Timothy Fitch said Tuesday that the destruction took place sometime between Jan. 15 and March 8 outside his home in Sterling Heights. He estimated the cost of the loss at more than $14,000.
"They didn't bother anybody," said Fitch, a Grosse Pointe middle school teacher. "The neighbors had no problem with them — and grandkids, my kids, everybody played in the backyard and the bees didn't bother anyone."
Fitch, who spent several years researching honeybees before keeping them as a hobby, said he doesn't know whether he'll resume beekeeping.
The bee colonies typically survive year-round, even during the freezing temperatures of a Michigan winter, Fitch said. He told police, however, that the seven wooden towers that housed the bee colonies are now worthless, since they're contaminated with a pesticide.
Police are actively investigating the case, Sterling Heights Lt. Luke Riley said.