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Thread: Bears

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Lyme, NH, USA
    Posts
    165

    Post

    Are there any methods for keeping bears away from hives? I saw a bear in my compost pile last night, and I'm afraid that he'll find my bees before long!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Mount Olive, NC
    Posts
    53

    Big Grin

    I have seen other beekeepers use electric fences like those used to keep in livestock. Fence chargers are available in both battery operated as well as solar models if electricity is not available at your apiary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    West Bloomfield, MI, USA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Bears

    You could also try carpet tacks around the hives. If that and/or the fence doesn't work, a 44 magnum is good medicine; black bear season is just around the corner.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Perry county Pa.
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Bears

    just put a bear fence up on fri, they are a lot more powerful than just a livestock fence, I'm using a solar fencer with a 12 volt battery right inside the charger, when all done checked with an electric fence tester, had 13,700 volts, need at least 7,000 volts for bears, according to Montana division of wild life, good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Ludlow MA.
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Bears

    yes, I just put in a fence last week from bestbearfence.com, didn't want to do it but bears destroyed hives of another beek down the street, so I thought it necessary. I also have three dogs, and I think that has spared me a bear visit this year, but better safe than sorry.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
    Posts
    569

    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    You could also try carpet tacks around the hives. If that and/or the fence doesn't work, a 44 magnum is good medicine; black bear season is just around the corner.
    Thanks for the morning funny.

    carpet tacks...lmao that's funny

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Bears

    If you live in bear county you have to have a bear fence, the hope is that it's enough of a deterrent to convince the bear that your hive isn't an easy target. If it's not then you'll need to resort to the more "severe" methods a previous replied talked about, just hope it doesn't come to that, bears are an important part of the ecosystem too.

    For what it's worth I have a 15Kv electric fence around my hives in New Hampshire, and so far it's kept the Bears away. (I'm not sure it's up to the job because the shock doesn't really bother me, so surely it won't bother a bear? But at least it keeps raccoons / skunks away).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    lake hopatcong nj
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by kebabman View Post
    (I'm not sure it's up to the job because the shock doesn't really bother me, so surely it won't bother a bear? But at least it keeps raccoons / skunks away).
    When you tested it on yourself, we're you wearing shoes? If you were, can you perform your test again without any footwear and report back with your findings?

    I touch my fence accidently from time to time with footwear and the shock isn't too bad. I'd sure hate to feel it if I were in contact with a good ground.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Almond, NY, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Bears

    We have bears seen (by neighbors) every few months within 300 yards of our 4 remote hives. I cannot afford an electric fence this year.
    I've read that their sensitive noses cannot tolerate the smell of chlorine or Pine Sol cleanser.
    In my feeble attempt to deter them for now, I placed those large hockey puck size swimming pool chlorine tablets around & in between my hives about 18" off the ground. Usually you can smell the chlorine from 30-50 feet away. I add additional chlorine pucks every 6 weeks and leave the old ones in place. Maybe it masks the smell of the hives too?
    So far, so good...but I also have no idea if a bear even came close to the hives. My trail cam hasn't shown anything triggering it except for swaying tall grass, a neighbor friend who was checking things out, and lots of bees.
    Each hive also has a nylon belt ratchet strap and a perforated metal strap with a turnbuckle on the end going around the hive and the stand to try & lock everything together in case wind or a bear knocks it over.
    This picture shows the setup (not all of the pucks were placed yet):
    hives on 07_16_16.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
    Posts
    569

    Default Re: Bears

    good luck...chlorine tabs and amonia rags, pine sol, they don't work. Been there, Tried it all.
    We have brown bears all over our place here in Heber/Overgaard Arizona,
    had to deal with giant blacks in Colorado, don't be cheap...you have way to much to loose.
    Honestly, your gonna loose all your bees hard work if you have bears nearby...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    5,208

    Default Re: Bears

    Hate to say it but really the fence works best. I've seen hives strapped on wide pallets with the idea being that the bear would stand on the pallet and have trouble knocking the strapped together hive over. Instead the bear bit through the straps or literally just tore the hive to pieces. With a fence, you can keep the bear from getting near the hives. That means reaching over too. Everything else "might" work but likely, for the long term, won't.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    CapeCod MA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Bears

    bear attack.jpgbear a 2.jpgEK000287.jpgI lost 4 hives 2 weeks ago not far from you Cabot Mt in Lancaster, I had single strand galvernized wire on a 10 mile solar charger that worked for years. Switched to a net fence that was advertised as bear proof and was hit within 2 weeks. Went back to the single strand with 5 wraps 1 foot apart very tight and it stopped the hits, 3 nights of trying but they seem to have gave up. I have 3 foot grounded chicken wire srounding my fence as well as baiting the wire. I thought I was done for. A fence charger is cheaper than hive replacement.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Ludlow MA.
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Bears

    Carpet tacks won't even be noticed, my neighbor had spikes through plywood and they walked all over it, blood everywhere. I hope my fence works but honestly I think it's been my three dogs that have kept them away or at least their smell, the smell of their crap, that I spread through the woods around my hives and they run the perimeter of my property barking when I let them out. I got a 60lb Airedale that's pretty rugged that barks like a beast. I don't know what else could be keeping them away, my neighbor that got hit is onl about 300yds away and he's seen the bears for a couple months now, enough time for them to find my hives.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Bears

    carpet tacks work for skunks and raccoons, sometimes. Bears? not so much.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Black Forest, Colorado
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Bears

    Here is how we do it in Colorado. This fence was provided by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keene, NH, USA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Bears

    We've had bears come into our yard for years after the bird feeders. We have 2 German Shepherds that have free access to the entire 10 ac property. They have never stopped a bear from visiting tho' they have chased and treed a few. One time one of our males came back with a mouth full of hair. That was a very lucky dog to have lived to show me his stupidity, er.. courage. Only thing that has worked is a baited bear fence with a solar energizer (powered is even better). The bird feeders will be gone if the bears come in before we take the feeders down, sometimes the poles will be bent in half even with no feeders present. Knock on wood, the bears have yet to touch the hives. A farmer once told me how much he enjoyed watching a bear in one of my out yards try to get my hives several evenings in a row, only to be thwarted by the fence. Keep the fences baited with either bacon or half opened tuna cans and make sure you keep the grass or undergrowth trimmed around the fences.

    John
    9 yrs, TF 6 yrs, moved to OAV in 2014, MAQS 2016. 5 hives and 4 nucs Zone 4B
    www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    5,208

    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by Agis Apiaries View Post
    Here is how we do it in Colorado. This fence was provided by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

    This pic is exactly is what I mean. High strung and far from the hives. Carpet tacks ruin my trapping boots when I go in at night to put the hives back together and that's about it. Once they hit you, they log your setup in memory and they'll come back. Maybe not next week or month, but you'll be on their list of locations to check out.

    Often, this is how it all goes. We are, in fact, putting hives in their living space so it shouldn't be a surprise that co-existing isn't always easy. Nor should it be.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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