Our area of the Finger Lakes Regions is bear central thanks to NYS ENCON relocating numerous " problem bears" to our region over the past decade. In fall and spring we get visits from bears on an almost daily basis at the farm and if they are not after the equipment yard they are toting off a 5 gallon pail of waste vege oil we collect for our enviro-diesel what runs on it. I'm guessing from the piles they eat the vegetable oil to help keep themselves regular and it works. We run a 2 strand fence with one level 8 inches and the 2nd 18 inches around every yard,1 yellow jacketscharger and bacon on all 4 sides. We very seldom have bears get through. Our bears never needed any help from deer hunters to find us - I have to agree with the concept of needing to have the gun, My dad gave me his M-1 Garrand before he passed to help protect me from Bears but I have to say I never had it in my hand when I've come to face to fact with bear,usually I'm holding a pack of bacon and 4 d-cell batteries for a fence charger.
Drape some fresh Bacon over your Electric Fence and the Bear will get the message REAL quick.
Once bear has found food somewhere. It will come back.
"There is no question that this technique is effective. Having said that I don't use it as I don't want to attract bear to my bee yards, and the wildlife biologist folks I have talked with frown on the practice. "
This is crazy. It is all about educating the bears. The fence won't stop them! If they are close enough to smell the bacon you are already in trouble. Not a question of attracting them as the honey has already done that.
Electric fences are not intended to provide a physical barrier - that is what the electricity is for. My goal in fencing is to keep bears out of my hives, hopefully by convincing them through experience that they'd rather have the pain free food that is available outside of my bee yard (and garden). Depending on your fence configuration an electric fence can also keep small predators like skunks and racoons away too.
So far so good, at least once I got the fences set up properly.
Just saying here that a fence with no bait in known bear territory is an invite for disappointment. Keeping the bait freshened is another task on the beekeepers long list that can often be neglected leading to disastrous results. I know this from several past experiences.
All due respects Andrew it is definitely not a question of right/wrong, your wrong.
Giving bad advice to new beekeepers as worse than giving no advice at all.
Hunting with dogs just got banned here in CA, hound hunters take atleast 85% of the allotted amount of bears that can be taken here, so now what is going to happen to the already inclining population of bears? I see more phone calls to DFW of problem bears and more not so good contact with humans, and most of them will be the ones that voted for banning hunting bears with dogs, could that be considered an oxymoron?
I have not had any bears but I would guess the hot wire should be on the outside to keep the bear off of the inner fence, once they defeat the sheep fence as it is now they are already half way to your honey, if the hot wire is on the outside they hit that first and it might keep them out of the other fence. (this is not from any real experience)
Just wait till the darn hunters destroy your electric fence and fry your bacon!!!! This post is getting lame =)