RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It has been about a decade since Troy Olson started Heaven Scent Honey.
The company uses bees to pollinate and produce honey throughout the area.
However, in a matter of a month Olson said a bear attacked 38 beehives along with the frames inside them, destroying the honey and the bees.
“The bear got all the beehives. Once all the frames got wet, it just molds them,” Olson said as he picked up one of his hives.”
“These were some of our more healthier bigger beehives that were in fall crop fields. The bear just came in and ripped them apart, hauled them back in the woods [and] dismantled everything,” he explained.
By the size of the paw print left behind, Olson believes this was a young, smaller bear.
However, the financial hit wasn’t. Olson estimates he lost about $10,000.
“To replace the bees it is over $5,000,” he said. “And these were mature, big hives.”
That plus the wax frames and hundreds of pounds of honey were lost.
He said they lost most of their fall honey along with the hives from the spring honey crop.
The damage has forced Heaven Scent Honey to slow down on selling its honey in stores and markets. Olson said he even contemplated closing, but his customers had something else in mind.
“We got numerous calls and the market managers called and said they wanted to try and do something to get us to continue producing honey because we didn’t realize there were so many people that relied on our honey,” he mentioned.
People have also chipped in to help financially.
“So, it made it me realize that we have actually touched and produced something that people want, and it has affected the area around us,” said Olson.
So far, Heaven Scent Honey has raised several thousand dollars through a GoFundMe campaign — the goal is to raise $15,000.