Hi I got a call today from one of the farms were I have bees located. They said my hives were tipped over. It appears to be the work of bears. Hives and frames spread all over. It was dusk almost dark by the time I got there. As I am checking the damage. I got the feeling I was being watched from the hedge row Was the bear near? I'll never know, I made a quick trip bact to my truck. So now I am reviewing some of my hive locations I do not like feeding the bears Other than fences is there much else you can do about bears Thanks Dan
We had several hundred hives in 8-10 different bee yards in wilds of Hyde County NC gallberry thickets and had to use electric fences to keep the bears out. It worked 90% of the time. Short of shooting the bears, there is probably no more efficeint or effective method of protecting your hives.
Sorry about your yard, Have you considered electric fences? It is not expensive, very easy to install and can be portable, my electric fence energizer (designed for medium to large animal) uses a car battery which will need to be charged every few months, also the posts can be something like this http://www.flemingwholesale.com/Fenc...ric%20Post.htm which is easy to install, easy to remove without a trace.
You will need to have quick-time installed on your computer but below is a link to a short movie on some of the research that is being done on bears and e-fences.
Have a look - I think that you will get a kick out of it. And who said bears are not smart?
After doing some testing myself and speaking with some of my collegues at NOLS, there are some instances of fence "knock-downs" at night. Bears simply walk into the fence because they don't see it, get tickled by the fence and run away. Some have added 1 or 2 small blinking lights to the fence so that the bear can know that there is something there.
I checked one of my yards yesterday.Saw bear tracks going up the road towards the yard.He walked up on a small high spot to check out the yard then walked right up to a strip of bacon hanging from the wire.He really tore up the ground leaving,looked like he was taking big jumps getting out of there!I have touched the wires a time or two so I know how he felt.
You definately need to bait the live wires to get the electric fence to be effective, but it works. I take a short length of wire and wrap it around the hot wire. I end this wire in a hook and hang my bait from it. When the bear baits down on the bait to pull it off, the pointed end of the hook gets him in the roof of his mouth.
If you are going to use a battery fence charger, you need to keep up the battery.
I lost (2) hives the otherday in a yard, when the battery went dead. I had just check the battery / fence the week before, but some wet weather and a broken branch drained the battery.
The problem with bears is you will have to break this one of the habit. He has now found a good food source. Bait the fence heavy to get his attension.
One other note, when setting up your fence, you will most likely have snow on the ground before they den up. Snow works as a insulator, so you will have to also run some ground wires so that the bear will have to put his snout between a hot wire and a ground wire.
Hopefuly you will be able to break him before the snow flies.
[This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited September 17, 2003).]
Sit and wait for him some evening with a big rifle. If a bear "hits" the bait he usually comes back the next night. A chunk of lead in the ear is the only thing that will give him th proper change of attidude.
BEEn Stung, I like the way you think!
Dave, for air fare I'll come and take care of it for you.
Smack dab in the middle of the country.
Me too.I once owned some of the best bear dogs in N.cal.That bear would have been toast if Spot and Grubber got after him.Too many mean bears later,alas, they are all gone.
Loggermike has the plan! It's worth a check ; contact your local game warden, or DNR officer, there might be bear hunters in your area that would be glad to help. Some states have a "chase season" for hunters to train their dogs. I doubt if "kill season" is in yet. Also, some states offer damage money for destruction by game animals, some states do trap and transfer. Not here in VA though, the new Game Dept. protcol is to hand a beekeeper a box of rubber buckshot and tell him to build an electric fence. Stay away from car battery contraptions, invest in a good solar charger. Not one of the little 4 volt pet fencers either, at least 6 volt, better off with 12. Bears live a long time and this ones got a map in his little brain with free food marked right where your hives are.
In NYS if a bear is causing damage to your bees / equipment, then you can shoot that bear.
The problem is that the bear can come to your hives at anytime day or night.
Get a good fence and charger system in for insurence. Bait the hot wires to increase the effectiveness of the fence.
Remember, even if you can get this bear, there are plenty more left.
Check out the contrqaption on page 699 or the ABJ. Bear-Beater Beehives, works for them up in Vancouver.
I'd sure like a bear rug...
Smack dab in the middle of the country.
I am infested with bears. I have built an 8' tall platform of steel and concrete so they cannot reach it or climb it. Electric fence's have no effect on them as I have 5 wires around my pastures and watch them walk right through them. If it is raining they stay away from the fence however. Some have suggested some problems getting the supers down but it has not been an issue. I grease the poles above the ground and it keeps anything that crawls away as well. Cost $50 in surplus steel.
A bear's fur is very thick and works as a great insulator. They why as you noted, when they are wet from the rain they stay away from the fences.
A bear needs to get a jolt across his snout or other sensitive location to be effective.
Leaving it to luck that the bear put his nose on the wire does not work.
The hot wires when baited get the bear to stop and try to get a bite to eat. This gives him a jolt across one of his most sensitive spots, his mouth.
Bears are not stupit and they learn quickly what works and what hurts.
<<<Not one of the little 4 volt pet fencers either, at least 6 volt, better off with 12.>>>
12 volt ain't going to cut it my friend. The "yellow jacket" brand charger that I have is 8,000 volts.
Did anyone check out the video link that I posted above. Check out what happens to those big old grizzly bears when they touch their nose or lick 8,000 volts. Research and field testing (and my experience)indicates that they won't mess with the fence once they get tickled. Bait them as others have indicated.
Years ago I had trouble keeping one of my Norweigan Elkhounds in the yard. I installed an electric fence a few inches above the ground along the entire six foot privacy fence.
After learning about the fences they were content to stay in the yard. I would not leave it on all the time and after a while I would notice that they would appear to be sniffing the wire.
They were testing it, but how? Upon closer inspection, what they were doing was getting close enough to the wire for the currant to pull their wiskers, thereby warning them of the danger.
Well you just can't keep a good dog down, eventuly they learned that if they dug deep enough they could still get out. That's how they got pancaked.
I keep the deer out of my garden this year with an electric fence 110 volts !
kamerrill wrote <<<12 volt ain't going to cut it my friend. The "yellow jacket" brand charger that I have is 8,000 volts.>>>
I was referring to the power source, not the output. You have to have at least a 12 volt DC or 110 AC power source to operate in the effective range of 8 to 12 Kvolts.
And Coyote, for the record, bear meat is a whole lot better than coyote meat, but a lot harder to skin!
I am a hunter that hunts with primative archery tackle among onther hobbies. Bear should be one of the tastier game animals if treated corretly after the kill. You would compare it to pork done right. Barring that the bear had been feeding on garbage or fish prior to the take. Top chefs of wild game rate it far above anything else. I network with a guy that will eat anything once. He had coyote last year and said it terrible but not the worste he had tasted. He was trying to decide if he could get past the smell of Armadillo to eat one the last time I tlaked with him.
If I'm not mistaken, the Mayans ate armadillo...