Valueing bear damaged hive
I placed two over wintered hives locally for blueberry pollination on an island. The caretaker assured me that there was no danger of bears. Of course a bear got into one of the hives and the caretaker has offered to pay for it. How does one value a bear damaged colony? What I got back was a single deep with bees clustered on three frames with the comb beat up. No queen. No brood.
Back in my yard I gave them 2 frames with eggs & brood and a miller type feeder with 1:1 syrup. - I think the bees can cover the brood ok, but it is far from certain that they'll recover. The pollination fee was $50/hive for the blueberry season. The fruit set around the hive looks great so the bear apparently came after blossom. Repeating my question, what do I charge them for the bear damage? Equipment loss is about 18 frames of drawn comb and one deep box that is still servicable but needs sanding & painting. (wicked claw marks!)
Including these two hives I have 11 total.
Re: Valueing bear damaged hive
how important is the blueberry farmer to you, sounds like a good guy I would charge for the cost of your equipment and tell him if the hive survives you will pollinate his blueberries next year with him at risk again. Buy the way bears are very timid you can scare them off with just about any noisemaker.