HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) — About 1.2 million bees are dead following a barn fire last month in Hartsville. according to an announcement Friday morning from the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire on April 24 destroyed a pole barn in the 2500 block of North Center Road, according to authorities. There were 24 beehives inside.

Fred Vazquez, who owns the bees, said they do more than pollinate the flowers because they make ingredients that are used every day.

“We need them for the medicinal purposes that they give and, as a person with PTSD, I can watch my hives and they really bring peace to me,” Vazquez said.

He also added that he had some bees that were highly venomous.

“I wanted those bees because they’ve been doing studies that show that bee venom, when put into direct contact with certain soft-cell cancers and skin tumors, actually start killing those cancers and tumors within 60 minutes,” Vazquez said.

Vazquez said it took him five years to get to the point he’s at now.

“It took thousands of dollars that I don’t have anymore to get here,” he said. “If I can rebuild it, it’ll take me at least another five years.”

Vazquez has started a GoFundMe to help rebuild the apiary at a new location.

The fire is under investigation. A cause has not been named. However, law enforcement is asking for anyone with investigation to call deputies at (843) 398-4501.