Lincoln and Karen Sennett, were not available Tuesday to speak about the damage, but a spokesperson for the farm told The Bangor Daily News that each hive houses between 50,000 and 60,000 bees. Swan’s Honey has thousands of hives on its property, according to its website.

Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Read said the vandals caused about $7,000 in damage, most of it at Swan’s Honey but also to an adjacent property.

Swan’s Honey covers 250 acres in Albion and provides a variety of services while also selling a number of products, such as flavored honey, beeswax, beeswax balm and T-shirts.


The land has been in the Sennett family since the early 1800s, and they’ve been in the beekeeping business since 2002 after purchasing the Brewer-based company R.B. Swan and Son, according to the farm’s website.

A Facebook post Sunday said, “Today is a sad day for us. This would be a sad thing to see happen anywhere, but it hurts a little more when it is right in our own home town with our own bees.

“At Swan’s Honey we always strive to be good friends, good neighbors and good employers to everyone in our community,” the post said. “To have this happen a 1/4 mile from our home on our own property is very disheartening.”

The post was later updated to say the damage was caused by a vehicle — tire tracks were visible near the damaged hives and extending into an adjacent field — and not by a bear or other animal.

Read asked that anyone with information about the vandalism to contact the sheriff’s office at 207-623-3614.

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