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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Apple Hill, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    112

    Default Should I worry about bears?

    I live in an mostly agricultural area, with lots of natural woodlands and managed woodlots. Black bears do exist in this area, but they are unusual enough that when one is seen, it makes the local paper. I've heard of two bear sightings in two years. I had figured they wouldn't be an issue for my hives, which are located just at the start of our woodlot, where our farm fields end (we live on an 86-acre farm.) You can see our house from where the hives are, but it's a kilometre (half a mile or so) away! I get good exercise carrying my bee stuff to the hives.

    Yesterday, a forester friend dropped by to inspect some tree plantings we've had done, and made a remark about looking out for bears while he was in our woodlot. I asked him if he thought a bear would find my beehives and he said "Oh, probably!" As it turns out, his brother keeps bees about an hour away from here and had his hives trashed by a bear. He has since installed electric fencing.

    So, do you think I need electric fencing? I'm guessing there's info about that on Beesource. And will a day ever pass when I don't have another newbie question about bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    I didn't see them come into either of my yards and destroy my hives. They came in while everyone was asleep. Don't assume, it'll make for a painful lesson. Put a fence up.
    "burr comb happens..."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Central Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    Where is Apple Hill?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Apple Hill, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    Okay, fence it is! My hubby said something about solar-powered electric fencing. Anyone have any ideas about that? We do actually have regular electric fencing for the farm, but it's not currently in use and it would be a real pain to extend it that far back from the house.

    I would really hate to come out one day and see my hives trashed by a bear. Must be heartbreaking.

    Apple Hill is right between Ottawa and Montreal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,528

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    Use the search function in your beesource tool bar(gray colored). Type in "bear fence" and you will get all the info you will need to construct your solar fence.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,125

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    I just bumped Alpha6 bear fence post for ya.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Apple Hill, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    Thanks so much for bumping the electric fence post! Alpha6's schematic and photos are great -- jut what we need.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    Caberwife, wise decision. There are a lot of old posts with pictures of various peoples' fences that you can view for ideas. There are a lot of photos with damage as well, so you'll see there's a lot of benefit to having the fence up. A lot of us have gotten hit, some of us who aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer have gotten hit repeatedly before we got the message. I thought that having my hives here in the middle of town would keep me safe - like they say - you know what we make of ourselves when we assume... My 8-yr-old came in one saturday morning crying saying "Dad, a bear got my hive...the hive's down."

    Best of luck, and please do post photos of your progress for us to see. We all enjoy seeing folks' beeyards and new setups. Enjoy, I think you're proceeding very wisely.
    "burr comb happens..."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Black Mountain, NC
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    yes put a fence up i live i the mountain of n.c. and i had two hives one day and over night i had to combind two into one what i did is i took 10 foot 1/2 metal pipe and cut it in half, then i got instultor that you put on pasture fence , i like the solor fence but it dont give a good hurtting on the bear , i there i any way you could put a electrial outlet it will do better , if you know someone from you power company that could get you some astreet light wire it would carry the voltage hope this help you out

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska USA
    Posts
    33

    Smile Re: Should I worry about bears?

    Well, I didn't until 2 weeks ago, when both my hives were toppled over by a juvenile black bear inside of a dog run. Then they were seriously mad and unsettled for 2 days. Since then, they've put up one deep of honey and a full medium so it didn't set them back much.

    We put up a solar hotwire fence. The bear hit it once and hasn't been back since. I'm in bear central, should have known better.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Apple Hill, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    We could potentially put a "real" electric fence around the beehives (instead of solar.) There used to be electric fencing all down the length of the cow lane that runs from our house to the back of our property, about a kilometre, and we still have that fencing and the transformer thingie. My poor overworked husband ("Can you help me assemble frames? Can you help me build beehives? Can you help me carry the beehives to the beeyard? Can you mow the tall grass in the beeyard?!") is working on the electric fence stuff for me and I appreciate all the input, so that I can give him some ideas.

    I'm not good around electric fencing. I can guarantee I will carelessly get zapped more than any bear... perhaps time to invest in a rubber beekeeping suit?

    Akbees, I've visited Alaska (especially Anchorage) and I'm not surprised you have bears, but I am a bit surprised your bear made the effort to get into the dog run!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    I did the solar by myself without the husband! He was sort of at his limit with the honey do list this summer. It's quite hot, and very portable so you can move it with the hives. They use this set up to protect camps from brown bear which I worry about much more than a small 400 pound black bear.

    Anyway, I'd go with the solar! I live above the anchorage bowl on the edge of the Chugach park so the bear pretty much live in my backyard all the time, as well as the moose, the lynx and all the other critters.

    I had a moose and her calf in the yard yesterday and worried the calf was going to hit the hotwire. All was well, no damage done.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Apple Hill, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    Hmm, the "honey do" list takes on a whole new meaning when your wife is a beekeeper, eh? Glad to hear the solar fence works for you, akbees. You have a very wide assortment of wildlife to deal with up there! We only have black bears around here, and the odd moose.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Should I worry about bears?

    I lived in Ontario on Lake Paudash in the Kawarthas 8 years ago for 6 months. That is beautiful country.

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